Preparing for College

Does Middle School Foreign Language "Count" at College Admission Time?

Question: I am a parent who happens to also be a school guidance counselor in a middle school. My question is this... If a student takes high school classes in middle school, such as a foreign language class, will colleges accept those credits or does the student need to continue on with their foreign language classes in high school? I have students in middle school taking high school credit foreign language classes in out if school, and who can thus theoretically complete their high school foreign language graduation requirements in middle school. Will this be good enough for college?

Most colleges will accept whatever courses the high school itself accepts. For example, my own son is in 7th grade right now and just started taking Spanish this fall. In our system, 7th grade and 8th grade Spanish are combined to count as one year of high school Spanish. So my son will go into Spanish 2 when he starts 9th grade and, presumably, Spanish 3 in grade 10 and Spanish 4 in 11. If he were to stop taking a foreign language at that point, colleges will call his foreign language experience "Four years," giving one year's credit to his middle school language undertaking. However, at our local middle school, students who take Latin get a full year's credit for both 7th and 8th grade classes. So they will start high school in Latin 3, and the vast majority of colleges will count all three years for these kids, even though the lion's share of their foreign language study was completed in middle school.

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