Do Honors Classes REALLY.. Matter?

<p>Other than at institutions like the UC system, honors courses do not add to the recalculated GPA. Therefore, if we are taking a sufficient amount of APs(3+/yr), does it really matter if we take an honors class if it's not weighted? [at top 25 schools]</p>

<p>Yes, because it shows you have taken the most rigorous curriculum availablentonyou regardless if it raises your GPA. Colleges like to see that you wanted to pursue a challenge</p>

<p>Hm, that's an interesting perspective, but I've read somewhere as long as you take more than 3-4 APs a year, it doesn't really matter whether or not you take more difficult courses.</p>

<p>You might have read that "somewhere", but there are plenty of colleges that actually state in their admissions that they are looking for students who take advantage of the courses offered at their hs. </p>

<p>For example, Vasser states:
The typical candidate has taken a very challenging curriculum at his/her high school, taking full advantage of all that his/her school has to offer. We recommend students take four years of the five main academic core subjects: English, math, foreign language, natural science and history/social science. We seriously consider the quality of the senior year program.</p>

<p>On one of the counselor forms for a sample college the GC will have a choice of Most Demanding, Very Demanding, Demanding, Demanding, Average, Less Demanding. Honors classes, APs, will factor into that decison. Are you taking as many difficult classes as your peers?</p>

<p>Honors classes may or may not not add to a recalculated gpa, but they add to the impression. Adcoms look at transcripts. This especially matters if you are at a less competitive hs.</p>

<p>IMO, you want to avoid the obvious question: why didn't he take it as an honors class? If this is a legit schedule conflict, due to some high level class, think about explaining it somewhere.</p>

<p>For the top 25 schools, one should certainly take predominantly AP or Honors Courses. However, I don't think it will mean that you will be penalized for the occasional non-honors course.</p>

<p>For example -- if your HS offered a non-honors course in digital photography, I seriously doubt that you would hurt your college chances by taking this course if the rest of your schedule was Honors/AP. You should explore your interests in HS.</p>

<p>I have a question regarding this thread:</p>

<p>Here's my senior year schedule:
AP Spanish Lang
AP US Gov/Pol
Physics
AP Eng Lit
AP Calc AB
CTE Print Shop</p>

<p>I tried to get AP Physics, but if I wanted that, I would have to drop print shop and take Advanced Art or Drafting for 3rd period. I chose to stick with regular physics since I preferred print shop over these two (I like designing, but I don't like fine art, and I'm not going into regular engineering). Does taking 4 other APs justify not taking AP Physics? I HATE taking regular-level core classes, but regular Physics is my best bet if I want to take Print Shop and AP Spanish Lang. I really wanted to take it! Some other kids at my school are taking 5 or 6 APs and are taking AP Physics but that's because they're not taking AP Spanish (they're taking AP Human Geo or AP Psych instead, I already took Psych at a comm college). There's only one section of AP Spanish.</p>

<p>I will be the better candidate, right? Since I'm taking 4 yrs of language and a 4th science (even if its not AP). If this was junior year, I would've taken the AP exam at the end of the year. Do you think I can indicate that I'm taking the AP Exam on the common app and other apps if the option is available?</p>

<p>Thanks, and I hope the answer to this will help others as well! :)</p>

<p>P.S. I asked my counselor (she's new :[) if my schedule was very demanding or most demanding, and she said "pretty demanding." I need her to indicate "most demanding" for Stanford, since 4 APs are all that worked with my schedule >:(</p>

<p>Could you make the schedule more demanding by replacing AP Calculus AB with AP Calculus BC?</p>

<p>^ The thing is that my school is brand new, and that my class will be the first to graduate. We still don't have APs such as Enviro Sci, Physics C, or Calc BC. Some people who were ahead were held back because Spanish 4 and Calc AB weren't available last year. Next year they'll have more advanced classes, though, as students have more opportunities to get ahead since there will be all 4 grades. The budget cuts are limiting our potential :(</p>

<p>Well, if your AP Physics is B rather than C, it is more like an honors high school physics course. Not having AP Environmental Science is no big deal, since it is not very useful for credit at universities. But not having AP Calculus BC is an omission of a relatively important AP course. Can you take freshman calculus at a community college?</p>

<p>Math 001 online at my community college is part of a 3-semester course on Calculus, so I don't know. Universities will know take into account that my school doesn't offer the most rigorous courses yet, right? UCB is my number one choice.</p>

<p>What ever happened to regular high school? It's ridiculous that taking a kajillion college-level classes in high school is what is necessary to get into some colleges -_-</p>

<p>boredh12: your strategy is exactly the kind of things that top-25 schools are looking to filter out. They want mature learners, people who are hungry for knowledge and interchange-- not people who are looking to do the minimal while still appearing to achieve. </p>

<p>Unless you avoid not only that action but the underlying philosophy, you should not be surprised if no selective school admits you. Why should they when others who demonstrate extraordinary initiative are clamoring for the few spots? </p>

<p>Good luck to you.</p>

<p>Another galaxy- your classes taken will be viewed in the context of what's offered- and reasonable to fit into your schedule. And, it depends on your proposed major. If you are not STEM, regular physics is fine and AP USGP makes sense. This race isn't about "number of APs." Its about making the right choices, in several respects, including your proposed major, your interests, your willingness to be challenged and what's available. Eg, plenty of STEMs do reg English, H Engl- or regular lang 4. If you are STEM, you might reconsider AP Lit, to get in the most challenging level of science. Or CTE print shop.</p>

<p>anothergalaxy:</p>

<p>So, your dilemma is that you want to take a course CTE Printshop that conflicts with AP Physics. As a layman, I would say you have a good academic reason for not taking the AP Course.</p>

<p>One recommendation -- you specifically mention Stanford as a school you're interested in. If you are not certain, why don't you call the school and speak to an admissions person about this (if you're close, visit). Better still, maybe have a parent call (I'm sure admissions people get MANY of these calls and won't even think twice about it). That way you have an answer and can feel better about taking the classes you want to take.</p>

<p>I was thinking the same thing as the OP. everyone talks about taking APs for a rigorous schedule, it seems like honors doesn't count for much anymore</p>

<p>I sure hope it does... I have been studying all summer to place into algebra two/trig honors :P</p>