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Moms of HS Juniors


ScoutTN
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7 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

I will say though that our local private school has a very hard time placing kids into top UCs and much easier time placing them into top privates for the same reasons PSA kids have trouble. 

You can get the exact numbers from that link SanDiegoMom posted above—we checked private schools all over the Bay Area, and the percentages admitted were much higher than the elite public schools I know of. After a while I stopped because it was making me feel ill…

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19 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

GPAs are very tricky business though. CA schools give honors courses the same weight as AP and DE courses, so you can get a very high GPA by not even taking what we on this board consider advance courses. My high school counselor says kids who get into top CUs have GPAs around 4.6 to 4.8

I THINK, though I can't be certain, that they are using the UC capped GPA in the data I linked.  College Confidential is all over the place for that reason --  I think my kids school bumps for honors and AP the same and gpas can go pretty high.  But the UC gpa only allows a bump for four total AP classes in the sophomore and junior year.   

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11 minutes ago, rzberrymom said:

You can get the exact numbers from that link SanDiegoMom posted above—we checked private schools all over the Bay Area, and the percentages admitted were much higher than the elite public schools I know of. After a while I stopped because it was making me feel ill…

 

 

Oh, never mind. It's for all the UCs. That makes sense. I thought it was UCLA only. Stand corrected. 

 

We have routinely kids transfer from local private school into a public for GPA. Barely B students all end up with straight A's at a public, so not surprised that UCs know that and take private school kids. 

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2 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

It is a lot easier to read when you don't have goals of a tippy-top school. I learned a lot from College Confidential. But, I took what I learned and applied it to schools where I knew my kids would be incredibly competitive. That knowledge is why my kids have attended college for free. It is also where I learned how to predict fairly accurately where students would be admitted and where they wouldn't.

This is our strategy too, though my Dd will not likely go for free. She is a solid student with good scores and grades, but not tippy-top. 

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2 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

I find that forum to be virtually impossible to navigate. A couple of threads I read about UCs when my friend's DD was applying were so unpleasant that I had a bad taste in my mouth. I don't consider UCs like UCSD to be tippy top, yet.... I don't know. I would rather come here and ask here than ever look at CC again. 

I haven't been on there in 5 yrs, but during the yrs I did spend on the forum, I learned very quickly to avoid the forums where students post and to read answers by seasoned posters. Over time there were several whose posts I followed bc I could glean so much from them. One with whom I corresponded privately ended up being a reader for Brown.  Knowing how to package information is part of the process to a successful application. That is what I learned from them. I stopped reading bc I feel like I know what I am doing now and can do it on my own. But that "packaging" is no joke for competitive scholarships, etc.

2 hours ago, rzberrymom said:

You’re right, that’s what I meant. I’ve seen it mentioned that they calculate a P/F as a C, but I’ve never been able to figure out who does this. Is it something you only find out after the fact? Or can you find it on the schools’ websites?

Yrs ago on a homeschool to college loop a parent shared their experience.....their highly competitive kid was rejected from UVA as an instate student. When they inquired it was bc he didnt have a traditional transcript and the gave him Ps and the U calculated his GPA using Cs. This was a student who was very high caliber competitive and should have been a accepted. Their unwillingness to conform on his transcript cost him admissions. FWIW, there is no reason to not give grades, so I give my kids grades and nothing we do comes close to traditional classroom work. PE, though, seems like transcript padding, so I give a P and only include it in states where it is a graduation requirement.

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

Another question to ask - how many of you gotten started on course descriptions, transcript, and a counselor letter? 

I must report our transcript is in the top shape! The rest, not so much 🙂 

Transcript, yes, but my style is to wait until the app opens to write my course descriptions and counselor letter.  They go together for me. I will reuse my school profile but update it a bit.

