Admissions

Can My Son Drop AP Class AFTER Receiving College Acceptances?

Question: Hi, I am mom to a HS senior who has been accepted at several liberal arts colleges (not the most competitive ones but still selective).  He would like to drop his A.P. US History course for a lower level course for the final two months of the school year. He has a major conflict with the history teacher and I fear there is nothing we can do to fix it, and he will end up with a really poor grade if we don't allow him to move down a level. Do you recommend that we notify the colleges where he was accepted? Thanks in advance: I really appreciate your availability and the wisdom you have shared with us at CC.

College admission officers can be persnickety when kids drop an AP or honors class to take a less rigorous one. And they will find out when they receive your son's final School Report in June or July. (In fact, any change in schedule post-application should always be shared with colleges.)  If your son explains his situation, the college folks may say, "Fine. Go for it!" but "The Dean's" advice would be for him to ask first rather than to bail on the APUSH class and then tell the colleges after the fact.


If your son already knows where he plans to enroll, he can start with that school first. He should send his request in writing via email to his regional rep (the admission staff member who oversees applicants from this high school) but he should also copy the main admission office email address.

If your son feels there is a specific reason for the conflict with the teacher (the teacher is racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-jock, despised his older sister, etc.) then he should explain this in the email. He can also mention that he fears a poor grade if he stays in the class, even if he works hard. But the real emphasis of his note should be that he is miserable and stressed facing this teacher every day and that the class is destroying his interest in history.

Of all the colleges that accepted your son, it's highly unlikely that every single one of them would rescind his acceptance if he were to drop the AP US History class ... and perhaps none of them would. But, even so, if it were my child, I'd make sure he got the verdict in writing before making a move.