AP French vs. Advanced Art?

Question: Hi, I'm entering my senior year of high school and up until recently, I had all the courses I intended to take planned and organized. Then I received notice of a scheduling conflict between Multimedia/Graphic Design II and AP French–both of which take place during Period 7.

I have already taken 3 years of French but I understand that many selective colleges consider 4 years of French to be more impressive and indicative of work ethic and consistency. However, taking Multimedia/Graphic Design II would assist me in my artistic pursuits. I have previously taken Graphic Design I in my sophomore year and by taking Multimedia/Graphic Design II, I would improve my skills and solidify my interest in this area.

So, what I'm really asking you is: should I stick with my language track and drop my elective or vice versa? Thanks!

If you were my child and loved art, I'd tell you to pursue your passion. But if you're aiming for the most competitive colleges, the admission folks will probably prefer the AP French. Even so, it's a close call … especially if your intended major (or future plans) fall under the art/design rubric.

So perhaps you can continue with AP French online. Would that work for you? You could use the Additional Information section of your applications to explain why you're taking an online AP class and not a “real" one. College officials should be at least a little bit impressed that you made the effort to stick with French even though you're also continuing with your artistic interests.

“The Dean" longs for a universe where teenagers don't have to decide between the classes that they want to take and those that the more selective colleges seem to expect them to take. But, in our current world, regardless of how often the admission folks may tell you to follow your heart, if you're aiming for the hyper-selective places, your heart better take you on a detour away from electives –even when those electives could provide a valuable foundation for goals down the road.