Consequences of not obeying Harvard's "recommendations?"

<p>Hello, I took Spanish 1 in 9th grade and Spanish 2 in 10th grade. I've always wanted to take Latin, but my school doesn't offer it, so I took the closest thing I could find. I do not want to take spanish 3 in 11th and would rather take it in 12th. I don't enjoy Spanish at all. So my 11th and 12th grade schedules respectively will be:</p>

<p>Ap Enviro
Ap Psych
Ap Chem
Ap Eng Lang
Ap Calc B.C
Ap U.S His</p>

<p>Ap Physics C
Ap Physics B(If schedule will allow)
Ap Eng Lit
Ap Macro
Ap U.S Gov
Ap Geo
Span 3</p>

<p>I'm a prospective physics major =P</p>

<p>I tried to find a way to take Span 3 online, but my parents don't want to pay for online classes which can be quite expensive.</p>

<p>Is this fine? Will it hurt my application at all?</p>

<p>Foreign Language:
9th grade- Spanish 1
10th grade- Spanish 2
11th grade- No Foreign Language
12th grade- Spanish 3</p>

<p>yes it will.</p>

<p>It probably won't be the end of the world.</p>

<p>^So it will still hurt me though? =/</p>

<p>It probably won't hurt you that much. As long as the rest of your application is strong, having "only" three years of language will not kill you, or probably even hurt you that much.</p>

<p>Suggestion: don't take AP Physics B and AP Physics C. Take Calc 3 instead. That's much more impressive.</p>

<p>Honestly, worry about other things. If you stand out among the 35000+ applicants for some reason, it won't be because you have or haven't taken the 4th year of Spanish. If you are a special candidate, not having the extra year really won't matter. If you don't have much to offer in the first place, fulfilling everything on the 'recommended preparations' checklist won't help you very much either.</p>

<p>WindCloudUltra, Thanks.</p>

<p>hahalolk, Well, the ap physics B teacher is extremely popular and considered one of the best physics teachers in the city so I would like to take that class. Also, my school does not offer it at it is almost impossible to take community college classes at a high level now because of all the budget cuts. But even if I did get in, their Multivariable Calc classes are from 7-10:30 at night 2-3 times a week. =/</p>

<p>Oh and since this thread is getting some views, instead of making a new thread I'll ask my second quick question here:</p>

<p>Applicant 1:
Lowest Income
Worked 20 hours a week for one semester to assist in income
Questbridge Finalist
Semi-First Gen(Mother no college; Father 1 class at state university/drop out)</p>

<p>Applicant 2:
Hispanic, no other hooks</p>

<p>Would you say applicant 1's hooks are as strong as a URM such as applicant 2? Thank you, you guys are really helpful! :]</p>

<p>^Yes.</p>

<p>And if the physics b teacher is that good, don't take physics c then. It's redundant. Also, I personally think that taking calculus three could help you get in.</p>

<p>^ Well he is really good, but he doesn't teach calculus-based physics which is what I need. He's really good at teaching the theory behind it and such.</p>

<p>Do you think calc 3 will be worth all of the trouble?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Is this fine? Will it hurt my application at all?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Completely fine, IMHO. I'm sure Harvard wouldn't expect anyone to have engineered their schedule based on mere recommendations of the admissions office :) The important part is that you to take a rigorous courseload to keep yourself challenged.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone, does anyone have any additional advice concerning posts number 8 and 10?</p>

<p>In your scenario in post #8, the QBridge finalist is very strong versus guy 2. If you can go through Q Bridge, by all means. It's highly sought after by many top schools. Kind of a "golden ticket" to be frank.</p>

<p>bump thank you</p>

<p>
[quote]
Applicant 1:
Lowest Income
Worked 20 hours a week for one semester to assist in income
Questbridge Finalist
Semi-First Gen(Mother no college; Father 1 class at state university/drop out)</p>

<p>Applicant 2:
Hispanic, no other hooks</p>

<p>Would you say applicant 1's hooks are as strong as a URM such as applicant 2? Thank you, you guys are really helpful! :]

[/quote]
</p>

<p>So you're saying that the Hispanic student is middle- or upper-income and not first-gen? Then applicant 1 is much, much stronger, given that everything else is equal. (Also applicant 1 is definitely first-gen, not "semi," since neither parent has a bachelor's degree.)</p>

<p>In the past few years, Harvard has gotten enough minority applicants that simply being an URM does not confer a huge advantage. What does, however, is adversity: things like being low-income, first-generation, single-parent household, employment to support family, etc. All of these make the student's life harder and thus make their achievements that much more impressive. That's why Harvard et al are increasingly viewing applicants' accomplishments in the context of what they were afforded: a rich student with a very strong profile is expected to have achieved a lot, while a low-income student who faced significant adversity is not expected to achieve much, so when they do, it's impressive. The logic is, if they're able to accomplish that despite all their difficulties, they have perseverance, drive, initiative, intelligence, etc. - qualities that are necessary to succeed in college and beyond.</p>