This is a little premature as we won't know if our son made NMSF until September, but I'm curious about the academic rigor requirement to go from semifinalist to finalist. At his small school in Iowa, S has had limited opportunities to take AP courses so far. We didn't see the point of him taking APUSH and APWH as a sophomore since he is set on a STEM career, and with an already rigorous grading scale that is hard to explain to colleges, we didn't want to risk lowering GPA for that. He tried to take AP Chemistry (I believe) this year, but they didn't have enough students sign up so they canceled the class. He is taking an online college course and has good grades overall. After reading all the comments on here about AP classes, though, I'm wondering if the lack of AP through junior year will hurt his chances of moving from SF to finalist if he makes the cutoff.
, can you advise?