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What is the best thing to do with this college credit? Graduate early and work on transferring?


rzberrymom
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My DD (a sophomore in high school) has been taking university classes since 8th grade and so has a decent amount of college credit by now. But, we had to move to another state for my husband’s job (we’re in California now), and so she has about 20 credits from a university in Oregon, about 28 credits so far from a California community college, and 4 credits from our local California CSU. Our local community college limits high school students to 11 credits per semester, which is why she ended up taking another class from the CSU.
 

My DD would prefer to graduate high school this year so that she’ll be allowed to take 4 classes each semester at the community college, and then use the next two years to get ready to transfer to a University of California campus. She has friends her own age, but she says she really likes being in classes with older kids. I think she may regret this plan later—I was a transfer student myself, and I always felt like I missed out on the full college experience not being on a campus for 4 years. I think this plan would also limit her to UC schools, since private schools don’t seem to take many transfer students. And I don’t believe the credits from the Oregon university or from the CSU will transfer to the UC schools (they seem very fussy), so she may have to repeat some classes to transfer.


She’s been worried about how all this will look to private schools, having 3 colleges on her record. Plus, she did a year at a hybrid high school for her freshman year in addition to the college stuff, so we’re really all over the place. She keeps bringing that up, so I know it’s bothering her. And transferring to a UC would eliminate her worry about that stuff, since she just fulfills their very straightforward transfer requirements.

 

She’s also worried about private schools making her repeat classes, since they’re unlikely to take many of these classes for credit. She’s aiming for a major like MCB or neuroscience, so she’s done chemistry, calculus, and biology already and will do organic chemistry, physics and statistics next year. She’s very worried that private schools may not see the community college as rigorous enough and may make her repeat things like ochem or calculus. Is this a legitimate fear?

 

So, she could:

1) Remain in high school, be limited to 11 units, and maybe add a class or two from the local CSU, knowing that those CSU credits won’t do her any good if she transfers later.

2) Graduate early, transfer at age 18, but probably be very limited in which schools she could transfer to.

3) One other crazy option in that there’s another community college 35 minutes from here, so she could remain in high school and split classes between the two community colleges, and then decide whether to apply as a freshman or transfer in her senior year. She doesn’t like this option because it adds another college to her long list.

 

One other note is that her grandparents will pay for university, so we don’t have to worry about scholarships (which I know can be an issue with transfer students). Obviously though, spending less is always better!!

 

Thank you for any advice!!

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Re: the classes at the community college in California transferring to UC or CSU campuses.

This is actually really easy to figure out.  Look at the course listing it will say if it transfers or not.  If is says it transfers, then it does and that is all.  
You might be best off making an appointment with the college advisor at the community college she is attending.  They have the latest information on in state transfers.

Both of my older kids took classes at a California community college before going to a four year school, one as a freshman the other as a transfer student.  Neither had any issues with the school accepting the credits.  This is one state school in Arizona and one private school in New York.  The classes transferring part was not the biggest part of our decision making.  Other things like financial aid and distance from home were more significant factors.

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6 minutes ago, JenneinCA said:

Re: the classes at the community college in California transferring to UC or CSU campuses.

This is actually really easy to figure out.  Look at the course listing it will say if it transfers or not.  If is says it transfers, then it does and that is all.  
You might be best off making an appointment with the college advisor at the community college she is attending.  They have the latest information on in state transfers.

Both of my older kids took classes at a California community college before going to a four year school, one as a freshman the other as a transfer student.  Neither had any issues with the school accepting the credits.  This is one state school in Arizona and one private school in New York.  The classes transferring part was not the biggest part of our decision making.  Other things like financial aid and distance from home were more significant factors.


Yeah, I probably wasn’t clear. We definitely know which classes transfer from the community college to the UC. The CSU classes definitely don’t transfer, and the Oregon classes likely do not. And then with the private schools she’s looked at, there seem to be limits on the number of credits she can bring in (she’s already over those limits), and she’s also been worried that she may have to repeat things like organic chemistry if they didn’t see a community college as rigorous enough.

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I typed out a whole reply and then think I forgot to post. Hopefully this is not a repeat.

First, multiple colleges from a high school student is not going to be an issue (or UNLIKELY to be...I should never say never). It may be more expensive for you, sending transcripts from multiple colleges to various places she may apply. But will not be a negative factor for admissions.

