Preparing for College

6 or 7 Classes for Rising Juniors?

Question: Does it matter to the highly competitive colleges whether a junior takes 6 or 7 classes? I am an independent college advisor working with several sophomores who would like to take 2 APs and 4 other 'solids', versus 7 classes of similar make-up. My sense is that they won't be able to compete in these admissions pools. How should I advise the students and their parents? Thanks!

The number of classes (6 vs. 7) isn't really important. What does count is their rigor. For instance, in the eyes of admission officers, all Advanced Placement classes are not created equal. Are your advisees’ AP courses in American History or psychology? Calculus or statistics? Physics or economics? (In each of these cases, whether justified or not, "elite" college admission folks are likely to view the first in the pair as a heavy hitter and the second as more "fluffy.")

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