SLO and Entering Middle school grades

Since the lack of entering of Middle courses and grades has been continually a sore spot with applicants and parents alike, I would like to address this issue.

As mentioned in the other Cal Poly thread by @Calimck15, there is information regarding the higher standards needed for admission to Cal Poly SLO along with the reporting of Middle school courses and grades.

I had one son apply in 2013 and one in 2014 and at that time, there was a section of Middle school grades/courses if you selected the Cal Poly SLO supplemental section. Yet even then, many applicants missed the Middle school grades/courses and the supplemental SLO section when filling out their applications.

Last year when the Cal State Apply application was revamped, the instructions were not very clear so SLO did not count this against the students if they failed to submit their middle school grades.

Since last year, there is a section on the Cal State Apply Coursework entry which explains how to enter in Middle school grades and courses.

**Add a Grade Level
a. Begin with selecting the earliest grade level that you completed courses to fulfill an A-G subject.
i. If you completed courses in 7th or 8th grade to fulfill A-G subject requirements, please select the appropriate grade level, along with your first high school attended in 9th grade and your 9th grade academic year.
b. Select the School that you attended for that grade level
c. Select the appropriate Academic Year
d. Click the green check mark to continue[\b]

Also in the Cal Poly application tips, instructions for entering in Middle courses and grades are listed.

Academic History Section
• Applicants are allowed to enter coursework from junior high under the following conditions only:
o For Mathematics, Language other than English, and any additional A–G course that the applicant was given
high school credit for on their high school transcript.
o Applicant must have continued progression in 9th grade. Applicant cannot have repeated the class to receive credit in our process for that course. Examples: If applicant takes Algebra 1 in 8th grade, they must take Geometry in 9th in order to use that Algebra course. If applicant takes Spanish 1 in 8th grade, and then takes Spanish 1 in 9th grade they cannot use that Spanish 1 course.
o Applicant will enter this coursework in the 9th grade section and will enter the grade earned for that course.

Yes it is unfortunate that many applicants missed this section and hopefully by posting this information, then next group of applicants will be more aware.

I swear the instructions were right on the application, because I clearly remember reading it - and I did not read a separate guide…

@The FrenchChef: I no longer have access to the application but if posters have proof that the information is on the application, please confirm it so applicants in the future cannot dispute this issue. Personally I think since SLO is so unique when it comes to admissions, they should have their own application

I know many people feel they missed putting middle school grades on their application. We were not affected since DS did not have any such classes, but still had max rigor since he took 5 years of math in high school along with other additional coursework. I thought I would let others in following years at our school know to be careful about this, but now I’m not sure if it applies. According to above, “Applicants are allowed to enter coursework from junior high under the following conditions only:
o For Mathematics, Language other than English, and any additional A–G course that the applicant was given high school credit for on their high school transcript.”

Our high school does not put middle school classes on the high school transcript nor give high school credit for them. In this case, middle school classes cannot be added then, correct? Do many high schools put middle school a-g classes on the high school transcript?

@StillLotstoLearn: My son’s HS did not list middle grades on their HS transcript but I entered their Middle school information off their report cards. SLO will not check on the middle grades, they just those Math and Foreign Language courses listed on the application.

SLO application does not ask for specific grades and P/NP can be paced if desired; this was also verified with Admissions personally.
Admissions works from highest math backwards to middle school. Once max MCA points are achieved in HS, MS work is moot. Some HS paradoxically place partial MS coursework in a Notes section on a HS transcript despite there is no CA Ed Code requiring such; removing MS courses can be another story.
On a side note, love the fact that when one calls Cal Poly, any Department, a live and often helpful person answers the phone and usually right away.

"Admissions works from highest math backwards to middle school. Once max MCA points are achieved in HS, MS work is moot. "

@bigfandave How do you know this for sure? The MCA formula pinned at the top of this forum lists that the Cal Poly GPA maxes out at 4.2 yet SLO is now reporting the average Cal Poly engineering applicant has a GPA of 4.21 (see table for 2018 Preliminary New Freshman Profile here:, which would indicate to me the MCA has changed a bit.

Middle School grades are not calculated in GPA only 9-11th grade are. And in reality, how would 1 additional “A” be material to a 9-11 GPA?

Middle School math or foreign language may add to MCA depending on highest level math and language attained in high school.

When one completes Algebra 2 or equivalent, completion of Algebra 1 is presumed.

@ocmom1000, the MCA may well have changed. They can have applicants with GPAs over 4.2 AND cap the MCA at 4.2. They aren’t mutually exclusive. My son applied with a 4.32. It’s hard to get much above that though counting 9-11. It’s really only possible to get that high if some of your courses aren’t a-g.

