UC Requirement or staying with EC?

<p>We live in California. The UC system requires a year of a fine art. Our school has only 6 periods a day and sports, music, journalism, student government, etc. all require taking a class. So things can get kind of tight.</p>

<p>DD is a managing editor of the paper and it is her main EC type thing. But when we look at her schedule for next year something has to give. She's not particularly interested in attending any of the UC or Cal States given the huge size, the budget issues, and our need for good financial aid (We're a high need family -- guess we shouldn't have gone into education and social work!)</p>

<p>My feeling is forget the UC reqs, focus only on private colleges and stay with the paper, but the counselors at school put tremendous pressure on the kids that they have to apply to a state school. She could only take 3 years of French, but she loves it and the teacher loves her. Summer school is a possibility, I guess, but she has applied to some programs that she would love to do that don't offer school credit.</p>

<p>So which one of these would you eliminate?</p>

<p>PE
Government
English Lit
Physics
French 4
Journalism
Art</p>

<p>
[quote]
We're a high need family...

[/quote]
</p>

<p>It really depends on her grades & test scores. There are not many private colleges that meet full financial need and those that do tend to be at the top of the rankings. In other words, highly selective. If your D does not qualify for such a college, and UC/Cal State is half the price of a private, you'll need to consider them, particularly since UC offers the Blue & Gold plan for low/middle income folks.</p>

<p>Before making a recommendation, which courses are required? Does your HS require senior PE, for example, or could that be dropped for VAPA? Would your D qualify for UC by testing alone?</p>

<p>To add to the above, many of the full-need private schools cannot be considered as safeties for anyone, so you'll need to find some safeties*, whether they be UC, CSU, community college, or some big-merit-offering schools like Alabama and UAB if the student's stats are high enough.</p>

<p>Try the "net price calculators" on the various schools' web sites to get an idea of financial aid estimates.</p>

<ul>
<li>certain admission and certain affordability</li>
</ul>

<p>I think she should do the UC requirements to keep her options open - especially if finances might be an issue. </p>

<p>But why are you referring to a 'Fine Arts' requirement since that isn't a requirement by the UCs? Do you really mean the 'Visual and Performing Arts' requirement? If so, can't that dovetail with the interests of hers you mentioned? you already list 'Art; as a course so if it's under the umbrella of the VAPA approved courses then she's covered on that one - but check with the GC on this. Worst case she just takes a different type of art.</p>

<p>Also, PE is usually a 2 year requirement at most HS and maybe 2.5 years if you live in a district with their priorities messed up so it doesn't consume her whole career. She can still participate in sports since it's an EC. Actually, all ECs are by definition not classes.</p>

<p>I would not compromise on UC eligibility. Does she have to take PE? There may be alternate ways to get the fine art requirement done. One of my kids knocked it out in a five week winter session class at a community college. Does the school ever allow people to do Government as an independent study? My son is doing that next year which is something the school allows Acadec Decathlon kids to do to open their schedules up. If there were no alternatives that worked, I would drop the French. I would not allow my kid to not be UC eligible and all of my kids had to apply to UCs even if they were headed to a private school. It's just good to keep options open.</p>

<p>GladGradDad, I think some schools make kids take a period 6 PE if they are in a sport. Ours does. It's because they miss that period a lot during games, etc. so they make it a requirement. You can negotiate exceptions though. I assume the art listed above was a reference to the Visual Art requirement? But if PE is not required, that's what I'd drop.</p>

<p>Here's a link to the definition of the VAPA requirement -
University</a> of California - a-g Guide</p>

<p>
[quote]
I think some schools make kids take a period 6 PE if they are in a sport. Ours does.

[/quote]
I hadn't heard of that. My D played varsity tennis through senior year and did some track as well but it was all after school. Maybe it's different for football or something in which case an academically inclined person may wish to find a different sport that doesn't require the loss of a period.</p>

<p>No, PE is required. I'm kicking myself for not making her take it last summer. It's good to hear your opinions because I've been talking myself in circles. PE, English and Government are the only ones required for graduation.</p>

<p>Yes, it's Visual and Performing Arts. That's the one she missing. And she'd love an art class, it's just fitting it in. I know ECs by definition are outside of class, perhaps a better way of putting it would be "most of the major activities kids can be involved in at our school require them to take a class".</p>

<p>Hearing you all agree with the counselors makes me think again that we shouldn't close off the UC option (actually my first idea had been to use the Cal Poly's as a state school option because they don't have the whole a-g requirement thing, but they do require a fine arts class). She has the scores (around 2200) and gpa (4.0 unweighted but all honors or AP classes -- 7 of them) to make her a candidate at schools that meet full need. But I know we need a safe plan that we can all feel good about. And realistically she'd probably rather be at UCB, UCLA, UCSD or CPSLO than at a small liberal arts college where she could get enough guaranteed merit aid.</p>

<p>I had only been thinking about summer school, not dual enrollment during the school session, so I'll have to explore those possibilities. You've gotten me thinking more creatively. Thanks.</p>

