The Ivy Coach Daily

July 10, 2022

Empowering Parents in Elite College Admissions

Just because a high school eliminates the AP program doesn’t mean students can’t take AP tests (photo credit: David Shankbone).

Did your child’s high school recently eliminate AP courses from its curriculum? Does your child’s high school restrict the number of universities your child can apply to as seniors? Did your child’s high school counselor tell you that students who do not submit an SAT or ACT score face no disadvantage in the elite college admissions process to universities that have gone test-optional in recent years? If so, it’s time to take control of your child’s case for admission. You see, at Ivy Coach, we educate our clients so they are better informed about the college admissions process and empowered to challenge a high school if need be.

Case in point? Some high schools across America have, in recent years, eliminated AP coursework (hi Sidwell Friends, Fieldston, Crossroads, Penn Charter, Stamford High School, among several others). We’ve written about the movement to eliminate the AP program at various high schools through the years — a movement that, we would argue, has all but failed. So when we recommend that students at high schools that have eliminated AP coursework continue to sit for AP exams, it’s advice that often surprises these students’ parents. After all, it flies in the face of what they’re hearing from their child’s high school counseling department. But the fact is that admissions officers are creates of habit and they want to see those AP exams. Great AP scores reassure admissions officers that students are extremely capable learners. Besides, when so many students don’t sit for AP exams because a high school doesn’t offer the corresponding AP coursework, it gives our students a leg up over the competitors from their very own high school.

If parents just accept what their child’s high school counselor says at face value, they will in all likelihood be in for a world of surprise when their child’s admissions results don’t match their high expectations. Colleges are test-optional? That’s great, submit test scores! Your child’s high school eliminated the AP program? Sit and take those AP tests anyway! Your high school doesn’t allow you to apply to more than eight universities? Request transcripts and mail them yourself. Ask for forgiveness from your high school counselor — not permission. If your parent wants to pay for additional applications, your parent has that right.

We believe in empowering our parents at Ivy Coach. It’s helped our students earn admission to their dream schools for the past three decades. And we suspect it will help our students earn admission to their dream schools for the next three decades.

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