As this school year comes to a close, your child will select classes for the following year. Your child can use the classes she takes to demonstrate maximum value to an admissions officer and increase her odds of admission. Your child should:
Enroll in the most advanced courses she can earn ‘A’s’ in. Your child should not overextend herself to the point her grades suffer. If your child will earn a ‘B’ in AP Spanish if she skips Spanish IV and enrolls in AP Spanish, she should take Spanish IV next year, and AP Spanish the following year.
If your child is interested in a specific field for college (i.e., Engineering), she should take accelerated or advanced courses in that subject area (AP Chemistry and AP Calculus). Your child’s high school transcript should support her major choice and application theme.
Find easier advanced courses to earn ‘A’s’ in. At my high school, AP Psychology and AP European History were easier than AP Chemistry or AP Physics.
Consider college courses at a local university or community college. At some very competitive high schools, community college classes may be easier and offer an applicant an opportunity to demonstrate to excel in college level coursework. If your child excels in a subject area and her high school allows it, consider taking a more advanced college course instead of a high school course. Strong performance in college coursework will differentiate your child from other applicants.
Make sure your child is working toward fluency in a foreign language. Many colleges have foreign language requirements, both to enter college, and to graduate. Foreign language proficiency in high school is consistent with many colleges’ expectations for their students.