Parents of the HS Class of 2024

@MommaLue, thank you so much!

Quiet group here.

New changes in the college admission landscape, no more subject tests, SAT to be revised again. More emphasis on rigor and grades?

My freshman is about to choose classes for next year. Trying to decide on a good balance of difficulty. How many weighted classes (AP or dual enrollment).

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@evergreen5 Is your student considering a dual enrollment class as a sophomore? Or do you mean in the future?

For now I think he will stick with the regular high school courses and APs where appropriate. I wasn’t familiar with the particular dual enrollment options until I dug into it today; I feel better now.

My students had/have limited dual enrollment options but it seems to be a senior year pursuit in my locale. Possibly for a junior but the community colleges here where you do it prefer that you are at least 16.

My D24 is also picking courses and there is a DE option for English this year via teacher certification through the local community college that my D21 did not have - I am unsure if we should pursue this option or not. She will do AP Lang junior year and AP comp senior year and most universities will only give English credit for one or the other as it is, so I don’t know that I see a benefit to also having this DE credit in English, with the added stress of the grade from sophomore year of HS (which invariably will also be her first “normal” year of high school so in many ways like a freshman year) carrying through to college. Thus, I’m leaning toward skipping it and just sticking with HN English.

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@hokiemama24 That was one of the options I was looking at yesterday, a CC English course taught at the high school. I asked around for the scoop on that course, the workload and such. We might have decided differently if our student was more into English because it sounds like a good course and I have some familiarity with the teacher (high quality, challenging), though he is going with the regular English instead, balancing against two or three APs in other subjects.

@evergreen5 Is dual enrollment part of the college (e.g. junior college?)? I wished we had that early on. Would save on AP $

The one tip of you don’t already have an older child: keep all the dual enrollment records and know how to easily access the transcript. As my son was filling out his common app and UC apps, I was sort of glad we didn’t have to deal with junior college grades, etc.

Also, if kids want to go to med school, the junior college grades stay on the med school application and will be taken into account.

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I’m also glad they are getting rid of Subject SATs! Kids are so burned out after APs and then the subject exams are right after those usually.

Did you guys see that Cornell is test optional next year? I’m worried about the UC test plan. They’re getting rid of ACT and SATs, but then applying outside of UC will mean the kids may still need ACT/SATs so now it could mean doubling the prep for D24.

For sophomore year, I think my daughter is going to take AP World, AP Chem like her brother, and Honors English. They require Math III honors before they can take AP Cal junior year. She has Spanish III, and has a Biomed academy elective. At S24 school, the Biomed 10-12th grade electives are nationally recognized so they get a gpa bump like AP (5.0 = A) and it’s recognized by UC as honors, too. I think she had to take PE this summer because the academy takes up a slot all four years.

Sophomore year will be a true test to see how my daughter handles AP load. My son just lets everything rolls off his shoulders and lives that 89.9% life. I hope my daughter doesn’t run into any STEM confidence issues like many girls do around this time in high school. So far she’s not struggled with 9th grade and has done way better than her brother has so I hope she will continue the trend.

Our junior year will be interesting. S21 says they get the same amount of homework as reg class so against my wishes, he signed up for so many AP classes his junior year. Five, in fact, and an engr elective. He ended getting straight A’s and had the best year of high school so go figure.

I’ll see if she wants to deal with that. I think my daughter wants to take art at a community college. We are required to take a year of art for UC and to graduate.

The dual enrollment is part of a community college. For certain courses, the CC authorized a teacher at the high school to teach the course on the high school campus. My kid is not planning on any for next year, but will need the math later, maybe CS. There are enough APs to keep him busy in other subjects. I think there may be some fees involved, so probably not a savings over APs.

Good point about CC transcripts and grad school admissions. That’s one reason the risk of the English classes doesn’t really make sense for his situation, not that into it, and the courses have a reputation for being challenging.

On testing, it’s nice not to have to think about subject tests. What I really wonder is what changes College Board has planned for the SAT. Online, “streamlining.” I can’t imagine what they would streamline, when that will be introduced - typically takes quite some time, years I think, to come out with a new test.

College Board had to make money so you bet they are lobbying. I have a healthy disdain for them after the debacle on AP last year. One of my son’s exams, he tried to submit two answers and was only able to submit one part. Made no sense because the two AP exams he took earlier in that week went thru ok. He said screw it and luckily got a 3 still. Just nuts.

Kids at the school are taking easy CC classes to pad their weighted GPA. S21 said that if he had time to do that vs doing all his EC’s, he’d get a 4.7. If they stripped out the easy CCs, the valedictorian’s GPA would be higher than my son’s by 0.1. Do a 4.5 vs 4.7. So crazy. They’re all good friends so it’s not a competition. It’s just however they choose to spend their time.