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9 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

I haven't been on there in 5 yrs, but during the yrs I did spend on the forum, I learned very quickly to avoid the forums where students post and to read answers by seasoned posters. Over time there were several whose posts I followed bc I could glean so much from them. One with whom I corresponded privately ended up being a reader for Brown.  Knowing how to package information is part of the process to a successful application. That is what I learned from them. I stopped reading bc I feel like I know what I am doing now and can do it on my own. But that "packaging" is no joke for competitive scholarships, etc.

Yrs ago on a homeschool to college loop a parent shared their experience.....their highly competitive kid was rejected from UVA as an instate student. When they inquired it was bc he didnt have a traditional transcript and the gave him Ps and the U calculated his GPA using Cs. This was a student who was very high caliber competitive and should have been a accepted. Their unwillingness to conform on his transcript cost him admissions. FWIW, there is no reason to not give grades, so I give my kids grades and nothing we do comes close to traditional classroom work. PE, though, seems like transcript padding, so I give a P and only include it in states where it is a graduation requirement.

I largely agree. FTR tho, PE is not transcript padding where physical fitness and not participation is tested. Here, PE is combined with driver ed. and health so while an A is easily obtained, it's not a given.

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11 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I largely agree. FTR tho, PE is not transcript padding where physical fitness and not participation is tested. Here, PE is combined with driver ed. and health so while an A is easily obtained, it's not a given.

My comment is directed toward the fact that schools that recalculate GPAs are not including PE grades. They are focusing strictly on academic achievement. That doesnt mean that physical education is not important. Those are 2 different conversations. When you have kids with a lot of crs, adding in PE on top of a lot of academic courses, it does make it look like you are trying to increase cr hrs. But, this is also from a homeschool, not ps mentality. I would also never give cr for drivers ed and also only include health when required. It doesn't mean my kids dont do those things. It just means that they dont fit my criteria for transcript crs. 

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She says her homeschool charter also gives a P/F for health and work study. Would those be considered academics and have a chance of being turned into C’s?

Although, it sounds like maybe it doesn’t come up as often as I thought.

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Just now, rzberrymom said:

She says her homeschool charter also gives a P/F for health and work study. Would those be considered academics and have a chance of being turned into C’s?

Although, it sounds like maybe it doesn’t come up as often as I thought.

I know absolutely nothing about CA schools, so no idea there. For the schools my kids have applied to, they have applied with a P for PE and have never had it negatively impact them. I honestly didnt even give a second thought. My kids are typically highly academic with advanced levels of achievement, so PE is listed but at the very bottom in a required check the box way.

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1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

My comment is directed toward the fact that schools that recalculate GPAs are not including PE grades. They are focusing strictly on academic achievement. That doesnt mean that physical education is not important. Those are 2 different conversations. When you have kids with a lot of crs, adding in PE on top of a lot of academic courses, it does make it look like you are trying to increase cr hrs. But, this is also from a homeschool, not ps mentality. I would also never give cr for drivers ed and also only include health when required. It doesn't mean my kids dont do those things. It just means that they dont fit my criteria for transcript crs. 

I can appreciate that some schools do that. At a time with extreme levels of obesity tho, plenty of health/fitness related careers (including federal, state and local LEOs), and few people qualified to serve in those roles b/c of health/weight issues, it is a credit-worthy endeavor. Plus, here, poor kids would be denied the chance to license until 18 w/o it being offered in school. YMMV.

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14 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

For admission to college- It depends on the school, but some do have automatic admission based on test scores and GPA.  You can also look at the schools stats (average GPA and ACT scores) and assume if you are there or above you will be accepted.   Some schools are very selective, so it would be harder to know.  

 

For Honors College program- it also depends on the school.  Some offer automatic entrance at certain test scores and GPA, you just hit accept and you are in.  Others want essays and a form filled out, but generally accept anyone that qualifies (see school Honors page for minimum acceptance).  Others are limited, and very competitive and require letters of recommendation,  etc. 

I really like Honors programs if your student qualifies bc it gives priority registration (after 1st semester), gets them involved with good students who have (generally) good study habits.  The dorms are also usually nicer or better located on campus. The Honors classes also tend to be smaller and more conversations in them.  Older is in Honors, Second has also scored well enough for automatic admittance to Honors.  I doubt either will actually go through the whole program, but its nice to start there!  