I am personally not a fan of early graduation. My gifted kids graduated at the typical age, with advanced high school curricula (which was sometimes dual enrollment.) There are a lot of interesting extracurricular things they can do in the teen years which would strengthen college applications, both academic and non-academic, while they develop personal maturity and life skills.  That said, plenty of people go the route you are describing above. There will be pros and cons, things she misses out on and things she gains, regardless of the path chosen.

As far as private colleges and transfer courses, you need to keep in mind that there is a wide variance in the selectivity of private colleges. The UCs will be more selective than many, if not most, private colleges. In general, some schools will accept transfer credits and some will not. More selective schools tend to be pickier about what they will accept. It's not uncommon for a school to want basic courses required for one's major to be taken at the school. If you have specific schools in mind, you might take some time to look at their specific requirements.

Of your choices, I like #1 the best, with the caveat that she uses her time to bulk up her extracurricular resume and gain leadership experience.

And FWIW, I've graduated two homeschoolers from college; one selective state flagship, and one Ivy League private. Have a high school junior and starting to think about her choices.

Edited by GoodGrief3
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I would talk to an advisor in her first and second choice college/university. Preferably the advisor for her intended major/field, not the freshman advisor!

We chose to drop all high school classes from the transcript. My dd took high school classes in 7th, 8th and 9th. In our state we don't have to declare those classes as long as she wasn't in a brick and mortar classroom. They really just muddied the transcript and weren't of any particular use. And she chose to take classes at both a university and community college at the same time in order to get around the limit (so option 3).  She also had summer credits from another college. No one seemed to bat an eye at multiple transcripts. They just do a transcript review and plug in classes they will accept. She was accepted everywhere she applied.  All of the colleges did require and look at her volunteer/employment documentation. And she had joined a couple of university clubs in the area of her major. I think the volunteer work and participation in those clubs was important. Of course, we needed to maintain freshman status for scholarship purposes.

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We kind of are going with "both". 8th grade became 9th grade on the transcript, since that was when college credits became the majority of classes (and gave a couple in 8th which had been in 7th, and young for grade at that). Nothing before 9th grade went on the high school transcript except those couple of college classes. We set an arbitrary graduation date four years ahead, and waited on graduation until then, regardless of actual high school credits completed. So, L will be entering a 4 year college as a freshman, with about 80 credits completed between different universities and colleges, and almost twice the credits required for high school graduation due to the cover school counting a 3-4 credit college class as a 1 credit high school one. So far, no school has batted an eye at having multiple transcripts to evaluate, and L will enter with freshman scholarships intact, but also with a lot of transferred credit which largely will replace general studies requirements except where specific classes are required for honors or similar restrictions. Double majoring/double degree will be easy, and graduate classes will be available while still on undergrad scholarships.  

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The private colleges and international universities DS has been accepted to didn’t have an issue with his multiple college courses. He has taken classes through two private colleges as well as DE. His are all math courses; even going into CS he will be pretty maxed out for his program as an incoming freshman (other than if he wants to continue further with math electives).

If your daughter is concerned about how colleges might approach community college courses, she should simply contact admissions nearer to the point of applying. In DS's experience they have seen it all. Her experience won’t be unique. 🙂 

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For state U’s, it is very common to have a searchable index where you can look up the school name and then seen which classes transfer and as what. Honestly, the classes that have been most difficult were those from a state Flagship many states away-they simply didn’t have anything already on file about that school! 

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I didnt read the thread, so I don't know if this was mentioned, but for some private schools, the issue isnt bringing in the credit as much as they expect you to take that many courses at their school. So say they limit the number of hrs you can bring in to 12 but the student is ready for 300 or 400 level classes. It isnt that they want your student to enroll in 100 level classes. They will let them place into an appropriate level. But, she would probably need 3 1/2  yrs to graduate bc the outside advanced level doesnt let them skip hrs that the U wants to collect $$ for.

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30 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

 It isnt that they want your student to enroll in 100 level classes. They will let them place into an appropriate level. 

This has been our experience. DS can simply talk to the professor, say he has self-studied xxx content, and take an upper level class. He has never been required to repeat something he has already done just so he can tick a box. 

He has been required to take the final exam during orientation to place out of university-wide required math and science classes (he is at a tech school), but was not required to do this to place out of prereqs for upper level classes that were not a university-wide requirement.  

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Echoing the others, I have transcripts from probably 15 schools at this point. Other than the cost of sending all of my transcripts every time they ask for them, it has never been an issue when I've applied to second bachelor and multiple grad school programs. 

