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Articles / Applying to College / Will Colleges Count My Middle School Spanish Classes?

Sept. 26, 2008

Will Colleges Count My Middle School Spanish Classes?

Question: I took Spanish classes all throughout middle school (Spanish A/B in sixth grade, Spanish 1 in 7th, and Spanish 2 in 8th). Consequently, I started off freshman year in high school in Spanish 3 HP, and sophomore year in Spanish 4 AP. How many years of foreign language would this count as? Should I take Spanish 5 AP senior year as well?

Your 6th grade Spanish class will not count towards your years of language completed, but your Spanish I and II classes in grades 7 and 8 will. So, it sounds like you have had four years of Spanish already. (Are you not taking it this year, as a junior?) You do not have to take any more Spanish, even if applying to highly selective colleges, so your decision about taking AP Spanish 5 as a senior is really up to you. If you want to do it, and it fits in your schedule without forcing you to give up other classes that you wish---or need--to take, then go ahead and do the extra year of Spanish. You don't mention whether you took an AP exam after you finished Spanish 4 AP. If not, and you're good at Spanish, you might want to take the senior AP class and then the exam, with the hope of earning some college credit.


Another thing you might want to do is to check with your high school guidance counselor to see how middle-school credits are handled on your transcript. At some high schools, your transcript will show all of your middle school language classes and grades, and at some high schools it won't. Likewise, your cumulative GPA may include the middle school classes for which you received high school credit. It probably won't, but you might want to check on that, so you won't have any surprises at college admissions time.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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