Junior, Senior Courses Determine College Admissions
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. (CollegetoCareers.com) – Graduating seniors and juniors seeking admission into the most competitive universities should choose their courses carefully, according to a new report published by Time Magazine.
The reason: the most competitive universities place a high premium on a student’s proven ability to take – and succeed in – more challenging courses.
The most well-regarded colleges and universities, especially Ivy League institutions like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, weigh admissions criteria in favor of traditionally more difficult classes and student performance.
While most students are required by their schools to take a minimum four years of English, three years of math, two years of lab science, and two years of the same foreign language, it is important for those angling to receive admission to more competitive universities to take more of the same or other similarly rigorous courses.
For example, a graduating senior or junior who enrolls in Advancement Placement courses or those like pre-calculus, biochemistry, and European history will distinguish themselves because of the often complex and demanding material.
By contrast, students who enroll in traditionally less demanding courses, or who fail to distinguish themselves academically, may risk their eligibility before an admissions committee.
More importantly, easy As or a number of B’s in common classes will usually fail to impress a university with competitive and highly selective admissions criteria.
Still, it is important for competitive students to balance their academic coursework with achievement in the arts, music, or sports, as universities also look for potential students with particular skills or talents.
So what would a game plan look like for a student who wishes to enter a competitive university? Here are just a few recommendations:
- Enroll in as many pre-Advanced Placement courses as possible, and use these beginner’s classes for the framework needed to enter – and succeed in – Advanced Placement classes
- Take traditionally rigorous classes, such as calculus, advanced biology, and European history or another social science
- Balance academic coursework with achievements in extracurricular activities, sports, or the arts
- Study rigorously for the SAT, ACT, and, if possible, the SAT IIs