Preparing for College

Impact of Music “Major” on Class Rank?

Question: My son is a “music major” at a performing arts high school. As a music student, he has access to fewer AP classes than his friends on other arts tracks do. This could have some impact on his class rank. Will colleges understand? My son is hesitant to ask at school for fear of making waves.

Sometimes when college admission officials evaluate their applicants, it can feel a lot like comparing apples to oranges. These officials deal with many different grading systems and ranking protocols. So they will take class rank with at least a few grains of salt and will usually look beyond the rank number to see how school officials arrived at it. In addition, students are evaluated in the context of what is available to them. So if your son had more limited access to AP's than some of his classmates did because he's been on the music track, then the college folks should notice this ... at least IN THEORY.

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