Posted in Curriculum, GPA, Guidance Counselor, High School, HS4CC, Transcripts, Transfer Credit

Parent Question: Can I leave an “F” off their transcript?

HS4CC parent asks “I have a question about Fs on a transcript. My kids are with a virtual charter and last year, they both struggled so much with online coursework that now we have some grades to recover. I’m wondering if it would be possible to expunge those grades after the credit is recovered...(continues)

(continued) …I’m doubtful that the charter school can do it, but is it possible for me to pull them totally from the charter school and have them spend their last two years just as home schooled students with a homeschool transcript, and then present the transcript based on credits earned, without reporting the failed grades? I don’t know what the best approach is.”

Whoever verifies the graduation and issues the diploma is the one who decides what appears on a transcript. If you stay at the charter school (or any school) their process for removing or repeating or replacing grades is going to be the protocol, but if you homeschool, it’s your decision.

As the high school of record, it is your high school’s transcript that “accepts transfer credit” from prior classes. You determine what “counts” at your high school (homeschool). Bring in prior credits as you like, leave others off if you want, but you’ll want to create a transcript that represents all 4 years of high school.

Replacing a credit

When you replace a credit, it’s simple to just have your teen take the class again. In the case of one of my sons, he retook Prealgebra three (!) times, but as with many homeschooling families, we want our kids to learn something well before we move on. In a group school, that opportunity is missing, so a student is awarded a lower grade and continues to move forward. This is one of the reasons many parents choose to start homeschooling, so I completely understand this frustration.

With a high school student, whether or not to replace (or just remove) is really your call. There is a limited number of hours in a day, so as graduation approaches, you’ll have to make some decisions about replacing vs. removing. Since you asked my advice, if I were in your shoes, I would replace… but not with high school credit. I would replace with college credit. This helps in 3 important ways:

  1. College credit earned through a college class accumulates faster- it only takes 1 semester of a college course to yield 1 high school credit, so you’re not burning 2 semesters to replace that credit. (1 high school credit = 1 college class)
  2. Taking advantage of the accumulation gain by using a college class, your teen can usually get the same credit in a fraction of the time required to earn a high school class. (Summer college classes are usually only 8 weeks long!)
  3. If the class your teen needs to replace is also similar to a class they’ll need in college or trade school, you can kill 2 birds with one stone by using a college class. Bonus if this is an option to you for free or reduced tuition.

Leave it Off

This isn’t a terrible option, especially if it’s a class that will only be for high school credit, isn’t an essential subject, and your teen won’t need it for a college admissions requirement later. If the course in question is Home Ec., I’d leave it off. If it’s Math, replacement is better.

Nuances to consider

  • LEGAL If you decide to start homeschooling, be sure you’re in full legal compliance with any state laws. (look up here)
  • FRAUD Do not lie. You can leave the grade off without question, but do not change the grade that the other high school issued.
  • PASS/FAIL You may be tempted to just convert all prior credit to “pass” since colleges do this frequently. It is ok, in my opinion, to include one or two classes as “pass” or “fail” as part of a whole academic record, but more than that would invite scrutiny.
  • GRADUATION IF your state has graduation requirements for homeschools (most don’t), that must also play a part in deciding what to KEEP. Remember “F” won’t meet a graduation requirement anyway. You’ll need to consider how these credits will be made up before high school graduation.
  • AP Classes & Exams The easiest and most straight forward is to remove the brand name “AP” from the high school transcript and just proceed as regular (unweighted) credit. A “C” from an AP class is equal to a “B” in an unweighted class. An AP exam leaves a paper trail but is not required disclosure. Your teen won’t be able to pick and choose which AP exam scores are sent (all or none), so if your teen fails an AP exam and it is the ONLY AP exam they took, simply don’t disclose and don’t send the score report. If they took many, you’ll have to decide between sending none or all. (Some AP exam subjects also have CLEP subjects, providing an alternative way to earn potential college credit)
  • College Credit This is not credit you can bury. All college credit ATTEMPTS are required to be disclosed. Yes, even when no credit is earned. Yes, even when it is a withdrawal. Yes, even when it’s the only class on a transcript. Yes, even when it won’t count toward this new degree. Yes, even when…. So, you can leave failed college credit off of your teen’s high school transcript, but when your teen is asked to send in all transcripts, they will have to send in both/all. If your teen failed a college class, talk to them about how they can explain the grade in a college application / employment interview, but also help them articulate the ways they’ve learned and grown and improved since then.

Want to explore questions like these and other important transcript topics? You might want to enroll in Jennifer’s Transcript Intensive Course. It’s offered a few times per year, and the last session is happening soon.

REGISTER NOW! Live on Zoom Transcript Intensive by Jennifer Cook-DeRosa

Monday May 18, 2022 (3-5pm EST) Question and Answer to Follow


AP Scores Are Coming: What if You Only Got a 2?

July 15 is the “big day” for students who took the Advanced Placement exams this past May – scores are posted.  Based on a grade scale of 1-5, students earning at least a 3 are typically awarded college credit.  What about those who only scored a 2? You need Plan B.

Transcript Resource Page

It’s only the most important homeschool document you’ll ever create!  No pressure. We have lots of free and paid resource recommendations below. One thing to be aware of, is that recording college credit on a high school transcript is a bit different than recording high school credit. Families who have a lot of college credit […]

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Site Owner, Homeschooling for College Credit

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