Not all honors programs give priority registration and even if they do, as my son found out, the only classes he really needed it for were in the honors college, so it didn’t really help. 

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On 3/20/2022 at 10:07 PM, ScoutTN said:

Anyone beginning to visit colleges, talk about possibilities, and think through things with their 11th grader? 

We have made a couple visits and have another scheduled soon. This is our first time on the college path and it’s pretty overwhelming. 

Any advice for us newbies from y’all with loads of experience? (Besides read all the pinned threads here, of course.)

You have had been given lots of great ideas here and I won't repeat any of them.  The advice is timeless and spot-on.  I'm in awe of everyone who was able to navigate this process on their own.

But one thing that has not been mentioned is the possibility of hiring a college counselor. I understand that this is not an option for some people due to cost.  It was a stretch for us too, but the advice and guidance we received were priceless both in value and in the creation of a list of schools that could work for us financially.  Our counselor not only helped shape my teen's list and guide my teen through the application process, but she also helped me with the counselor letter and forms. I would have never approached the school profile and counselor letter like I did without her help, regardless of how much I read online.  And I felt like I had a true partner to help me navigate through this complex, and at times, overwhelming process.

It was also nice to be one step removed from my teen, who was initially a very reluctant participant in the college process. For those of you with kids like this, you know what I mean! 

I am happy to report that my teen transformed from that reluctant junior to a senior on the cusp of making the final college decision in the next couple of days.  There were good schools, well-matched to my teen's interests and personality, to choose among with solid merit aid.  My kid had a strong academic background but was not the exceptional student that can be found on this board.  Yet our counselor could see my teen in a fresh, new way and helped my teen's voice and personality shine in the application process.  I can honestly say that it wouldn't have been the same if I was at the helm of this process.  I know my kids but it's something else to step back and be able to truly see them objectively, which is an important factor in this process. 

Hiring a counselor was probably the best decision I made in regards to my kids' education, right up there with deciding to homeschool in the first place.

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6 hours ago, threedogfarm said:

helped my teen's voice and personality shine in the application process.  I can honestly say that it wouldn't have been the same if I was at the helm of this process.  I know my kids but it's something else to step back and be able to truly see them objectively, which is an important factor in this process. 

Hiring a counselor was probably the best decision I made in regards to my kids' education, right up there with deciding to homeschool in the first place.

It really does take stepping back and evaluating your student 100% objectively.  Creating a narrative that weaves through both student and school info that highlights your student distinctly as an asset to a future collegiate community makes a strong application.  It doesn't take a paid counselor, but it does take educating yourself in how to show and not tell and what defines a good, captivating essay.

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On 3/22/2022 at 6:02 PM, 8filltheheart said:

Creating a narrative that weaves through both student and school info that highlights your student distinctly as an asset to a future collegiate community makes a strong application.  It doesn't take a paid counselor, but it does take educating yourself in how to show and not tell and what defines a good, captivating essay.

I agree that this doesn't require a paid counselor.  And so many posters, like 8filltheheart, are brilliant at doing this on their own.  But one lesson that I have learned over time is that I don't have to do this all on my own.  Sometimes, seeking outside help is a better course of action. Working with a college counselor certainly made this college application process easier. And after spending 10 years as the head education facilitator, I got to be a participant on this journey, simply "Mom," rather than the captain (or the head nag!).  And this not only lightened my load, but it was great for my relationship with my teen.  

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Posted (edited)

Not all schools require a counselor letter, esp non selective publics.

Dd will apply to several. The honors programs sometimes do require recommendations, but I haven’t seen one that requires a counselor letter yet.

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1 hour ago, ScoutTN said:

Not all schools require a counselor letter, esp non selective publics.

Dd will apply to several. The honors programs sometimes do require recommendations, but I haven’t seen one that requires a counselor letter yet.

We needed it for the common app, but that was a Mom-is-the-counselor variety.

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