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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: AP Courses PLEASE ANSWER
By Bballplayer (Bballplayer) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit

I'm a HS Sophomore. My school offers only 4 APs.
What should I do about that. I have plans to attend Yale Harvard G-Town & some other top schools.I know I'll probably take some local CC classes. I will take 2 of them before graduation but the other two i can't take them. Any ideas or suggestions. i know that top schools like to see APs. I want to major in poltical science. Do u know of any Summer programs

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 11:54 am: Edit

What are the APs that you school offers? Colleges are aware that some schools do not offer many APs, if any and will take that into account. If you take cc courses, make sure to include your transcript, the catalog description of the course and its syllabus in with your application so that adcoms will have a way of evaluating the rigor of the course. You may also be able to take the AP exam in that particular topic. All you need to do is to sign up for it. If you want to find out more about the curriculum for each specific exam, go to collegeboard.com and look up the AP site. If your school does not offer AP exams in certain subjects, you may have to go to another school to take the AP exam.

Many colleges have summer programs with courses on politics. Check out their websites. There are as well summer programs such as CTY and Northwestern's Center for Talent Development. Consider summer and academic year internships as well.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 01:12 pm: Edit

Do not get concerned about the lack of APs. College admissions officers do not give you a strike if you only have four AP classes when that is all your school offers. They only want to see that you have taken the most challenging courses offered at YOUR school. You are not penalized for what your school's curricular offerings.

My daughter's high school only had one AP course. Then in her senior year, they designated three other courses as AP and she took them all. Otherwise, the top level classes in our school are called Honors classes. Basically they just switched calling three of these now to be AP designations. Her guidance counselor was able to say that she took the most rigoruous courseload at our school. She went beyond in some ways in that she has accelerated and challenged herself through a long distance math course when she had finished our math curriculum (AP Calculus) in 11th grade, and then did an indep. study French 6 class with a teacher and one other student, having completed French 5 as a junior. The option to take college courses nearby was not one she could do but you could as an example of seeking out challenges academically. As Marite indicated, summer academic activities or internships are another way. My D also did a year long indep. study in skills related to her intended major, as well as a summer internship in that field. But as far as coursework itself, as long as you have taken the most rigorous courses available and that your GC can state that on his report, that part will be fine. They will not say you have less APs than the next guy who went to a school that offered a dozen of them. They evaluate you in the context of the opportunities available to you in your school setting. So, take those four APs and then if you can, do the CC courses or other challenges such as indep. study, long distance learning, internships, or summer programs. You will be fine. By the way, my D did get accepted to selective colleges with those four AP courses at her school.


By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 03:13 pm: Edit

You cannot get better advice than from Marite or Susan . I may as well weigh in too here.First of all you have to have the highest SAT scores even if you are an ace ballplayer. All the college coaches will want those scores and will say things like,'we look at the complete student athlete.'So start working on that right now. And you need a top GPA so get an A in everything too.In our district if a student has been deemed 'gifted' (IQ above 125) the school has a responsibility to meet that students educational needs, so find out if you have a high IQ and what your district policy is concerning a high IQ. Here if the school cannot provide diversity in terms of AP courses a student can take college classes his senior year or earlier IF the nearby colleges will accept him.Perhaps the same stands true in your district in lieu of APs.(And in our district sometimes the district will even pay for the classes)

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