We added middle school grades to my D’s application. Both CSU and UC applications. It made it quite clear in the instructions that you should add them if you took high school level courses in middle school. The only way it could have been missed is if people didn’t read the instructions properly. After my D completed her application, I went through it with her with a fine tooth comb to make sure we hadn’t missed anything.

Also, My D’s high school was very good, sending out continuous reminders to make sure your middle school grades were in your application if you were applying to either CSU and UCs. (In-state high school, which may have helped with their awareness).

Hello all: there is definitely a section on the current application which directs applicants to list middle school coursework if they continued, for instance, math and science in high school.

I’m wondering, though, for a situation where a student exceeds all A-G requirements with their high school coursework alone, are the middle school courses necessary? For example, my dd started with Pre-Calc honors freshman year, and will end up with 5 years of math A-G credits from her high school coursework alone. Likewise, she started in Spanish II in High School, but will still end up with 4 years of foreign language credit for her hs studies. Are they really asking that we list extra courses from middle school in a case such as this? 8 years of math and 5 years for foreign language seems silly when she already far exceeds the A-G requirement and the MCA doesn’t even count more than 5 years for math and 4 years for foreign language.

Add them all. It might seem silly to you, and it might not make a difference with capped requirements, but it certainly can’t hurt.

So to clarify, the application changed, but the instructions on the Cal Poly website remain:

Are the app and these instructions now incongruent? I’ve been wondering if there’s a way for someone who is not applying this year to look at the app questions.

Yes, the instructions and the application seem incongruent to me. The application has both 7th and 8th grades as grade levels, so for the instructions to say to enter them as 9th grade courses appears to be possibly wrong. If the instructions are correct, though, do we enter the courses under the high school attended, even if the student didn’t take those courses at that school? The instructions specifically state the applicant is not to add any middle schools attended. Also, the instructions say that these courses are only to be entered if the applicant’s high school granted credit for them on the hs transcript. But the application doesn’t mention this at all. Good grief, this is confusing.

eta: Here is what the application says this year: “If you have taken any math (algebra or higher) and/or language other than English courses (LOTE level 1 or higher) in middle school and have continued the course progression into 9th grade you must enter these courses in your application to receive consideration. These courses should be entered as High School Coursework in the Academic History quadrant and assigned to an A-G area.”

Is this for courses taken in middle school? (Yikes, that will not be the case here.) I don’t see this on the Cal Poly website - is this the instruction in the application? What to do if the high school does not include the middle school courses on the transcript (because the schools are unconnected)? Just wondering out loud.

It’s in the freshman application tips pdf from Cal Poly, but not in the application, itself. However, I finally called the admissions office and asked about this. The admissions person was super nice and said that language was “just verbiage” and that we should enter the middle school courses regardless of whether they are on the hs transcript or not. He said we should just enter “Pass”, “Pass” for the grades. He also said to put 6th grade math (for us, Integrated Maths 1) in with the 7th grade coursework.

What I had my dd do, to make it somewhat more clear, is enter “8th Integrated Maths 3” under 8th grade, and under 7th grade, I had her enter “7th Int Maths 2” and “6th Int Maths 1”. All this was under her high school tab, given that the application instructions say not to enter a middle school. It kind of makes sense this way (I think) because the high school essentially gave her credit for those previous courses by reviewing her middle school record and allowing her to test into her 9th grade math course.

Thank you @Gumbymom for addressing this issue, and @amsunshine for the info, which is very helpful. My son’s 7th-grade math is “common core math 2 & 3”, and his 8th-grade math is “common core math 3 & algebra 1 accel”. He also has Spanish 1 in 8th grade. He is applying to Cal Poly SLO and SJSU. According to amsunshine’s suggestion, I asked him to add these two 8th-grade courses in the 9th-grade section as follows:
" 8th: Spanish 1", “None”, “Pass”, “Pass”
“8th: Common Core Math 3 & Algebra 1 Accel”, “Honors”, “Pass”, “Pass”.

My impression is that SLO is looking for any class in junior high that would eliminate the need to take Alg 1, Geom or Alg 2 in a traditional HS math sequence. If one took Common Core in junior high then Alg 1 in 9th grade then you don’t include the junior high math. If one took a Common Core class in junior high and then went into Geometry in 9th grade then the 8th grade class should be included.

As was mentioned above, SLO admissions is extremely helpful in helping students (and parents) navigate which classes to include. If in doubt, give them a call. They answer phones M-F from noon-5pm. 805-756-2311

@lkg4answers Thank you very much for your information.

The website says not to add anything that is not on the a-g list or you risk delay of application. So if common core math is not on the drop down list I assume I shouldn’t Input.

Also I assume If there is a HS elective not on a-g list (like feminine studies) we do not input that. Is that your understanding?