Admissions

Will Dropping Spanish for Student Government Hurt Admission Chances?

Question: If I replace Honors Spanish 3 with a class required to be part of the student government, will it hurt my chances to get into a top college? If so, what if I were to continue to learn Spanish elsewhere?

The more selective colleges expect three years of the same language and usually prefer four. So if you were to drop Spanish 3 in favor of the student government class, then it would most likely affect your college outcomes (not an automatic deal-breaker, but certainly a tick in the “negative” column).


However, if you continue Spanish outside of school (online, at a community college, etc.), this should be acceptable to your colleges. But ... your outside course would have to be as rigorous as an upper-level in-school class. Thus, something like “Conversational Spanish” at summer camp wouldn’t cut it. And admission officials at the snootier, most selective colleges would even look down their noses at a summer-long home-stay in a Spanish-speaking country. Although you’d surely be speaking more Spanish there than you might in an entire year in a classroom, admission committees are seeking students who have used their language skills to explore the literature and history of a culture, which might not happen during a summer trip, even if you can sling the slang like a native!

If you select an out-of-school Spanish option, be sure to use the “Additional Information” section of your applications to explain why you had to do so. The admission folks will understand and will appreciate the initiative you took to stick with Spanish.

¡Buena suerte!

*****

If you'd like to submit a question to College Confidential, please send it along here.