what would you do?

<p>DD attends an (allegedly) rigorous Catholic all girls HS. At least that is the rep going in. One yr and one semester later, I find that the course work is rigorous, but the analysis judging the curriculum is not. For example, last year (freshman)she took an accelerated course load of Biology/Geometry H/Spanish III and Intro to American Literature/Grammar. Takes "regular" Euro History, self studies for the AP, gets a 5 on the AP. Most regular college track students here take AlgI/Earth Science/Spanish I or II, Intro English.</p>

<p>Why an issue?</p>

<p>The school does not break down weighted v unweighted GPA. She is bright with a 96 average in all these advanced classes as "weighted" GPA. I email GC and request what is weighted what is not? How figure? What is her unweighted GPA?</p>

<p>Answer: Only math was an "honors" class. The others get no extra bump because "Honors/AP is not in the title of the offering". Not a lot of transparency regarding any of this. Going back and doing the detective work on "what did you get in X" is exhausting and stressful for her so I am not going that route, altough a few final grades seem lower than any tests etc.</p>

<p>I want to call her back and advise she took an accelerated couse load in every subject but am holding off on doing so. On one hand, I see the posts here regarding "strength of schedule" , apples to oranges comparisons, etc. I get that colleges "know" the school- conversely even though it is a catholic school in the Northeast, I don"t see a myriad of girls going to the higher tier Catholic schools (out of 125 grads I think 3-4 girls went to G'Town, ND, BC last year).</p>

<p>I just don't want her to be penalized as Adcoms look at the stats, and I certainly don't understand why the school doesn't acknowledge a course load as above qualifying for higher points. I am conflicted because she is there for a reason, which I need not spell out-- on the other, I fear their "grading policy" may be be hurting her-school chances wise in the long run. What would you do?</p>

<p>She's taking more rigorous classes (which will be seen on her transcript), but no bump in GPA/rank. Our school does not bump honors classes however they are pre-reqs for APs in many cases so the kids taking honors in 9-10 see the jump when they get to APs in 11-12 as APs are weighted. While their GPA (and therefore rank) is not helped early on, it pays off in the later years. Is this something that happens at your school?</p>

<p>Regarding the Euro History I would pay to have the AP test she took sent during admissions to show she took the test and earned the 5 (and any other she self studies). Normally when kids take APs they self report scores until they are admitted, only sending official scores to the school they intend on attending.</p>

<p>Regarding admissions from your DDs school to higher tier Catholic schools, see if your school uses Naviance or if your DDs GC can tell you stats/credentials of students that were accepted to schools you mention. Keep in mind that a majority of students at Georgetown are 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their class (I believe 60%).</p>

<p>I would get a copy of the handbook, which should explain the high school's grading policy, weighting for honors and current curriculum offerings.
Then I would get a copy of the high school's profile, which is sent to colleges and summarizes the ranking or GPA bands for the current senior class.
Then I would talk to the high school's college counseling office and ask them about outcomes for the past few graduating classes.</p>

<p>Do some more research in Naviance to see where the graduates of this school are placed in the college. If it is a truely rigorous school, the adcoms should know about it and will weight the gradings/class contents accordingly. Besides, you will be able to find out the SAT and ACT scores though your research. Until then, do not judge the outcomes by your own observations.</p>

<p>Self-studying and taking AP exams is the way to go. It shows initiative and shows you've gone beyond what was offered. Also, if your daughter get a lower grade in a subject, but actually does know the material, self-study for that SAT subject exam, and knock it out of the park (get an 800, not at all impossible on those with generous curves). </p>

<p>Assuming she is a top student -- you seem very interested in top schools -- don't focus so much on the details of what your high school does. Think about going beyond, in learning, in character, in extra-curriculars, and in leadership. </p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>In most case, colleges ask for school profile and may recalculate her gpa. But certain special program (ie: bs/md combined program) and scholarsip have a minimum gpa requirements and she will be penalized. Her appliation will be screened out. Scholarship was the main complain in our county whe hornous class got no additional credit and AP is 0.5 where nearby counties add 0.5 to hournors and 1 to AP. The policy was finally changed 2 years ago because if gave the our students an unfair adavange when a minimum gpa is required and is not recalculated.</p>

