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Why do so many take more classes than needed in HS?

bethrileybethriley 14 replies10 threads Junior Member
edited June 15 in High School Life
I know couple of my parents friends kids who graduated this yr. They are in different ISDs in Texas and both said they went into Sr year with no credits needed to graduate, so both of them just did fast food work, internship and such. They are going to Texas Tech and A&M respectively. I dont see this among the Seniors at my school. Every Sr I know still have like 6 AP classes they took/are taking and breaking sweat like never before. What gives? I am sure they would have completed things by Jr yr. I am taking a class this summer to knock out tech credit, now I am wondering if I should have just done it regular instead of wasting the $ on it. I thought taking it now will give me more time in Jr/Sr yr on other important things. (I will be a sophomore)
edited June 15
12 replies
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Replies to: Why do so many take more classes than needed in HS?

  • izrk02izrk02 Forum Champion American U. 1120 replies55 threads Forum Champion
    Students take more classes than needed because colleges (especially competitive ones) like to see students who go above what is required. Most high schools' graduation requirements meet the bare minimum of colleges' expectations.
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  • happy1happy1 24138 replies2424 threads Super Moderator
    If you google each college's common data set (google "common data set XYZ college") and look at Section C, it will show the recommended/required HS courses. Generally this these lists have more classes than then minimum that is needed to graduate. Typically the more competitive the college the more classes are required/recommended and the higher the level of course rigor that is expected.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83757 replies743 threads Senior Member
    Students who want to apply to more competitive admission colleges will want to show senior year rigor to be more competitive in the applicant pool.

    Students may also want to complete high school courses that will avoid remedial placement in college or give advanced placement in college.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43275 replies471 threads Senior Member
    It depends.
    In Texas, college admissions are decided by class rank June Junior year. Senior year course selection is taken into account depending on the major but for a non selective major, a high rank is sufficient. If they're top 10% (or top 6%) they're okay.

    However, it isnt sufficient if students are aiming for UT, a selective major (especially CS, Engineering, Business), Honors college, or an Out of State College.

    Overall, in order to be competitive at selective 4-year colleges, you need
    - 4 years of English, with 1 AP if possible
    - Math through Precalculus Honors or Calculus (honors, AB, BC; Precalculus + AP Stats is okay for Humanities majors but Calculus is prefered, and exected for STEM/Business.)
    - Foreign Language through level 3, 4 or AP
    - Bio, Chem, Physics + 1 AP science (one of these for STEM, APES if Humanities/Social Science)
    - 4 years of History/Social science, including 1 AP if possible
    - an art class
    - other classes that reflect your academic strengths and interests

    That being said, highly selective colleges expect 6-8 APs TOTAL. Taking 6 APs senior year is meaningless wrt college admissions and is likely to cause burn out. So, a senior year with all 5-6 core classes (as presented above) including 3 APs, plus a fun class you've always wanted to take (like Culinary Arts, Current Events, Theater Tech, Shop...) is 100% fine.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10384 replies122 threads Senior Member
    And also beyond just getting into a selective college, keeping up course rigor senior year prepares your for going off to college. Maintaining good study habits is important.
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  • udonlordudonlord 56 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Oddly enough, a lot of people are not only doing it for college applications, but also because they're interested in acquiring knowledge! (Wat??? Crazy, I know)
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2430 replies38 threads Senior Member
    edited June 17
    I disagree that an art class is required to be competitive at selective colleges.

    Any type of creative outlet - art, band, choir, theater, sport, etc. - is useful but not really required.

    I’ll echo the above - some people take classes because they are interested in learning, growing, etc. I would hope that it’s a lot of people. Lifelong learning, curiosity, etc., is correlated with success and happiness IME.
    edited June 17
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83757 replies743 threads Senior Member
    RichInPitt wrote: »
    I disagree that an art class is required to be competitive at selective colleges.

    Any type of creative outlet - art, band, choir, theater, sport, etc. - is useful but not really required.

    Some colleges have art as a requirement for frosh admission (e.g. public universities in California and South Dakota).
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2430 replies38 threads Senior Member
    I don’t see any that specifically require art.

    California - “ Visual and Performing Arts (dance, drama or theater, music, or visual art)”

    South Dakota - for residents only - “ One year of fine arts* ... - art, theatre or music (appreciation, analysis, or performance.) ”
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43275 replies471 threads Senior Member
    Art = visual and performing arts, either appreciation or performance. Generally seen as a sign of intellectual curiosity, an important field of knowledge (which is also part of many colleges' gen eds), one of those classes with "life long" benefits, and required in some states.

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83757 replies743 threads Senior Member
    RichInPitt wrote: »
    I don’t see any that specifically require art.

    California - “ Visual and Performing Arts (dance, drama or theater, music, or visual art)”

    South Dakota - for residents only - “ One year of fine arts* ... - art, theatre or music (appreciation, analysis, or performance.) ”

    As quoted, those specifically do require art (inclusive of performing as well as visual art).
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  • bethrileybethriley 14 replies10 threads Junior Member
    We need a Art credit for graduating in my district. Some Univs do need it as well. I have Choir this upcoming Sophomore year although I cant sing.
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