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Old 06-06-2008, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
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Quote:
Novanative75: I have never heard something so crazy.
As a professional, myself, with a higher education and an extensive background in education, therapy, social work and law enforcement, in addition to owning a small business, I have had experience in many fields and I investigate facts thoroughly. Because I am older, should not negate my current experience, nor the facts, which are easily verified, even though different from the posted opposing views.

I am sorry these threads often become hostile once someone accidentally offends the "experts" in the field. Having worked for decades in education, and with many teens and adults on various professional levels, I feel my point of view, especially involving facts, is valid.

There are many variables to these topics, especially education, and especially as it varies from state to state, and certainly from country to country. I hoped we could all share information and not feel as if one must concede to those whose experience is currently in one area (many people have at least several careers in their lifetime), while another related area could be very different but still contain pertinent information.

I am always surprised when people attack others on these boards because what one person posts is not in agreement with them. To oppose politely and tolerantly seems to help further discussions and bring forth good responses. Plus, we can often learn something knew, and that is valuable.

For those who are so inclined, please check out my facts (as they are facts), and then people can see that it varies greatly from state to state and school to school and college to college. I am in a different state than Novanative75, and maybe that is the confusion.

Good luck with the discussion -- it no longer appeals to me when one's factual experience is immediately considered suspect and crazy.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novanative75 View Post
From a fellow college counselor, agreed that they are important but disagree that they are the two MOST important. The quality of the curriculum is by far the most important thing in college admissions. I have worked with college admissions officers for years and they will tell you the same thing. Now, of course, to get into a competitive college, you need both the high GPA and great classes but a 4.0 with no honors or AP courses is not going to get you into these schools.

As far as rank, not really important since many schools are going away from it. Working in Fairfax County Public Schools for several years, and that being one of the top school districts in the country, we did not rank. Rank means nothing, look at the example about, a student with a 4.0 and crap classes next to a student with a 3.7 and 10 AP classes and 5 honors classes. We all know who the best student is here and the rank tells us what??

Hey there!

I don't disagree with you, but I think overall when I think about all of the colleges in the US. The GPA and class rank are the two biggest factors.

Like, especially in the state where I'm from, your GPA and class rank are what are looked at first and from there the other factors are looked at. I know that Auburn University will practically reject a student if they don't have a 3.00. That's not true 100% of the time, but for the most part, you gotta be a pretty decent student to get into Auburn.

My partner went to the University of Georgia. And at UGa, every student who is admitted pretty much has a 4.00 because of the Hope Scholarship program. So, that's another school where the GPA is pretty much the main factor in one's admission. Same thing with the University of Florida system. Your GPA can determine if you're going to UF or UCF.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:59 PM
Status: "Springtime in the Rockies" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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There is no uniform system in Colorado. My kids' district added 1 quality point to the grade for every AP class and some honors classes, e.g., an A grade was 5 points, B = 4 pts, C= 3 pts. No additional weighting was given for a D or F. This system was devised to supposedly motivate kids to take these courses, but the "unintended consequence" was/is that kids are taking all sorts of AP classes they have no interest or even ability in. Another issue is that some "honors" courses are weighted, yet some of these courses do not cover any more material than the regular course in the same subject. For example, my DD was taking pre-calc non-honors and her friend was taking honors, and at semester they were at exactly the same place in the book. It was hard to understand why one of these courses was weighted and the other was not.

One issue I had with adding a point to each letter grade was that it made an A worth 25% more than an A in a regular class, but a B was worth 33% more, and a C worth 50% more! I also had an issue with giving 4 pts for B work, even if it was in an honors or AP class. My kids took some of these courses, so of course they did benefit from this system, but I still don't care for it. I think if it is decided that the top grade in such a course is worth 25% more, then that should be the multiplier for a B and C as well, which would make a B a 3.75 and a C, 2.5.

In any event, most of these weightings are used more for class rank than anything else. The colleges do un-weight the GPAs, and drop some courses from the GPA calculation altogether. At least, that is what St. Olaf College, where my oldest went, did. Funny, I don't even remember what Valparaiso University, where the second one went did in that regard. At the University of Colorado there is some sort of matrix involving grades and test scores, and at a certain score you are given automatic admission, regardless of any other criteria such as community service, leadership, etc. The automatic admission is only for Colorado students, I think. The criteria for out of state students seems to be ability to pay the cost plus tuition.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:46 AM
 
847 posts, read 3,126,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennquaker09 View Post
Hey there!

