How "academic" does a transcript have to be?

<p>My D is a 9th grader with the goal of going to art college. She is a good student in English and history, but math and science elude her. (Her last quarter grades were D's in level 1 courses). They are now picking courses/levels for next year. I want her to keep trying in the level 1 courses for math and science. I am willing to get a tutor in science (chemistry next year) to pull her through. She despises science so much she wants to drop down a level. </p>

<p>So my question is....when you apply to art school, how important is it to have had the higher level sciences? If she has all B's would good art schools say that's not competitive enough because she was in some low level classes?</p>

<p>She works hard in the humanities and does well. She works hard in art, and has ability, though it's too early to say what kind of portfolio she will end up with.</p>

<p>I just want her to take her best shot.</p>

<p>There are certain art schools that do not look at grades as a factor as admission , an example of that would be CalArts. Other schools, like CCA, give scholarships based on overall GPA. But the truth is, they mainly look at portfolios. If your daughter wants to drop down a level, let her do so, it'll probably help her in the long run since she seems very stressed.</p>

<p>If she wants to do architecture or industrial design she needs science training. Otherwise it's probably not important. The most important thing is to show passion for whatever things you are into.</p>

<p>This is only slightly related to science, but if your daughter is a technophobe she needs to get over that right now.</p>

<p>It does vary from school to school but most schools have some kind of a minimum standard. RISD for example has a pretty high standard, whereas some other art schools put almost all the weight on the portfolio. You can lookup schools on Collegeboard.com and see what the mean GPAs and SAT/ACTs are just to get an idea. There also are even some art schools that admit 100% (although this is not common).</p>

<p>As far as scholarhsips, some are talent based, some are merit based, and some are combined.</p>

<p>I don't think dropping down a level of science is a major problem, as long as she meets her science requirement.</p>

<p>I second the advice to look at collegeboard.com and some websites of art colleges.</p>

<p>IMO, your daughter is limiting herself by not taking 2 years of a math and science. Does your H.S. offer another science course besides Chemistry? A science course that does not require so much math, may be better for your daughter. Your daughter should have a discussion with her GC, to see if there are any other math or science options.</p>

<p>I learned from my son's and my experiences from visiting, applying to art colleges that writing skills are very important. I would advise your daughter to do as well as she can in her English courses and maybe enter some writing contests. Hopefully, colleges may excuse that your daughter is not a math and science wiz but has talent in the art and writing.</p>

<p>My daughter will take at least three years of science and probably four years of math. The decision right now, for 10th grade, is whether to take chemistry level 2 (the lowest level) or level 1 (the middle level). She wants the lowest level, which requires less math. She will still take biology next year.</p>

<p>Now, I understand what you mean. In our H.S., the lowest level course is for kids who are below average and need extra help. I don't know how colleges view these courses.</p>

<p>However, IMO, in general, a higher GPA trumps a more vigorous courseload, and the grade D looks bad.</p>

<p>My D's talents and aptitudes match your D's: Very strong in English, history, and art but very weak in math and science. Although her goal is also an art college, we know there are LACs and universities out there with excellent art programs, and we wanted to keep that option open for her. Consequently, my wife and I insisted that she take at least 3 years of science and 3 to 4 of math, but...We also understood that taking these courses at the higher levels would be a real strain on her and a serve as drag on her GPA. Our solution was to let her take the science and math classes at the lowest, regular academic level, but haver her take English, History, and Art classes at the AP/IB or advanced levels. (Note: There are four levels in her HS, special ed, academic, advanced, and AP/IB. Academic is the lowest, regular level.) </p>

<p>The results have been very gratifying. My D does well in all her courses (though she still needs tutoring in math to get by), her GPA is very competitive, she's less stressed, she gets to do lots of art in the highest level art courses, and half her schedule is filled with the kind of rigorous courses LACs and universities look for. Basically, it's been win-win all around.</p>

