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Son got F on AP Calculus Junior year??

firefighter40firefighter40 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
edited August 2009 in Parent Cafe
I have a son who has been a really solid student throughout his HS years. He has a 3.8ish GPA, a 31 on his only ACT attempt. and a class rank in the top 20% of a very big and competitive public HS. He has plenty of EC's with sports and music, and lots of community service too.

He failed his A/P Calculus class his Junior year. Now he has taken many other AP and Honors classes and has all A's and B's on those. For some reason, this teacher had so many kids disconnect and ended up failing. Not making excuses but this was a shocker to all of us. He is taking the class over the 2nd semester of his Senior year because it was a 2nd semester class.

My questions are: How much effect would this have on college admissions? Would it be better to apply later to come schools after his Senior 1st semester grades are in? He has lots of Honors and AP classes Senior year.

His top choices are Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Illinois. We are Illinois residents. I'm new here but what are his chances at these schools? I think ND is gonna be next to impossible. Scholarship chances?
Post edited by firefighter40 on

Replies to: Son got F on AP Calculus Junior year??

  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign won't give someone who failed a class a significant scholarship. His chances of acceptance are very low unless he, the teacher, or the guidance counselor can provide a convincing and meaningful reason for his receiving an F junior year.

    It will hurt him greatly, unfortunately. But because it is an exception, he still has good chances of getting into a solid school.
  • sabaraysabaray Registered User Posts: 6,542 Senior Member
    ND is tough even without an F. I can't speak to the other schools. I would encourage your son to identify the characteristics that make these schools attractive and find other programs that may be less competitive.

    Re: scholarships, merit ones are few and far between and most students with an F on the transcript probably won't be considered unless they cured cancer while failing English, or some such thing. Most schools will offer need-based aid instead of true merit scholarships.

    There's a school for your son for sure. My own son had a less than stellar academic performance record (yes, worse than what you describe) and he made it to college and is even going back this year! What is your son doing for math this fall? Any chance he could take it at a community college or even online? A positive performance there would outweigh the F to a certain degree, I would think.

    Also, make sure of the deadlines for applications: if a school has a rolling admissions policy, it is generally to your benefit to get that application in early. Most schools will want a grade report sent to them after first semester even if you apply early.
  • mominvamominva Registered User Posts: 2,780 Senior Member
    It really depends upon how the school/GC handles this.

    Since this teacher had many kids fail this course, some questions need to be addressed. Was this a new teacher to the course? Is that teacher still in that position? Will that be who teaches your son in senior year?

    Can your son take Calculus as a CC course this fall to show 1) an improved grade in the subject and 2) proactive initiative? before admission decisions are made.
  • firefighter40firefighter40 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    Since the class was the 2nd semester, nobody has it in the fall. He is taking it again in the spring. He is taking AP Statistics this fall, which is supposed to be very difficult. It would be a shame is this prevents him from where he wants to go. One class!! I said it when I went to parent-teacher conferences when I saw dozens of parents waiting to talk to this teacher that something was wrong.
  • sabaraysabaray Registered User Posts: 6,542 Senior Member
    D took AP Stats last fall and the way the teacher approached it was very math based. She was surprised by the exam which was more concepts. What is your son interested in studying?
  • firefighter40firefighter40 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    He wants to be something Science based for Pre-Med.
  • RabbukRabbuk Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    AP stats is not hard at all it's just a ton of memorizing conditions and tests. Is the AP Calc 1 or Calc 1 and 2. Because if its just calc one it might be advantageous to retake both terms and really nail down concepts.
  • BatlloBatllo - Posts: 3,047 Senior Member
    What major is he thinking of declaring?
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Registered User Posts: 4,790 Senior Member
    Was it Calc AB or BC. What did he get on the AP Exam?
  • firefighter40firefighter40 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    I addressed his Majors consideration as being Pre-Med/Science based. It all depends on which school he attends. Obviously his GPA would be higher if not for that big fat F too. He's gonna take the ACT again too. This was only Calc II as the first semester was a stellar C+ in comparison.
  • BatlloBatllo - Posts: 3,047 Senior Member
    Unfortunately, the F in a math will ding him severely if he is going into the hard sciences. Hopefully, he has some research or science awards to help his transcript. Please help him choose his matches and safeties carefully. The F will be hard to neutralize. Best of luck.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,014 Senior Member
    It is a bit late, but why didn't he take a summer course? If it's my kid, I would have him take the course at a local CC or online course this fall.
  • firefighter40firefighter40 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    We checked every CC and HS summer program and nobody had the class. The GC suggested we retake in the spring and now I'm wishing we checked some other avenues.

    I'm hoping he can get defered pending 1st semester grades and then shows some better performance.
  • BatlloBatllo - Posts: 3,047 Senior Member
    Unfortunately, you listened to the GC, who drinks the district Kool-Aid. Your son would have been better served by taking a Calc class at the cc to diffuse the F, can he do it this Fall at a local cc? He will have to take it in the evening or after school.
  • mominvamominva Registered User Posts: 2,780 Senior Member
    Check into online fall offerings too. Check in the Homeschool thread for support there.
    I'm sure your son will find a suitable elective to replace the spring anxiety producing math in his HS homestretch.
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