January 2007 Newsletter
Q. What courses should I be taking?
A. No matter what grade in high school you will be entering, you want to take the most challenging courses that are right for you. This means registering for courses in all five core disciplines including English, math, social studies, science and foreign language.
Q. I want to take advanced placement courses, but I’m concerned that I won’t be able to continue to earn my usual high grades. Is it better to earn an “A” in a regular high school course or a “B” in an honors or advanced placement course?
A. It is actually better to earn an “A” in an honors or an advanced placement course. However, in reality, admissions counselors want to see that you have challenged yourself in the most rigorous courses that are available to you, and that means taking honors or advanced placement courses, and being successful in those courses.
Q. Since I’ve worked really hard in high school, I’m going to drop science, math and foreign language in my senior year. Won’t admissions counselors agree that I deserve to have it easier in my last year?
A. Senior year is not the time to drop core subjects. Since your senior year courses are included on your application, when admissions counselors see that you have a light senior course load, they are definitely not going to be impressed and they are certainly not going to think that you deserve a break.
Q. I’ll register for challenging senior courses, but it doesn’t matter the grades that I earn in those courses since the colleges already have my transcript.
A. Many admissions counselors require that you submit your midyear grades when they become available. They may also request your third quarter grades if they consider you a borderline applicant. Your grades, first, second, or third quarter can be the deciding factor in an admissions decision. Fourth quarter grades can also impact on a waitlist decision. In addition, when you finally receive your letter of acceptance, the last statement typically says something like, this acceptance is contingent upon you successfully completing your senior courses. In this instance, the word successful means that the college expects you to earn the same level of grades that you have always earned. Based on your final grades, colleges can and do rescind acceptances.