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Our high school doesn’t have a true DE, it’s just CC courses with a separate transcript so it doesn’t affect HS GPA at all. Some of the “DE” classes are taught on campus with all hs students but many kids just register and take classes through the CC on their own. My older daughter took 5 CC classes, all during summers, and it was a good use of time but it watered down her UC and CSU gpa’s since they cap the honors. It does add to the rigor and number of A-G courses so who knows how it really shakes out. She also needed the room in her HS schedule for her specialized classes so she took the UC/CSU required electives that were not a HS grad requirement like art and language.

@spaceaquarium looks like we are both in CA. What classes did your oldest take at the CC? My S21 never had time with activities and comp swim was direoafter school and Mon-Sat. D24 is a soccer player and practices are usually later in the PM so I think summer would work for her. In addition, I think we are in a better position with driving one kid around now vs two kids around in the past.

Our counselor is really strict in that she doesn’t let them take any cc classes. Kids with other counselors seem to have more freedom. I know S21 asked about a class but she said there’s a similar class at the high school so declined. We’ve gotten to know her better over the years so maybe she will bend a little for D24. I’m thinking D24 should take the art a-g requirement at the CC. Probably more interest offerings. Do you check with the GC or the CC to verify that the classes qualify for a-g?

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Tell me if I’m doing this right. With 7 classes per year, plus two from middle school (23 total full year or 46 semesters), taking 8 weighted (AP or dual enrollment) classes total by the end of junior year, the maximum possible 6-semester WGPA is only around 4.35 with all As. Yet the school profile has the top 25% at 4.25-4.65. What gives, bigtime rigor or padding with CC classes? (how??) One day I should ask the college counseling person.

The way we have mapped things out, kid would probably take another four weighted classes senior year, bringing the total to 12 over four years, which seems like a lot, too many even. Kids have the option to take 8 classes/yr, so there is technically room for more, if the kid has time in the day to do the work. (My kid will have lots of rigor but is not interested in gaming the GPA, sigh.)

Hypothetically, with all As, and 8 APs (and dual enrollment for math) thru junior year, + 4 senior year, would 4.35 be enough, is what I’m asking myself. And of course not assuming perfection, I expect the max will not be reached, Bs happen, need to anticipate that.

How would it not be? Last night, I came across Villanova’s admitted stats for EA, middle 50 percentiles WGPA 4.21-4.58. Can’t understand how that is possible, though maybe they are including honors courses (my S24 school does not offer honors, though older sibs attend a high school with lots of honors, except they are not weighted, grrr).

You can use the site to see what courses are transferable and University of California A-G Course List for a-g

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@evergreen5 I’m not sure but my S21’s friend is valedictorian and he’s been taking a lot of community college classes. Some of them to pad his gpa. He has a 4.6 something. It’s do-able, depending on how they calculate and kids can take summer CC, too.

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Universities calculate the gpa differently though, they might count + and - or not, count HS honors courses or just AP classes, count freshman year grades or not… so the gpa on the University profiles are all different but they standardize them amongst all students so it ends up working out.

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Hi parents! Hope you guys are hanging in there, whether in virtual schooling or hybrid or in-person. My D24 is doing fine but S21 is bored out of his mind. Today we went and took senior pix for him.

As summer is coming up, if your kids are looking for ECs, one suggestion I have is if they’re academically strong, offer free virtual tutoring. Maybe even do a refresh of math, basic english to elementary kids who will be home.

For girls, there’s a (check out @thefutureisnova on Instagram) weekend virtual summit that is free out on by Berkeley students. You have to apply ASAP since it’s in a week or two but I figured it’s something interesting and could spark interest for future careers.

UCDavis here has had some virtual sessions so D24 will try to sign in for a summer virtual session.

Because we are on a 3x4 block schedule, it’s really easy for D24 since it’s 3 classes a day thru noon and she has plenty of time for homework. I’ve had her do a section of a practice PSAT each weekend. 1-2 hours per weekend. They may get rid of SATs but I’m hoping someone in the family could get national merit. :slight_smile:

Just joined the community. S24 just met with college counselor to figure out 10th grade classes. He is planning to take H English, H Algebra2, AP World History, H Chemistry, Spanish 2AB, and PE. There was some conversation about adding AP Computer Sci Principles as a 7th class but I don’t want him to overload. It will be his first year back physically (hopefully) on his HS campus, and I want him to have some time to immerse himself in the HS life.


Scheduling for 10th grade is happening here too. She completely surprised me by choosing AP classes on her own. She’s never been one to want to work too hard on school because she really enjoys her free time at home. So taking classes that she knows will require more homework time than she’s had ever before was a surprise! S22 took all of them last year, so she knows what they will be like. I’m glad she was willing to give it a go and I hope she didn’t choose too much difficulty.

As of now, her plan is: AP English Lang, AP World History, AP Stats, Chemistry, Chinese 4, Spanish 2, orchestra and marching band. AP English is the one that worries me the most, but S22 sold it to her saying it’s hard and a lot of work, but a really good class with a great teacher and she will benefit from it in years to follow. We will see.