<p>Does your school allow an independent study option? If so, can she do that with PE-before or after school? We have a goofy PE requirement and it has really messed up our DS' schedule but he can take that before or after school, "zero hour" to satisfy that requirement. He doesn't actually have to go into school to do the "class", he just has to do x minutes of "PE" each day. He is in a varsity sport so he will count that as his PE time. See if you have that option.</p>

<p>I agree she should do the UC requirements one way or another. I am always dumbfounded that other schools make kids take classes in what are supposed to be *extra*curricular activities. Our school has a zero hour as well to take some of the nitpicky courses (like health and gym as well as the special music and arts program we have.)</p>

<p>Options:
Take Government at BYU's online program. Check with her school-many will accept this, my D knocked out a health requirement this way.
Take French at the local cc, or send her to an immersion summer program for French in the summer (she won't need the credits, and she'll probably get further along in her fluency than she will at school.)
Take Art at the cc if she can get HS credit for it, especially if she's not thrilled by the HS Art teacher.</p>

<p>

Things must be a lot different in California from New York. D has 9 periods a day and has to take PE every year, although it's only a couple of days a week. This year she overloaded and only has a lunch period about once a week.</p>

<p>Also at D's hs you can't get credit for a course taken elsewhere (cc, etc.) if it is also offered by the high school. Courses taken elsewhere have to be substantially different from anything offered by the school (eg, chinese).</p>

<p>OP, is it possible for Dgirl not to take lunch and to overload her schedule? If not, I'd probably go with dropping the French.</p>

<p>My sons had the same problems in their California high schools. Too many requirements and not enough time in the day to get them down. Especially if you are in a sport, which they were. We had to make a lot of accomodations in order for them to participate in those sports and still get the requirements completed. Look into doing the Government as independent study. My son is doing Economics as independent study through the Adult School. Or, drop the French 4. I know she loves it but something has to give. With her scores I am sure she could get into a lot of schools, but it really depends on what kind of school she wants to go to. Interestingly, both of my son's will be attending out of state universities even though they did get admitted to UC's. But they both decided they wanted to go OOS and try something different. Plus they are sick of hearing about all of the problems with getting classes at the UC's and the difficulty in graduating in four years from them. Still, they did fulfill the requirements for the UC's and still applied just in case they changed their mind. And your daughter should keep an open mind and do so also, just in case.</p>

<p>Our D was in the exact situation her junior year, due to commitment to school paper and orchestra. The UC system, despite its woes, still offers some of the best educational opportunities in the world. If nothing else you should consider it a "safety", given that you have 9 campuses to choose from.</p>

<p>We are fortunate that our school district offers an online curriculum, and DD supplemented her schedule with 2 online courses and took a language course during the summer. You might want to check with the counseling office whether any online courses are acceptable as credit in your district. </p>

<p>Be prepared for a stressful senior year if she decides to do it all, especially since most private schools are very interested in fall term grades.</p>

<p>Our son has a schedule issue for next year. He is planning on majoring in math in college. He could take either AP Stats or Spanish V. He emailed admissions people and department chairs at his top picks right now and they all said to stick with Spanish as it will benefit him more down the road (easy to get a double major in Spanish, etc.). I would hesitate to drop French for that reason.</p>

<p>My daughter was in a somewhat similar situation. She worked it out with the journalism teacher so that she could keep her staff position on the school newspaper without taking the journalism class for credit. Is that a possibility?</p>

<p>I like ILoveLA's suggestion.</p>

<p>Summer school is what our kids did.</p>

<p>Doesn't music count as a fine art? Is there any way that she can take a class in music to fulfill the credit, if that is something she is already doing?</p>

<p>Our HS is on a block schedule and most juniors and seniors are down to taking 6 courses for the year due to budget cuts. But they all have typically fulfilled their PE requirement by sophomore year.</p>

<p>I would also suggest eliminating French 4, unless her major is languages in college. The requirement is only 3 years for UC.</p>

<p>to qualify for admission by testing alone, she would need an average o 690 on SAT + Subject Tests. Homeschoolers and OOS'ers frequently qualify for admissions by this method, but not sure how it will sit with adcoms reviewing a traditional instate HS transcript. (UC adopted the VAPA requirement years ago for a reason.)</p>

<p>University</a> of California - Admission by exam</p>

<p>Something else to consider: senior year schedule is one factor in admissions. Thus, a more rigorous schedule is better than less rigorous. So, dropping an elective (journalism) is better than dropping a core academic subject (French), at least for the top 3 campuses. (The top three prefer 5 academic core subjects each year.) OTOH, if you are aiming for Merced, it won't matter.</p>

<p>And don't forget, that VAPA must be a year-long course - two disparate semesters won't work. It will be difficult to pick up over summer, unless she takes Art History (the equivalent of AP Art History) at a local college. </p>

<p>Gov is a state graduation requirement. Many students take AP Gov for that reason.</p>

<p>It's so hard for students to get classes right now at California community colleges. If I were you, I wouldn't put my eggs in that basket.</p>