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Doubling up courses/summer courses

AspiringmomAspiringmom Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited January 24 in Ivy League
These are questions for those who are admitted to ivy leagues. Is it true that high school students who double up in courses are more competitive for college acceptances? Is there advantage to doubling up v/s taking the rigorous load ending in APs without doubling up? If doubling up is indeed the best choice, what's the smart way to do it? How to use summer courses in this strategy?

Replies to: Doubling up courses/summer courses

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,175 Super Moderator
    edited January 25
    Course selection is but one very small part of the application package. Many top colleges give suggested HS course plans. Not one, AFAIK, says that doubling up is needed. That said, if the kid plans to major in STEM (and even for most that aren't), getting to calculus as a senior will do no harm, and may require doubling up to get there. But there is no need to double up to jam in every AP science and/or be 2 levels beyond AP Calc, and certainly not at the expense of another core subject.

    FWIW, I did not double up in HS, and used my summers for non-academic pursuits, and it did not hurt me in the admissions process. Of course,that's just a data point of one.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • AspiringmomAspiringmom Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Thank you! That's helpful to know.
  • AspiringmomAspiringmom Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Any other perspectives?
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,175 Super Moderator
    Any other perspectives?
    Blanket statements don't usually help much. They may or may not apply to your kid. So it may be more helpful for you if you tell us why you are asking. Is there a certain academic schedule that your child is trying to decide on?
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,147 Senior Member
    My perspective about this - for the Ivies, which still very much stress a liberal arts curriculum, I think it's more advantageous to have a broader base HS curriculum. They want to see Foreign Language through the highest level, English all 4 years, History 4 years, etc......

    I personally think summers are more useful getting other experiences rather than more classes.

    The exception would be to reach calculus by senior year.

    As long as your child is getting a class in bio, chem, and physics, with 1 or 2 of them at the AP level, that is more than sufficient.

    That said, if you have a student who loves STEM and wants to double up, the top schools are not necessarily going to be Ivies (major dependent) and then it's a different conversation.
  • AspiringmomAspiringmom Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    My child is in end of middle school, so writing here to get a general perspective. I know it may be too early, but I want to be better prepared as a parent to guide her, and not get influenced just by what her peers may be doing. She loves ELA, art and science; and does well in math too. She's not the usual stem or ela kid, although she wants to do a career in science. She is a top student in all subjects, including music and art. My worry is her having to choose to focus on certain subjects in high school just because she has to show passion in a subject area when she applies to colleges. Instead, I want her to feel free to pursue her love for all the subjects she loves and the creative talents and interests she has. That's why started this thread.
  • misty88981misty88981 Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    My daughter is a data point of one, so take this for what it’s worth (which may not be very much). Your daughter sounds a lot like mine was in middle school. She was a well-rounded student who excelled across the board, but was looking at potential math or engineering careers. She led a team that won a statewide science competition in eighth grade, was part of a national award winning science team in seventh grade, and also won art and writing contests.

    Early in high school school she became more humanities focused when she did not enjoy a couple of science and engineering classes she took. The further she went, the more she focused on AP Spanish, AP history, and AP English classes, but still enjoyed AP stats and non-AP science (physics, chem, etc). She did not have an academic spike, in my opinion.

    She also found the things that mattered to her outside of school as far as extracurriculars and volunteering, and committed to those heavily. Nothing she did was designed to pad a resume (frankly, it never occurred to us the Ivy League was a realistic option anyway). She’s currently a student at Harvard. Do I think she was a shoo-in? No. But most of her friends at H also just seem to be very bright, genuine kids who work hard. In my opinion, the concept of needing a spike is overinflated, and kids should never be encouraged to focus on narrow interests in an attempt to create one. Let her follow her varied interests in a way that feels organic to her, and I guarantee she will land in a great school with fabulous students. Ivy or not, she will do great.
  • AspiringmomAspiringmom Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    edited January 29
    Your daughter sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing your validating experience.
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