Georgia – High School to College & Careers

Post

High School Graduation Requirements for Seniors (2014-2015)

Course and Diploma Requirements

Subjects

Core Curriculum

Course Requirements

English

4

Grade 9 Literature and Composition
American Literature and Composition

Mathematics

4

Math I- III or Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra
One additional core course.

Science

4

Biology
Physical Science or Physics
Chemistry, Earth Systems, Environmental Science, or an AP or IB course
Fourth Science unit

Social Studies

3

United States History
World History
American Government/Civics (1/2 unit)
Economics (1/2 unit)

Career and technical education; foreign language; or fine arts

3

Students choose one of three areas. Districts may award foreign language credit to students whose native language is not English.

Health and Physical Education

1

One unit of credit in Health and Physical Education is required. Students shall combine one-half or one-third units of credit of Health, Personal Fitness, or Advanced Personal Fitness to satisfy this requirement. Districts may waive this requirement for students with three (3) units of credit in JROTC if the courses include health and physical education curriculum requirements as outlined in state board rule.

Electives

4

 

Total

23

 

Assessment Requirements

Students must pass the Georgia High School Writing Test to earn a regular high school diploma. Schools administer end-of-course (EOC) exams in 10 courses across four subjects:

  • English/language arts: Grade 9 literature and composition, American literature and composition
  • Math: coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, Math II, GPS geometry
  • Science: biology, physical science
  • Social studies: American history, economics

Each exam counts for 20 percent of the final course grade. Middle grades students who take high school courses also sit for EOCs.

College and Career Readiness

The Georgia Department of Education requires high schools to administer the PSAT every October to grade 10 students. State Board Rule 160-4-5-.01 requires districts to deliver remedial education programs for students in grades six through 12 with identified deficits in reading, writing or math.

O.C.G.A. § 20-2-159.2 requires (1) college- and career-readiness benchmarks; (2) the creation or adoption of a college and career readiness assessment; and, (3) the development of readiness courses in reading, writing, and math that prepare grade 11 and 12 students who fail to meet readiness standards as measured by end-of-course exams or the yet-to-be-developed Common Core-aligned state assessment.  

Georgia withdrew from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium in July 2013. The state has implemented the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) for English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics over the last three years. However, the CCGPS are now under review and revision based on public input and feedback. Plans to assess Georgia’s standards through a state-developed and aligned assessment system are underway.  

The Georgia Department of Education holds schools and districts accountable through the College & Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). High schools receive composite scores based on 17 indicators, including graduation rates, success on state assessments, and the percentage of graduates earning college credit while still enrolled in high school.

College and Career Planning

State policy requires the completion of individual graduation plans by the end of eighth-grade and the completion of specific student advisement activities in each high school grade. For instance, students learn about dual enrollment opportunities to help in the development of a college and career plan.

GAcollege411.org is a statewide portal that provides access to online resources for students and their families to help them plan, apply and pay for college.

Accelerated Learning Options

Dual Enrollment

A number of dual enrollment options provide students with the opportunity to enroll in postsecondary courses, provided they meet college entrance requirements, while completing high school graduation requirements. Eligible dual enrollment students may defray the cost of their college courses through the ACCEL program or by receiving the HOPE Grant. 

Early College High Schools

The Early College Initiative, a partnership between the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Education, allows students to earn a high school diploma and coursework toward an associate or bachelor’s degree. Most early colleges operate with the objective to increase high school graduation and college-going rates of traditionally underserved students.

Advanced Placement

Georgia does not have common score requirements for Advanced Placement (AP) or College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests.

Competency-Based Credit

State law and State Board of Education Rules allow students to receive high school credit based on demonstrated competency on several state and national exams, including high school end of course (EOC) exams, AP, CLEP, and industry certifications.

Move On When Ready

The Move on When Ready program, created with the passing of House Bill 149 in 2009, allows eligible 11th and 12th grade students to simultaneously enroll in college full-time while completing their remaining high school graduation requirements. As a result of the Move on When Ready legislation, the tuition and fees resulting from a participating student’s full-time enrollment are covered by the transfer of the FTE funds, minus a $200 records fee, from the school district to the postsecondary institution.  

Career and Technical Education

The Georgia Department of Education offers courses across 17 career clusters.  

Postsecondary Admissions and Placement

University System of Georgia

The University System of Georgia (USG) contains community colleges and universities. High school diploma requirements are identical for all system institutions.

Subjects

Core Curriculum

Specific Course Requirements

Mathematics

4

GPS Math I – III or GPS Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra; and
“Fourth math” at the level of Math III/Advanced Algebra or higher

English

4

Same as for standard high school diploma (see above)

Science

4

Same as for standard high school diploma (see above)

Social Studies

3

Same as for standard high school diploma (see above)

Foreign Language

2

Both units in the same language

Total

17

 

Admission requirements vary by institution type. Students seeking admission to system universities must have a minimum SAT critical reading score of 430 and a math score of 400 (or an ACT English score of 17 and ACT math score of 17). The system sets minimum admission cut scores based on the Freshman Index (FI)—a composite score based on students’ SAT or ACT score and high school GPA.

