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University of Waterloo Mary Hardy - Professor
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http://www.stats.uwaterloo.ca

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Old 08-28-2013, 11:31 PM
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Canada Why cap AP credits?

So, I have an 18-y-o daughter who's finishing high school this year, and is thinking of becoming an actuary to follow her dear old dad (me, who did a mid-40's career change). We're Canadian, but currently living in the Phoenix AZ area. ASU tuition is something like $10k/yr, so we're seriously thinking "Maybe she should go back to Canada for university...."

Now, having done all her high school here in the US, she (being insanely bright) has taken a bunch of AP and dual-enrollment (HS + community college credit) classes. She has already passed (with 4's on the exams) AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Macroeconomics, and this year she's taking AP Calculus BC and AP Statistics (and might also take AP Microeconomics if she can find, say, an online source). She also passed a dual-enrollment World Civ. course, and is taking dual-enrollment English this year.

Now, at many universities, in Canada or the US, this would give her about a year's worth of university credit. (As a comparison, we looked at SFU, since we used to live in the Vancouver area and have lots of friends and family there; they'd probably give her 33 credits, just over a year's worth of credit.)

But from my reading of this web page at Waterloo's website (under "Faculty of Mathematics"), it looks like Waterloo would only give her the equivalent of 3 courses' worth of credit (1.5 credits under their system), rather than allowing her to have the whole potential 4-5 credits she could get.

So, why does U Waterloo cap AP credits like that? My daughter's a bright student and would be a great addition to any actuarial science school; but if going to Waterloo would mean hanging around for an extra year to take extra credits, she probably won't bother.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:36 AM
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A lot of high-ranking schools don't take AP credit because they don't consider those courses rigorous enough.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:38 AM
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But hey, Waterloo has lots of smart kids. Just think of the possibilities when your daughter can choose from thousands of people like her to hang out with.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:15 PM
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My advice to your daughter: don't shoot yourself in the foot. That is, don't bother with transfer credits. High school courses are no where near as rigorous as university level ones. If she gets credit for courses, she will miss the crucial mathematical foundation that she needs.

My friend had the opportunity to do it but didn't, and she is pretty much a superstar now. Trust me, by capping AP credits, they are doing you a favour.

Unless your daughter's a genius (like real genius) or needs to graduate ASAP, I see no reason to shorten her time at college. College is an important life experience that <4 years does not do justice.

I go to Waterloo.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:18 PM
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If your daughter goes to Waterloo, she can hang out with cokiwah.

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Old 08-29-2013, 04:13 PM
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I got about 30 credits coming into my college from a combo of AP tests, college-specific placement tests, and talking to the dean. It's good to skip classes in topics you actually know.

I'm assuming your child knows more than just what's in the AP tests on those subjects, of course, if it's for her future major field.

Something to ask about: see if they do credit by exam. That's where one takes the final from their own course and can get credit for the whole course if you do well enough on the exam. That's how I got credit for intro stats.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cokiwah View Post
My advice to your daughter: don't shoot yourself in the foot. That is, don't bother with transfer credits. High school courses are no where near as rigorous as university level ones. If she gets credit for courses, she will miss the crucial mathematical foundation that she needs.

My friend had the opportunity to do it but didn't, and she is pretty much a superstar now. Trust me, by capping AP credits, they are doing you a favour.

Unless your daughter's a genius (like real genius) or needs to graduate ASAP, I see no reason to shorten her time at college. College is an important life experience that <4 years does not do justice.

I go to Waterloo.
Thanks for your insight. In her case, she's running a year behind; I was between two US jobs last fall, and the enforced exile back to Canada while we waited for the new job's H-1B to come through, screwed up a semester for her; she "should" have graduated HS last spring, but instead has to hang around for another year. She's also autistic; very high-functioning and very bright, but still autistic. So we're considering a lot of different possible options in terms of "what way of completing post-secondary will be best for her?", and "travel time" in the program is part of all that.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:34 PM
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I'm assuming your child knows more than just what's in the AP tests on those subjects, of course, if it's for her future major field.
I'm quite sure that by the end of this year (after she finishes AP Calc BC and AP Statistics) that she'll be able to walk into P/1 and pass it. She studies hard and has a mind like a steel trap for academics.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:49 PM
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If she has other issues, it might be helpful to have her first college classes be less challenging academically....as long as she realizes explicitly that's what she's doing.

And by "less challenging", I mean taking those classes she might get AP credit for elsewhere.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:04 PM
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I agree with campbell's point. If your daughter is moving out for the first time, it'd be best to let her take her time in getting used to the new environment + make new friends around her age. Being thrown into a full 2nd year course load with very little support while having to deal with personal issues could be overwhelming for the best of us.

In addition, Waterloo offers University Accreditatino Program which means you can get prelim exam exemptions if you get over a certain mark in certain courses. I highly doubt they would let AP credits count. So while I'm sure she can pass exams, why take the extra work needlessly if she can spend her time on things of interest to her?

Lastly, the best part about the Waterloo Actsci program is the co-op program which lets you gain 6 separate 4-month work terms (and build industry connections) while studying. I'm not sure whether you can use AP credits to enrol into 2nd year while signing up for the 1st year co-op program since they would prefer you to go through the same number of school terms as the rest of the co-op students.
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