If she doesn't want to enroll in 2 CCs at the same time, she could always take the CHSPE to take more units. One thing that I would caution you, though, is to be aware that, because she has taken classes at 4 year universities, she could come into the UC with too many units if she decides to transfer (so-called super junior or super senior status, which isn't an issue if all the units are from CCs, and only becomes an issue when some of the units are from 4 year universities). Review pages 34 and 35 here: https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/counselors/files/quick-reference.pdf  I am not sure if this issue still applies if you come in as a freshman and then they adjust your status after admission. You might want to email Ask UC.

 

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7 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

One thing that I would caution you, though, is to be aware that, because she has taken classes at 4 year universities, she could come into the UC with too many units if she decides to transfer (so-called super junior or super senior status, which isn't an issue if all the units are from CCs, and only becomes an issue when some of the units are from 4 year universities). Review pages 34 and 35 here: https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/counselors/files/quick-reference.pdf  I am not sure if this issue still applies if you come in as a freshman and then they adjust your status after admission. You might want to email Ask UC.

 

Oh goodness, thank you for pointing this out!!! I had no idea!

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9 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

I didnt read the thread, so I don't know if this was mentioned, but for some private schools, the issue isnt bringing in the credit as much as they expect you to take that many courses at their school. So say they limit the number of hrs you can bring in to 12 but the student is ready for 300 or 400 level classes. It isnt that they want your student to enroll in 100 level classes. They will let them place into an appropriate level. But, she would probably need 3 1/2  yrs to graduate bc the outside advanced level doesnt let them skip hrs that the U wants to collect $$ for.

This is what I’ve been hoping. I think she’s fine with taking longer to graduate—she just doesn’t want to have to repeat any of these math and science classes.

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8 hours ago, lewelma said:

This has been our experience. DS can simply talk to the professor, say he has self-studied xxx content, and take an upper level class. He has never been required to repeat something he has already done just so he can tick a box. 

He has been required to take the final exam during orientation to place out of university-wide required math and science classes (he is at a tech school), but was not required to do this to place out of prereqs for upper level classes that were not a university-wide requirement.  

This is so good to hear!

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1 hour ago, rzberrymom said:

Oh goodness, thank you for pointing this out!!! I had no idea!

It might be an issue for us because we live near UCSD and SDSU, and my son will likely end up taking classes there through this program (almost all the UCs and CSUs have the same program). Basically, as long as you are taking 6 units at your "home" CC, you can take one class through cross-enrollment per term tuition free (you just pay fees). https://students.ucsd.edu/academics/enroll/undergraduate-enrollment/community-college-csu-students.html

He is currently enrolled in three community college districts -- Miramar/Mesa/City in San Diego, at Foothill/De Anza in Silicon Valley, and Orange Coast/Golden West/Coastline in Orange County, so who knows how many cross-enrollment classes he will be able to take. He is only in 6th grade and just started taking CC classes this year. He has no plans to graduate early, so he could accumulate a lot of credits, so we need to check on this issue as well (and we have no idea if he will end up at a UC -- he will just take the most rigorous courses, which will likely include a number of UC courses). My understanding, if I recall correctly, is that it only applies to transfer students, but again, I need to check on this for us as well, so do email them. They are very responsive.

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Contact a transfer admissions counselor and see what your options are.  Ds is actively doing this right now.  Apparently one set of credits will transfer is he takes an AA degree (based on an established transfer agreement), but a different set will transfer if he doesn't.  Odd but true.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/26/2021 at 12:39 PM, 8filltheheart said:

I didnt read the thread, so I don't know if this was mentioned, but for some private schools, the issue isnt bringing in the credit as much as they expect you to take that many courses at their school. So say they limit the number of hrs you can bring in to 12 but the student is ready for 300 or 400 level classes. It isnt that they want your student to enroll in 100 level classes. They will let them place into an appropriate level. But, she would probably need 3 1/2  yrs to graduate bc the outside advanced level doesnt let them skip hrs that the U wants to collect $$ for.

We're seeing the same thing. In L's case, the plan is to do a 4+1 teaching certification program with a bachelor's in either wildlife science or biology with an organismal emphasis. Because of transferred credits, there will be plenty of time to get that extra year of coursework in, and possibly the required internship as well, but that will provide the necessary seat time for the BS. At two schools, another option would be to start a concurrent master's, and there is a path by which you can overlap master's and upper division coursework in certain fields, education being one of them. 

 

That may not be an option for all majors, but since L's eventual goal is to be a science or museum program outreach/educator, picking up the teaching credentials is an easy way fill in time on the BS, while making it easier to get the desired job after grad school.

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