Freshman Index Formula

SAT Formula: 500 x (high school GPA in required courses) + SAT Critical Reading + SAT Math

ACT Formula: 500 x (high school GPA in required courses) + (ACT composite x 42) + 88

Freshman Index Thresholds for Regular Admission

Research university: 2500
State university: 1940
Regional university:  2040
State colleges: 1830 (not required for all colleges)

Community colleges require placement testing if students have not taken the SAT or ACT. Students may opt out of placement tests by providing exempting SAT/ACT scores.

Scores on the ACT’s Compass exam determine placement for degree-seeking students who have SAT critical reading scores below 430 or math scores below 400 (or ACT equivalents) or who did not meet the University System’s high school diploma requirements in English or math. Students who score below thresholds on the Compass are required to take remedial courses.

Subject

Minimum Compass Scores

Reading

74

English

60

Mathematics

37

Technical College System

Admission to technical colleges is based on completion of the following 13-unit high school curriculum:

Subjects

Core Curriculum

Specific Course Requirements

English

4

 

Mathematics

3

GPS Math I OR Algebra

Science

3

 

Social Studies

3

 

Total

13

 

Students must take ACT’s Compass exam to determine placement or submit SAT or ACT scores that meet the college’s minimum requirements. Thresholds for admission to associate’s degree programs are comparable to the minimum Compass scores set by the University System. Provisionally admitted students must take remedial courses. Students admitted without high school diplomas must earn a high school diploma or GED before they can earn degrees. Applicants who have successfully completed a minimum of 30 semester hours with a “C” average or better at the degree level may submit official transcripts from all accredited colleges previously attended in lieu of a GED or high school diploma.

Feedback Reports

USG releases annual reports on SAT/ACT scores, high school GPA, and College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) completion rates for enrolled students. These reports do not disaggregate data by district or school.  

State Financial Aid

All lottery-funded scholarships reward financial aid based on academic merit.

Georgia residents graduating with regular diplomas may receive state lottery-funded HOPE Scholarships by earning a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 in core subjects (math, English, science, social studies and a foreign language). College students may earn a HOPE Scholarship if they have a qualifying GPA of 3.0 at the 30, 60, or 90 semester hour milestones.

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in college to keep the HOPE Scholarship. Institutions monitor continuing eligibility as students pass the 30, 60, or 90 semester hour thresholds. College students may regain HOPE eligibility if their GPAs exceed 3.0 at the next 30 semester hour milestone. Students can regain HOPE only once.

HOPE Scholarship recipients at Georgia public colleges receive a set tuition award amount based on the institution they are attending and the number of credit-hours for which they are enrolled. Full-time HOPE Scholarship recipients attending Georgia private colleges receive $1,910 per semester.

Students may be eligible for HOPE Grants for certificate and diploma programs at public institutions by earning a minimum high school GPA of 2.0. HOPE Grant recipients at Georgia public colleges receive a set tuition award amount based on the number of credit-hours for which they are enrolled.

The Zell Miller Scholarship awards grants to students who (1) graduate from HOPE-qualifying high schools as class valedictorian or salutatorian or (2) possess a minimum 3.7 GPA with 1200 SAT (26 ACT). The Zell Miller Scholarship varies based on institution and whether the student attends college part time or full time. Students retain the scholarship as long as they maintain a GPA of 3.3. If a student’s GPA drops below 3.3, the student may be eligible for a regular HOPE scholarship, as long as the GPA stays above 3.0. Zell Miller recipients enrolled full time at private colleges receive $2,110 per semester.

Starting fall 2014, students may earn the Zell Miller Grant to pursue certificate or diploma programs at eligible public postsecondary institutions. To retain the grant, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA at the end of each term. HOPE and Zell Miller grant recipients may also be eligible for a Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant. All three grants are funded through state lottery revenues.

Current seniors who apply for the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships must complete two full credits from any of four academic rigor course categories:

  • Advanced math (Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, Math III, or an equivalent course
  • Advanced science (chemistry, physics, biology II, or an equivalent course
  • Advanced foreign language courses
  • Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Dual Credit Enrollment courses in core subjects (English, math, science, and social studies).

Current juniors must complete three full credits; current sophomores must complete four full credits.

Students who qualify for both scholarships may receive either a HOPE or a Zell Miller scholarship, but not both. Students who become academically ineligible for either scholarship have only a single chance to regain it. Neither scholarship covers textbooks or institutional fees. The state caps HOPE Scholarship aid at 127 credit hours.

Special Thanks

SREB would like to thank the staff at the following agencies for their assistance in carefully reviewing and confirming the accuracy of the policies and programs described in this document:

Georgia Department of Higher Education

Georgia Student Finance Commission

University System of Georgia Board of Regents

Sources

GA College 411
Georgia Department of Education
Georgia General Assembly
Technical College System of Georgia University System of Georgia