Background: I'm a sophomore enrolled in my high school's Cambridge AICE program. After this year I only need 1 more AICE credit for the AICE diploma (I earned 1 freshman year and 5 this year, assuming I pass them all, which I should). So far my AICE credits are: General Paper (AS), Spanish (AL), European History (AS), Math 1 (AS), Thinking skills (AS), English Lang (AS). I plan on taking: English Lang (AL), Psychology (AS), Math 2 (AL), Chemistry (AS), US History (AS), Global Perspectives (AS), Physics (AS), English Lit (AS), and probably a few more, I haven't fully decided for senior year electives (in total 6 junior year and 2+ senior year). I'll have some APs too, I'm taking 4/5 APs senior year (5/6 total AP classes) and I've taken the hardest classes possible at my school because my school offers mostly AS level classes and very few A level. My high school doesn't offer many AP classes because they just have you take the AICE classes instead.
Does anyone know about applying to college with AICE credits? Do colleges want/require you to submit AICE exam scores? What scores are typically expected for Ivies and schools like NYU? Does having an AICE diploma look good for admissions? Do they expect you to have a diploma with merit/distinction and if you don't does it look bad? Do many schools outside of Florida accept these for college credit, especially Ivies? Can anyone describe their experience with college admissions with an AICE diploma? Does my strength in schedule sound like enough? Will I be looked at as not-as-impressive as someone with an IB diploma? I heard UCs don't even weigh AICE classes, is this true and am I at a disadvantage with admissions and does my schedule still look impressive if they don't recognize AICE?
Hey @Mysterysquash - sorry for the delay here. I needed to get up to speed on AICE courses before giving you an answer. There are a lot of questions packed in there, so I'll try to hit them all:
First, congrats to being on track to get your AICE diploma junior year. I didn't apply to college with AICE credits and I haven't worked with any students who have, but here's everything I know.
Do colleges want/require you to submit AICE exam scores?
- For colleges that accept AICE courses for credit or placement, you will almost always have to submit your AICE exam scores to receive that credit or "place out" of course requirements. Check out the college website to make sure, as this might change due to COVID-19.
What scores are typically expected for Ivies and schools like NYU?
- I wasn't able to find score ranged for those schools, but for earning credits it seems like they will look at your overall grade.
Does having an AICE diploma look good for admissions?
- Definitely! It won't hurt, that's for sure. Especially if you are applying to very competitive schools. The competitive schools would probably expect you to have an AICE diploma.
Do they expect you to have a diploma with merit/distinction and if you don't does it look bad?
- I suggest taking a look at the websites of the schools you're really interested and even giving their admissions offices a call to ask!
Do many schools outside of Florida accept these for college credit, especially Ivies?
- All of the Ivies recognize AICE classes. Harvard for example: "The minimum required for advanced standing credit is 3 A Levels with Grade A. If this is awarded then one year of academic credit is given." But definitely check all of their websites for updated information, especially during COVID-19!
- Here's a full list of US colleges that accept AICE, with a description of their policies (for-credit or for-placement). Scroll down and click the (+) in the gray box where it says (710 Results) - you can then search colleges from your list! http://recognition.cambridgeinternational.org/SearchRecognitionsResults.aspx?cnt=227&prv=1&insnme=&ins=HFE&CIGCSE=&CIAS=1&PreU=&CID=&PDQ=&GPR=&WQ=-
Can anyone describe their experience with college admissions with an AICE diploma?
- I don't have this experience, but I'd suggest taking a look at these resources from Cambridge International: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/recognition-and-acceptance/country/usa/
Does my strength in schedule sound like enough?
- From the description of your courses it seems like you've done everything you can to take the most challenging course load for yourself, which is what top colleges really are looking for. They'll evaluate your courses based on what your school offers, so don't worry that your school doesn't have many APs.
Will I be looked at as not-as-impressive as someone with an IB diploma?
- Nope! Admissions officers will evaluate you based on what was available at your school. If your school doesn't offer an IB diploma, you won't be looked at as "not-as-impressive."
I heard UCs don't even weigh AICE classes, is this true and am I at a disadvantage with admissions and does my schedule still look impressive if they don't recognize AICE?
- UCs do recognize AICE courses. Definitely check out the link I shared above with all the schools. If you search (control+F) the site for "University of California" you'll see all the policies! This could also be another good example where calling the admissions office to ask this question might be helpful!
Here's a CollegeVine blog about the AICE Diploma that you might find helpful:
Good luck and stay safe!
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