How I made sure all 12 of my kids could pay for college themselves

I just chose 2 UCs with the least admit rate.

In the story I shared, I meant all UCs not just those 2.

Did you check UC’s honor course list at your school?
Here’s link.

Although your kids took math and CS APs before 10th grade, I guess, they would take more than 4 UC-honor level classes (out of 12 or 13, I guess) in 10th/11th grade. Only up to 4 year-long courses are considered for extra point.
Are they taking college classes (not listed in UC A-G list) only in 10th/11th grade?
Then, they really need to aim for private school. :slight_smile:

BTW, CMU accepts SAT/ACT (including subject tests) taken at 11th/12th grade only.

There are many details you should be aware of…

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You get an extra 1.0 for any courses that are AP or registered as Honors with the UC-a-g listing (school honors classes don’t count) taken in 10th or 11th grade.

So you could take, say, AP Calculus, AP CS, and AP Stats in 9th grade–which might generally indicate that a college should really want you as a STEM major–but if you don’t have APs for 10th and 11th (like maybe you didn’t want to do a lot of extra reading for History), your GPA maxes out at a 4.0 whereas someone taking AP Stats in 10th and AP Calc in 11th grade gets a grade bump and looks like a better candidate than you with a higher GPA even though you are a more advanced student.

And unfortunately, I didn’t find this out until it was too late.

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Yes. I’ve checked the list. It’s complicated. We’re at small, new school, and they don’t have a complete list of courses so nothing is marked Honors right now at all. They also aren’t teaching AP History classes. At best, the math classes line up with the AP curriculum, but my son took them both 8th/9th. We might end up with AP Physics/AP Chem. AP language will be Senior Year.

Yeah… but after paying for private school, it would be nice to have a break, and there were some parents this year who were hoping for UCB (not CS) who found out that the way the admissions is done does not recognize truly gifted kids. One kid, for example, completed Calculus in Middle school, but without the grade bump, they can’t get into the UC honors/accelerated program until Sophomore year because only grade bump is considered. Also, getting into UCB may require > 4.0 or being a minority.

Let’s just say that while doing advanced math in high school makes you a great candidate for Caltech and MIT, it is actually a detriment to get into UCB. And $70K/yr vs. $35/yr is huge. Especially if your kid is not going to be a programmer and make it back.

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UCB is no good. I only went there because they gave me a full scholarship to attend 4 years for free. But I could’ve done better.

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It would have been the best school for this particular kid, and the family’s situation, and the major he wanted.

Either way, my real point is that some of the kids who are declined at UCB may be too advanced to get in playing by the UC admissions calculations.

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It’s not too late for me. Beam all your wisdom down to me. :smile:

So the best strategy is to take 2 AP classes in 10th grade, and 2 more in 11th? How about taking classes in community college? Does it help?


Yes, it does sound complicated.
In other schools, usually, AP_lang is for juniors and AP_literature is for seniors.
Is there any chance your kid can take AP_lang at Junior?
It is a bummer that school doesn’t offer AP_USHistory.
How about honor/AP Spanish/French/Chinese?


If a high school student takes a UC-transferable course at a college/university and lists it on their UC application, will the grade earned in the course be included in their GPA, even if it is not listed on their high school transcript?

Students must report all enrollment and academic coursework. If the course the student took is in an “a-g” subject area, the grade will be calculated in the GPA, and if the course is transferable, it will earn an extra grade point and college credit. Upon admission to UC, the student will be required to submit an official transcript from the college/university in addition to their high school transcript.".

No. He’s on track for AP language in Senior year… Just the way it is… If we’re lucky, he can take AP Chemistry, AP Physics (maybe both E&M and Mechanics?).

Although given Manch’s question, maybe we could have him take some summer classes at Canada (thanks for the idea Manch).

So tough! Is it better to get a summer internship and try for private or take unnecessary community college classes and attempt UCB CS which is already a lottery…?

Go for summer internship (most of prestigious summer internship program like RSI accepts application early Jan/Feb) and aim for top private schools.
I guess he fits private school better than public.
He may be able to get merit scholarships.

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Do the community college classes also count towards the 4 courses limit? Or is it a backdoor way to show UC more AP level courses than 4?

I think it maxes out.

Be more specific.
Grade 10: AP AP CS & AP Physics C: Mechanics
Grade 11: AP Cal BC & AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism

Forget about CC, still need same number of credits to graduate. No shortening of time required. Take Summer courses or max overload during school terms if want to speed up.

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Agreed. Plus one internship will lead to others, and with CS, he should be able to pay it off. I have let him know we expect him to contribute. It is only fair that we put remaining $$ into the other two kids.

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Ditto for Cambridge and Oxford. I chose an unknown University. Looking back I should have forget about getting a degree and startup a business :thinking:


Not all kids are going to be programmers though. For those who are on a professor track, saving on undergrad makes a lot of sense. Why should a parent fork over $70Kx4 for undergrad when grad school is more important, especially if $$ are tight.


Naive question from me: why is getting into EECS major from the get-go so important? Can’t kids select an easier major like psychology and then once got in, change majors? Is that impossible? Can’t she take some intro CS classes and ace them to prove herself?

No longer possible. Can’t change to EECS after getting in.

By the time open to other majors, no vacancy.

Agree with Hanera. Last I checked, to transfer, you have to wait until Junior year to transfer, and have a certain GPA. And you’ll be last pick for the CS courses, so it’ll take another year or two to graduate. At that point you lose 2 years of income.