Dear W&M Admissions, I'm freaking out about my transcript!

<p>My senior year is approaching and I've decided to apply to William and Mary early decision. Last night, I was reading this blog: W&M</a> Blogs Admit It! and came across a post that said this:</p>

<p>"While we do not require any specific courses for admission, we do recommend and like to see a math sequence which culminates in calculus, completion of the fourth level of a single foreign language and a science curriculum which includes biology, chemistry and physics. To us, these classes are the benchmarks of a rigorous high school curriculum."</p>

<p>Although I will have taken a good amount of AP classes (7 out of 15 offered at my school,) tons of honors courses, a very risky class in which you make up your own course of study and teach it to yourself for the year (few students take it,) am in the top five percentile of my class, and have stellar SAT scores, I feel concerned reading about those "benchmarks."</p>

<p>I have the math sequence up to AP calculus. That one's good. But I've only taken three years of a foreign language (and most of the other Latin students from my class can say the same: all but two of us did not sign up for Latin IV because the new teacher was absolutely terrible.) Also, I've taken biology and chemistry, but for senior year I chose to take an extension of chemistry over physics, because it interested me more. Chem II is treated like an AP class but does not have an AP label (no AP science classes are offered at my school.) Is any of this going to stop me from being admitted?</p>

<p>I have great ECs that show my passions, several leadership positions, and have been to Summer Residential Governor's School. I'm also submitting a Visual Art supplement and am pretty sure that my essays are going to be the bomb. Should I worry?</p>

<p>Thank you for reading my massive ramble, and sorry if I sounded like an obsessive college applicant!</p>

<p>Nothing by itself will throw your application into the "not admitted" pile... W&M prides itself on looking at your entire application.</p>

<p>Many students will have 4 years of science, and it seems like you only have 3. Many will have physics, and you do not. Many W&M applicants will have 4 or 5 years of a language.</p>

<p>Every applicant has stronger and weaker parts of their application package. It's just reality.</p>

<p>Should you worry? I don't know. Hardly any students can consider W&M a safety school. W&M accepts only 1 out of every 3 applicants. I think you will be competitive.</p>

<p>Thanks, soccerguy.
I will have had four years of a science (freshman year, Earth Science was required.)
I think I'm mostly freaking out because the time to apply is coming so quickly!</p>

<p>soccerguy is right, no one component of the application makes you an automatica admit or deny. However, you can improve your application by taking either Latin IV or physics. If you have one or the other that's a major plus instead of having neither. Could you take physics instead of Chem II or take Latin IV? If you can't take either you can explain that in your application but it sounds like your choosing to take neither rather than being prohibited from taking either.</p>

<p>Again, not having these classes will not make you an automatic deny by any stretch but if you could take one of them that would improve your chances by making your transcript more competitive</p>

<p>When my D went to the summer tour two yrs ago, the fellow explained something about the "admissions baseball" that included calculus and physics and foreign language. We were not concerned because D had finished those benchmarks by end of junior yr., so all good there, but as I read over the forum, I wonder what it is about physics that makes it part of the "baseball" -- difficult class that uses math and abstract concepts? I think that laying out the expectation of a rigorous high school curriculum is excellent, by the way.
And cherry beret: if you complete Latin 4, then I think you will have met W&M foreign language requirement for GER. Sweet!</p>

<p>Thank you so much for all of the input :)
I called my counselor today, and by some miracle the Physics class fit into my schedule, so I'll be taking that next year!</p>

<p>Just a thought on the bright side: with a decent teacher, you actually might find physics useful and practical! Good luck!</p>

<p>mom4college makes a good point - if you don't take 4 years of a language in HS, you will have to take more language classes at W&M.</p>

<p>W&M is one of the schools we visited on our spring break college touring trip (also known as "Let's see how many schools we can tour in different parts of the country in a single week"). Here in California, the UC's only require two years of foreign language, and since my daughter would have had to skip taking AP Physics OR drop down her band class (and additionally we weren't aware of the preference of an out-of-state school for more than 2 years of foreign language), she stopped Spanish after only two years. She wants to take a completely different foreign language in college anyway (she developed a very strong interest in learning Japanese over the last year). During the info session/tour, they discussed the emphasis on more foreign language than she would have. I later explained to someone in the admissions office about my daughter's situation and was told she should note this on her application. She is only a rising senior, so she has not yet applied to W&M, so I cannot tell you if the info we were given is accurate, but I did get the impression they would take her situation into consideration. It did reassure us - and W&M is actually on her list of schools she is interested in (which I definitely wasn't expecting - we primarily toured it to show her what other states' public colleges/universities were like).</p>

<p>We absolutely take scheduling conflicts and any other transcript abnormality that's explained to us into consideration. We do believe that the fourth level of a foreign language is a benchmark of a more challenging curriculum (along with physics and calculus) but it's not required for admission precisely because we don't want to elminate a great student from consideration based solely on the lack of one course. So not having more foreign language doesn't make your student an automatic deny but it may make her transcript a little weaker than other applicants'. However she may be stronger in other areas (ECs, essay, rec letters, standardized testing, etc.)</p>