CSU/UC cc classes vs AP

My daughter is planning to do community college class on Psychology /photography ( to meet a-g) ( UC/CSU transferrable).
How does UC view these classes and how do they impact the GPA? (Our HS won’t add credits from cc on transcripts, we can mention it as classes taken outside HS )
Is AP a better option ? ( I have triplets , from 2023 FAFSA will no longer provide financial aid to families with multiple students so we are looking for ways to lessen the costs )

You need @Gumbymom!

In general, if the AP Psychology class is available at her HS and it fits into her schedule, it may be a better option. For Photography, a one semester CC class will fulfill the year long visual/performing arts requirement for the UC’s and CSU’s. All UC/CSU transferable CC classes will be calculated into her UC/CSU GPA and will be given an extra honors point in the calculation. The CSU’s count the grades twice in the calculation vs. the UC’s which count the grades only once. She will have to send an official CC transcript along with her HS transcript once she matriculates to any college.

Is she planning on applying to schools other than the UC’s and CSU’s?

Some CC classes may not be transferable to private and OOS colleges plus all CC class grades are required to be reported when applying for Graduate or Professional school so it is vital that she gets good grades if she pursues that route.

You can use University of California A-G Course List to see if a community college course fits into one of the a-g categories for UC and CSU frosh admission requirements.

Note that college courses get honors points when they are included in recalculated HS GPA for UC and CSU purposes. A semester college course counts as one course and one grade for UC, but two courses and two grades for CSU (one course and grade ordinarily represents a one semester course and its grade in high school).

For UC and CSU applications, you put all high school and college courses and grades into the application; it does not matter whether your high school includes the college courses on the transcript. When you send transcripts (e.g. final transcripts to the college you matriculate to), they must be sent from all high schools and colleges previously attended.

In terms of lowering cost of college by possibly enabling graduating early or avoid graduating late, AP credit is subject to UC and CSU systemwide AP credit policies in terms of credit units (UC and CSU differ in credit units for AP scores), but campus, division, and department policies in terms of subject credit and advanced placement. Community college course transferability and articulation (equivalency to specific courses or requirements for specific majors) to UC and CSU is described at https://www.assist.org .

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Thanks for your valuable advice … is it advised to take more cc courses in summer before sophomore or after junior year ?

Any CC classes taken the summer before Sophomore year through the summer prior to Senior year will be considered in the UC/CSU GPA calculation. Whatever fits best into a student schedule will the optimum time to take them.