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agill786agill786 9 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13 New Member
edited January 2011 in Parents Forum
Hi everyone,
I was once a regular lurker here 4 years back when I was applying to college. I am now going to be graduating pretty soon from UC Irvine and will be applying to graduate schools. My sister is currently a freshman in High School and she had made it her life's mission to attend UCLA, UC Berkeley or UC Irvine. I know that a lot of things have changed in terms of competitiveness amongst these institutions. However, granted that we were the parent's of immigrants who did not know much about admissions, I had to scavenge a lot of the info for myself with no familial guidance. I want to be able to guide my sister as much as possible so as to help her achieve her academic goals and set her on the right path to success.

She was in the GATE program all throughout Elementary and Junior High...does that carry over to High School..will it help her in admissions in any way?

Presently, she is taking Honor's Biology, AlgebraI, Social Science and English with PE, Spanish and a career course. She is getting A's and B's in all except for Honor's biology. I am working with her to improve it but at present she has a D grade. I don't foresee her getting more than a C- in the class based on her current record.

Would it make a huge impact on her from an admissions aspect if she didn't do so good her first semester and may even have had to repeat this class?

Also, I feel she is more of an Algebra person and think it might be a better idea for her to take Geometry in the summer prior to Sophomore year. Would it be a good idea for her to take it online, at a local community college/regular college or at her school (if offered)during the summer before sophomore year?

When I was applying only Sophomore and Junior year grades mattered. From what I understand, Sophomore and Junior year grades are the ones that still count towards one's GPA, but the level of difficulty of one's freshman year classes are still looked at. Is that correct?

Regarding Extracurricular activities, she is currently playing Basketball for the school's team and it does take up a significant amount of time, but she enjoys it. Should she continue playing Basketball all throughout high school? Track and field starts in the Spring and she was wondering if she should do that to demonstrate a diverse interest in athletics.
She also has to do community service and was wondering if she should be involved in a club of some sort. From what I understand, it doesn't matter if you are just involved in the club, you should hold some type of position on the club's senate, correct? Lastly, she plays the electric guitar sometimes as she has a passion for music, would it be advisable for her to continue playing and listing that as an EC?

Finally, when should she start worrying about SAT studying? She doesn't want to take too many AP or Honor's classes next year so as not too stress herself out, but will taking regular classes count negatively towards her when it comes to admissions? During the summers, will taking easy classes at a Community College be of help?

I honestly wasn't too involved in EC's, but I'm sure it is getting important more and more these days. I don't want her to have that feeling of regret when it comes time to apply.

Thanks so much in advance! Wishing everyone a very happy new year!
edited January 2011
8 replies
Post edited by agill786 on
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Replies to: Sister

  • agill786agill786 9 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Happy New Year everyone! Just thought I would bump this.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73027 replies3179 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,206 Senior Member
    Her elementary and middle school participation in the GATE programs won't matter at all for college admissions.

    I believe the UCs use the soph and junior grades for admissions...but someone from CA would need to verify this.

    It's great that you are there to help your sister. As you know...CA has a number of choices for college for instate students which is wonderful. She will get a fine education at one of these schools.
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  • agill786agill786 9 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Thanks for the response!

    Would freshman year grades/classes count in terms of how they view you as an applicant for UC schools?

    Also, would it be advantageous for her to do Geometry in the Summer after Freshman year? Would that still count in her UC GPA, or would it still be considered freshman year?

    Lastly, should she start taking AP classes next year? I attended a Private high school and we had AP psychology offered. At her current high school, it is not offered. She does not wish to change schools at any cost. I remember AP psychology being one of those "easy" A's and wish she could take it. Would it be possible for her to take it over the summer at another school or something? BTW, I found it really interesting too.

    Thanks in advance!
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 32863 replies3607 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 36,470 Super Moderator
    IIRC, freshman grades do not count in UC apps except in their impact on class rank and rigor.
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  • agill786agill786 9 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Yes, I believe you are correct, they are used for class ranking and rigor is looked at. Do these things play a greater role as compared to the overall GPA? So if your 10th and 11th GPA is 4.0+ on a weighted scale, but your ranking is lower because of a poor freshman year and the rigor of your classes (not too many honor's classes), will it be a big deterrent?

    Thanks in advance!
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  • agill786agill786 9 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Bumping this so it can get more views!
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  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud 3012 replies26 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,038 Senior Member
    You would probably get more views if you posted in the forum specifically for these schools or UCs. That's probably where you can see the highest concentration of people with specific knowledge on these issues.
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  • agill786agill786 9 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Oh, thanks. I will go ahead and do that.
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