I don't disagree with you, but I think overall when I think about all of the colleges in the US. The GPA and class rank are the two biggest factors.

Like, especially in the state where I'm from, your GPA and class rank are what are looked at first and from there the other factors are looked at. I know that Auburn University will practically reject a student if they don't have a 3.00. That's not true 100% of the time, but for the most part, you gotta be a pretty decent student to get into Auburn.

My partner went to the University of Georgia. And at UGa, every student who is admitted pretty much has a 4.00 because of the Hope Scholarship program. So, that's another school where the GPA is pretty much the main factor in one's admission. Same thing with the University of Florida system. Your GPA can determine if you're going to UF or UCF.
True, you have a point. I think with a lot of the top tier universities, they do look at your GPA for a cut-off, but then when looking, say at all the people that made the above 3.0, 3.5 or what their minimum is, then they look at classes. Like, for example, certain schools may not take anyone with anything below a 3.0 so that is the first thing they look at but when they are actually sitting down to make decisions, it is really, IMO, the classes that they look at.
Yeah, we all know you ain't getting in a good school with under a 3.0 even if you have taken 20 AP classes.

So, yes, I see your point.

For the record, I always bow to you for advice on these threads, you seem like an excellent college counselor.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:51 AM
 
847 posts, read 3,126,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
P.S.



As a professional, myself, with a higher education and an extensive background in education, therapy, social work and law enforcement, in addition to owning a small business, I have had experience in many fields and I investigate facts thoroughly. Because I am older, should not negate my current experience, nor the facts, which are easily verified, even though different from the posted opposing views.

I am sorry these threads often become hostile once someone accidentally offends the "experts" in the field. Having worked for decades in education, and with many teens and adults on various professional levels, I feel my point of view, especially involving facts, is valid.

There are many variables to these topics, especially education, and especially as it varies from state to state, and certainly from country to country. I hoped we could all share information and not feel as if one must concede to those whose experience is currently in one area (many people have at least several careers in their lifetime), while another related area could be very different but still contain pertinent information.

I am always surprised when people attack others on these boards because what one person posts is not in agreement with them. To oppose politely and tolerantly seems to help further discussions and bring forth good responses. Plus, we can often learn something knew, and that is valuable.

For those who are so inclined, please check out my facts (as they are facts), and then people can see that it varies greatly from state to state and school to school and college to college. I am in a different state than Novanative75, and maybe that is the confusion.

Good luck with the discussion -- it no longer appeals to me when one's factual experience is immediately considered suspect and crazy.
For the record, I was not calling you crazy, I was saying (and I think we would all agree on this) that a system that only counts two AP courses is crazy. Unless you invented the system, it was, in no way, an attack on you.

In all my years of working in college admissions, nothing even remotely similar has ever appeared in my experiences and if anything, the opposite. All colleges that I have ever worked with, around the country, consider strong classes to be the most important things and encourage as many AP classes as students can handle to challenge themselves.

I apologize if you took my post as attacking. Certainly, I was attacking that system, but not you at all.

Did you post sources, I would love to read about this place that does this. Honestly, I am shocked and would love to see their rationale.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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I have heard that the University of California has a very rigid standard of acceptance and found this on their website: "The University grants credit for all College Board Advanced Placement Tests on which a student scores 3 or higher. The credit may be used to meet subject requirements, as graduation credit or as credit toward general education or breadth requirements, as determined by evaluators at each campus."
University of California - Counselors (http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/educators/counselors/adminfo/freshman/advising/credit/aptest.html - broken link)

However, you better not take any AP's a freshman because they don't count any freshman grades. The vast majority of students at the UC's are California residents so I would assume that their HS's are well aware of the requirements.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,021,188 times
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Quote:
Novanative75: In all my years of working in college admissions, nothing even remotely similar has ever appeared in my experiences and if anything, the opposite. All colleges that I have ever worked with, around the country, consider strong classes to be the most important things and encourage as many AP classes as students can handle to challenge themselves.

I apologize if you took my post as attacking. Certainly, I was attacking that system, but not you at all.

Did you post sources, I would love to read about this place that does this. Honestly, I am shocked and would love to see their rationale.
I really don't want to get into a discussion about this. It is a reality here, and that is that. Per your request, I've attached links below, and have excerpted parts of what the admissions requirements are for, in this case I am using this school -- since I am now very familiar with their requirements -- for San Diego State University. (She was interested in the program that gives a "dual-degree" between the U.S. and other countries, which is rare to find in a university in the U.S.)

