My son is a junior - an ambitious student with a love of music. He has doubled up on classes from time to time (alternating going to one class and to another on the opposite days) in order to make room in his schedule for all the music ensemble classes that he wants to be involved in. Mind you, he's not "padding" his schedule with easy music classes. He's actually taking all the highest level classes that his school offers, but fitting more classes into the school day so that he can also be in band, choir and orchestra. In fact, if you also include a select choir and symphonic orchestra, which meet outside of the school day, but are still included for credit in his GPA, he actually has 10 classes on his schedule for a 7-period day. This means that five of his classes (50% of his GPA) are unweighted grades, rather than the IB and higher-level classes that make up the rest of his schedule. He's working very hard and doing very well, but his GPA and class rank is lower than his classmates, who take the high level classes and maybe 1 or 2 unweighted electives. How do we convey to competitive schools that he is performing at the top of his class, though circumstances beyond his grades reflect a lower GPA and class rank?