<p>Thanks for the replies. In response, some of the ideas mentioned that are "givens" at typical high schools are not available here. That is part of the frustration. For example, Naviance is restricted to 2nd semester juniors and seniors! There is no "school profile" other than the basic narrative. Explanation in the handbook notes a 5% weight for an honors course, 8% for an AP(for the few that are offered).</p>

<p>To your point, blueiguana, prerequisites are vigorously controlled and students may not skip one. If the light suddenly goes on in Math and you'd like to take Calculus or AP calculus as a junior/senior, sorry no can do- need the "pre-req"</p>

<p>And you took on this school anyway? You should have an idea of this school's performance BEFORE enrolling, you are PAYING for it. Go to the guidance consular and ask those Naviance questions. Talk to the principal and discuss the curriculars and pose your questions like you did here.</p>

<p>My H had our GC change how courses were listed on the school's transcript. We were in the same position as you. After speaking to admissions at some of the colleges the GC sent special letters to them and changed the HS course listing to indicate honors.
The school may be known for rigourous study but the fact is that a computer will run the grade points first before admissions gets them. Your kids application could hit the reject pile before admissions even sees it.</p>

<p>Chris - I don't really have any suggestions that would help. Your D sounds very much like mine ... Catholic HS, all A's, a couple AP's, college calculus in place of HS math, good SAT scores. Her class sent one student to Princeton, but no others to "top" colleges. D was waitlisted at Villanova, which was a surprise to everyone.</p>

<p>I don't think your D's situation will be compromised unless she has her heart set on a Top 20 college ... because she's obviously capable.</p>

<p>Wait a minute: you said her "weighted" GPA is 96, but she didn't receive weighting for most of her classes?</p>

<p>To me, that would indicate that she received an A of some description in all of her classes. When adcoms look at her transcript, they are going to see accelerated courses with straight As. I really do not think that her application is going to "hit the reject pile," as someone indicated above, with an A average. And even more so not at top 20 schools, which actually read applications.</p>

<p>The real place that this could possibly hurt her is in class rank, and then only if classmates with weaker schedules are getting better grades. Those kids won't get into the top schools, but that is small consolation if it damages her chances. Does this school rank? </p>

<p>Our HS doesn't weight grades at all. Kids with NO honors or AP classes AT ALL have been known to be declared the val, although usually that doesn't happen. They also do not officially rank, although they do declare a val and sal and do provide centiles for schools that want them. (I think that the latter is grossly unfair to those kids.) Although some of the brightest kids with toughest schedules are always near or at the top of the class, there is no doubt that class rank and the "top 10"--something they also declare--would be significantly different if we had weighting.</p>

<p>What is probably going to be key for your D, especially if rank is an issue, is for the GC's recommendation to make it clear that she took a MUCH more difficult load than most of her classmates and nevertheless produced an A average. I think that you should begin developing a relationship with the GC now, and make your D's aspirations clear to the school. Her success would only make them look good. It is important to approach this as a partnership, rather than being a pest. :) I fail to understand why Naviance data should be restricted to juniors and seniors. If the school is not supportive of a student who aspires to top colleges, then it is time to look for another school.</p>

<p>Regarding NewHope's D, my S had a classmate who went to Villanova, and his record was definitely inferior to that of your D. Something else must have been going on there...maybe yield protection.</p>

<p>^ "Something else must have been going on there..."</p>

<p>Isn't that always the case? I'd like to think it was a "Tufts Syndrome" issue, or because she indicated she'd need financial aid, or because the school was trying to maintain some semblance of M/F balance. Perhaps it was Divine Intervention ... because she ended up at a school that was a much better fit for her.</p>

<p>Consolation--I hope her D's app doesn't hit the reject pile! and I'm sure it won't with all the A's on it. But--her GPA (with no honors indicated as such) will show a 4.0 vs someone else's 5.0 GPA (who had honors and AP classes listed as such).</p>

<p>gouf, I take your point, but her transcript will be accompanied by a school profile that will explain their grading system and their offerings. At least, it will if her school is like any other halfway competent place. </p>

<p>But as I said, if the school is not supportive of students who aspire to top colleges--and not providing an appropriate profile would be a symptom of that--then it may be time for the OP to take that tuition money elsewhere.</p>

<p>Our GC told us the same thing about the school profile etc... Until she did a lot more digging and talked with admissions at the colleges. The final result was for the benefit of the students, classes considered honors were listed as such.
As for restricting access to Naviance and etc--I'd be looking at another school...</p>