<p>Obviously, I recommend you let your D drop down a level for math and science. But I also suggest that she take classes in her strengths - English and History - at the higher levels, if not the highest her HS offers. It's true that many art colleges do not demand academically rigorous HS schedules, and many admit based more on portfolio than grades, but the better art schools - RISD, MICA, Carnegie-Mellon, etc. - do look at GPA as well as portfolios (and SATs, for that matter). A higher GPA and some higher level courses - especially if she does well in them - would, IMO, be beneficial to her where ever she applies.</p>

<p>amptron2x,</p>

<p>Thanks for the advise. Makes sense. Our school's levels sound pretty similar to yours. Some of the higher-level courses this year are just draining her and for what?</p>

<p>One of the biggest lessons I've had in high school is that science and math classes are not about memorizing formulas and the periodic table. Science and math teach a very specific skill set - one that can be, and in my opinion should be - applied to every aspect of life, including art. </p>

<p>English and history classes are largely teaching analysis and writing skills. Humanities are geared to communicating your ideas. At higher level humanities, it is about the quality of ideas and the quality of writing is mostly taken as standard. So while some people, your daughter for instance, may dispise "science," she should not throw away part of her education in conceptual and analytical thought. Heres why:</p>

<p>Look at art as if it is the humanities. Largely, the "ability" to write/paint effectivly (the effective expression of ideas) is taken as standard. Most trained artists can render well, much the same as most trained writers write well. In both cases, they are presenting /ideas/. The quality of those ideas, however, depends on their ability to think critically and conceptually. Great artists are great thinkers. Not only do they present their ideas well, but they have ideas worth presenting. </p>

<p>I think every high school student should take four years of math, four years of science if possible, and most certainly four years of everything else possible (think depth, not breadth). Subjects teach different ways of thinking - something that is valued in the art world, and for good reason: it's not easy. But it is necessary.</p>

<p>Keep pushing her in math and science, to at least boost her ACT/SAT scores if for nothing else. But otherwise I wouldn't stress too much about it, since art schools seem to be generally forgiving when it comes to math/science. Most of the places I applied to only really cared about the English and Writing portions of the SAT and ACT anyway. A well-rounded education IS important in all aspects of life and art, but I never could see myself applying Calculus in my paintings...</p>

<p>^however, if you were a sculpture major, i'd say calc may come in handy!</p>

<p>From a different thread, stats for MICA and RISD (known to be more academically selective):</p>

<p>MICA:</p>

<p>Freshmen Academic Profile
SAT - Critical Reading Middle 50%: 540-660
SAT - Math Middle 50%: 510-630
TPR Projected Range SAT Writing: 600-690
Average High School GPA: 3.46
Students in top 10% of HS class: 35%
Students in top 50% of HS class: 86%
Students from Public School: 65% </p>

<p>RISD:</p>

<p>SAT - Critical Reading Middle 50%: 530-660
SAT - Math Middle 50%: 550-670
TPR Projected Range SAT Writing: 590-690
Average High School GPA: 3.30
Students in top 10% of HS class: 28%
Students in top 50% of HS class: 91%
Students from Public School: 60%</p>

<p>I meant to say that MICA and RISD are BOTH academically selective.</p>

<p>Keep in mind that that stats mentioned for SATs is the middle 50%, so 25% are above and 25% below. I can tell you that my Ds SATs were all sections in the 500s, so her writing was below that range for MICA (she didn't apply to RISD) and her others were toward the low end. She did get into MICA, with early notification based on her 'accepted' portfolio. </p>

<p>She went to a small independent school that doesn't give GPAs and doesn't rank. Her average was about a B+. Here grades in general were pretty even all 4 years of HS and she never had lower than a B- on any report card. If here school did rank she would not have been in the top 10%, but would have been in the top 50%. She did have 4 years of English, History, math and science, 3 years of foreign language, and 4 years of some kind if 'art' (they had to mix it up with both visual and performing). Her school doesn't offer APs, and has few 'tracked' classes (2 levels of math for each grade was about it, she took the lower 1).</p>

<p>The bottom line is these schools do look at the entire package, not just the numbers, portfolio, etc.</p>

<p>
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^however, if you were a sculpture major, i'd say calc may come in handy!

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</p>

<p>Haha I'll take your word on that; I know nothing about sculpture unfortunately. Or calculus. =P</p>