By the way, what TooBusyToday cites about the AP/IB credits, is in regard to those classes being accepted for credit -- once one has been accepted through the admissions process (see more below on that).

As you are not in California, these requirements would apply to your students - this is for "out-of-area" students -- if you are not within about a 50 mile radius of San Diego, the requirements dramatically shift. In addition, there are two systems of California -- the CSU system and the UC system -- each is different. (So, you see, it is a complicated admissions process in California, because there is preference given to those in the area....it is intense.) However, the UC system does not offer certain good programs -- each picks up the slack where the other leaves off -- for instance, if one wants an undergraduate business degree (not just an Economics Degree), one has to attend a CSU. An MBA can often be had at either school. The better CSUs are highly competitive. This is California -- land of Equal Opportunity. The powers that be want everyone to have a fair shake, therefore, that is why all the other things (such as essays and community service) have been eliminated in the admissions process, including no awareness of race or gender -- to give everyone a chance based on merit.

Here goes:


Quote:
You will be admitted if you meet SDSU's competitive eligibility index criteria for applicants outside of SDSU's service area and complete the pattern of college preparatory curriculum by the end of spring 2009. For fall 2008, the average eligibility index of admitted freshmen who met the selective criteria was 4,182 (1,009 if based on ACT). The average high school grade point average was 3.77. The average SAT Reasoning Test total score was 1,165; the average ACT composite score was 25. The eligibility index for fall 2009 may be higher.
Note: Last October, over 61,000 admission applications were received for SDSU. My daughter was one of the few admitted in the “out-of-service area.” It is very competitive.

Quote:
CSU Grade Point Average
All grades earned in "a-g" approved courses taken in 10th -12th grades are used to calculate your grade point average.

Honors points for A, B and C grades will be awarded for a maximum of eight semester courses taken in 11th and 12th grades, including up to two IB or AP courses, or honors courses with 11th or 12th grade content taken in the 10th grade.

You can calculate your eligibility index by multiplying your grade point average by 800 and adding your combined critical reading and math score on the SAT Reasoning Test. Or, if you took the ACT, multiply your grade point average by 200 and add ten times the composite score from the ACT. The university will not include the writing scores from either tests in the computation of the eligibility index.

(High School GPA X 800) + (SAT Critical Reading + Math Score) = Eligibility Index (High School GPA X 200) + (10 X ACT Composite Score) = Eligibility Index Freshman applicants are ranked using an eligibility index which is based on a combination of the grade point average and scores on either the College Board’s Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the ACT.

SDSU does not accept letters of recommendation or a personal statement during the undergraduate application process.

SDSU I Want to Apply (http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/admissions/apply/094/ftfoutservice.html - broken link)
SDSU Office of Admissions, Frequently Asked Questions (http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/admissions/faq.html - broken link)
As stated earlier, I thought this system biased, as my daughter had studied abroad, and, obviously, would have compiled many recommendations, experience, fluency, etc.,(which would have been directly related to her International Business major), but could not display these accomplishments --- again, Equal Opportunity – only based on merit.

I am very aware that the rigid requirements in California are why many kids here go to a community college first, so that they can transfer into a university of their choice. Unfortunately, often many community college classes do not transfer in, and students may be required to re-take various General Education courses in their new college (I know, personally, of many people who had to do that) -- therefore, it is actually quicker to complete your education if you can get into the college/university first, without attending the community college (it depends on certain majors, too, and the schools into which they are transferring --it's pretty involved).

In addition, many others also go to those out-of-state universities that you referred to which accept students based on various criteria, including community service and essays, because those materials are accepted. It is often easier to get into those colleges!

Just because this is not your experience, does not mean it does not exist. Perhaps this will be helpful information for your counseling of students who may want to attend a California college. Having personally gone through this system, I am well aware of its limitations and strict requirements. There is a reason that California universities are well-regarded. Either you have what it takes, or you don’t – no bargaining allowed.

Hope this helps. I don’t want to engage in arguments about things that are clearly defined. And do please keep in mind that the AP/IB classes limited to two (in the example from SDSU above) are only for admissions requirements – once you are admitted, THEN they will be accepted for credit for courses at the college. It is the admissions process that is very rigorous. There is a ton of information out there, and you can browse for the rest. This is a good start, though, and I hope it clears up the misconception that all colleges/universities are the same.

