Admissions

How Could Foreign-Language Options Affect High School Choice?

Question: I have a rising 9th grader applying to various high schools. Currently, she is enrolled in a high-school level Spanish II as an 8th grader. One of the schools to which she is applying said that she would need to repeat Spanish II; the others have said she could continue to Spanish III. BUT, the one school put a bug in her ear to switch to French (not offered at her current school). If she continued on the Spanish track, she would end up taking AP Spanish Language and Literature classes her junior and senior years. If she switched to French, she would only take French up through Level IV. Is one route considered more beneficial than the other?

I don't think that any of these foreign-language options are so terrific … or so heinous … that they should have a major influence on the school that you choose. So, ultimately, you should make your final decision based on different factors. In order to have the broadest possible college options when the time comes, your daughter should aim for four years of the same foreign language, although this exceeds the expectations at the vast majority of colleges. And it sounds like she could achieve this goal at each of the high schools on her list. Obviously, having AP classes on the transcript will “look better" to colleges than simply reaching the fourth year of a language. However, if your daughter is applying to the most uber-selective places and she has taken plenty of AP's in otherareas, the lack of AP foreign language won't be a liability.

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