Will Deficiencies in Science and Language Hurt Top-College Odds?

Question: I'm entering my Senior Year of high school and while looking at schools, I realized that I may be at a disadvantage because I only have two years of Spanish and have not taken Chemistry (and won't be able to at my school since it's only open to Sophomores and Juniors. Also all chemistry classes are full). Do these deficiencies completely ruin my chances of getting in to top schools?

Over the eons, “The Dean" has seen “top schools" defined very broadly. So I don't know exactly which colleges and universities you're referring to here, but if we're talking about Ivies and their ilk …or about any of those picky places where the acceptance rate is under roughly 30% … then these deficiencies aren't automatic deal-breakers but they definitely could be strikes against you. (This, however, will be less true if you come from a disadvantaged background, are the first in your family to attend college, or you go to a high school where students rarely apply to competitive colleges. In such cases, admission committees will likely give you more wiggle room for shortcomings on your transcript.)

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