Thanks.
Wisteria

Last edited by Wisteria; 06-08-2008 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:20 AM
 
847 posts, read 3,126,165 times
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Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Hope this helps. I donít want to engage in arguments about things that are clearly defined.
Again, not arguing. Like I said before, I am assuming that you did not create this system so it certainly would not be you that I was questioning. It was not that I did not believe you, I was in shock that such a system existed but I guess, in this field, nothing really shocks me anymore.
Thank you for the information, I really do remained shocked as it appears you were as well. I have never had a student apply to this school so I have not run into it and I think I can speak for a lot of counselors around the country that this school's system goes against many things that other schools stress to us as important.
However, that being said, a strong student would still fall to the top of their list with this calculation.
Anyways, thanks for the info, it is good information to have. I hope, one day, this school re-looks at this process. Kids that take AP courses and are successful should reap the benefits and honestly, IMO, the main benefit is building the transcript. I tell kids not to even worry or think about college credit, take it to make your transcript strong in high school. If you do get college credit for it, then great, if not, who cares. Take the credits in college like the rest of us!
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,021,188 times
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Quote:
Novanative75: Thank you for the information, I really do remained shocked as it appears you were as well. I have never had a student apply to this school so I have not run into it and I think I can speak for a lot of counselors around the country that this school's system goes against many things that other schools stress to us as important.
However, that being said, a strong student would still fall to the top of their list with this calculation.
Glad you appreciated the info. I had assumed, from reading so many articles about colleges, that the typical SAT, GPA, Class Rank, Essays, Community Service, Extra-curricular activities/talents, and letters of recommendation would be used (and I have a Master's Degree from a good eastcoast university!). How quickly one learns that we should never assume!

On the flip side, although as a parent it is excruciating knowing that your kid is competing against many qualified students, it is also good to realize that the school is fair in that it is truly based on merit – it's a blind admission process. So, although I would have preferred being able to have my child point out her strengths and her unique qualities, I realize that in the end it is about a solid education. In this way, they can filter out students, and then the college classes can be geared toward a population that can handle those classes.

If it had not been important to my daughter to go to a California school (she wants to stay in California), then she would have applied to the other numerous colleges out there. She also has a particular field she is studying, and that will entail various classes that will be offered in the school she chose (another California university). She will also be in a city that offers high-quality internships (which is important), and a place that she feels comfortable living in away from home. In the end, it was up to her to choose the school that she wanted more.

Basically, although California is a merit-based admissions process, it is also a good process, even though I know many parents wished that it took into account more personal attributes (just because our kids would have better chances! ). On the other hand, any state university is accessible to any student in this state regardless of any personal background such as race, religion, nationality, gender, etc. If a student works hard through school (which is what you recommend, anyway), then they will be "rewarded" with acceptance at a California university. If they goof off, then they may end up at a community college, or at a smaller private college that doesn't have such high requirements, but often has much higher costs!

In the end, all that matters is that piece of paper. If my daughter did not already have a major planned, and a goal, then she could've chosen a multitude of schools. However, she is very goal-oriented, knows what she is aiming for, and is going for it – but the criteria was that it had to be in California – she loves it here! Any college graduate will still have to have great self-discipline, direction, and motivation to use that degree to get the job that they want. That piece of paper (diploma) is merely a key to getting the interview.

It is an interesting process here – pros and cons about everything. However, although it is grueling, and students must early-on prepare for these admission applications by choosing appropriately difficult classes (although only two IB/AP classes are actually used in the eligibility calculation -- high schools vary so much, it is not fair to those who are not offered many AP classes, thus the low number accepted for admissions applications). Students who mature later, or just are not serious, will automatically fall into the slots that will be available in other colleges. I think that a blind admission process is good in many ways (although I know parents think their child is "special" and want to flaunt their talents), and it does give a chance to those who might not get into another open-admissions college for some weird quirk or reason.

So, that being said, it may seem strange, however, it is fair. No biases against race, gender or creed. With all the personal hurdles one must face, perhaps a blind admission process is unusual, but also good.

One thing is for sure – when a kid here gets into one of these universities, they can be personally proud of their accomplishment because they know that they earned it!
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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I think in hillsborough county you can get up to an 8.0
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