How Many Years of Language are Really Necessary?

For students strictly applying to Florida State Universities where only 2 sequential years of language are required, is it really necessary to continue with year 3 and 4 if other Core classes are taken at the AP or DE level? I have heard from many parents that their kids got in with 2 years, but the college consultants insist on 4 years.

According to the First-Year Admissions section of FSU’s Common Data Set ( ) they recommend 4 years of foreign language (likely because some majors have a foreign language requirement at the college-level, and learning a foreign language is a good skill to have IMO) Does this mean you cannot be admitted with only 2 years? No, but hypothetically, to FSU, with all else equal, the applicant with 4 years of foreign language will be a stronger candidate for admission. There are other schools in the US that require more than 2 years of language, so IMO, would recommend you take at least 3 years of foreign language (or be at the 3rd level of foreign language if taken in middle school) just-in-case.

If you decide not to continue further with foreign language, you have to maximize your course schedule when it comes to your other CORE courses. IMO don’t think of the extra class space as an “free space,” but instead as another opportunity to take a CORE class that relates to your intended major.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

Thank you! My twins are taking all Core AP and Dual Enrollment classes with just a couple of Honors classes between spring of sophomore year and graduation. Would that help if they are not interested in pursing language beyond year 2?

An applicant with 3-4 years of a world language is going to be more competitive than one with only two. It also keeps more doors open in case your student wants to apply to somewhere other than a state college (or transfer later).

Taking a third and fourth year of a world language does not mean one can’t also be taking AP and DE classes. Therefore, no, taking AP and DE in other subjects in lieu of a world language will not make up for lack of that third and fourth year. Often that last year of FL is an AP class anyway. You can get away with two years, but you do so carefully, after much thought, and at your own risk, as doors do start closing on you.

They will only go to FL schools for all 4 years due to cost (family finances) and getting 100% Bright Futures Scholarships only good at FL schools. They will also be taking strictly AP & DE classes regardless if they take language or not. Just wondering if they aren’t language majors, 4 years of language would be necessary. Thanks!

Assuming you are talking about Florida State Universities (UCF, FAU, FGCU, etc.), as you stated, not FSU the school, the vast majority require 2 and have no recommended number. Florida Poly actually recommends 2.

FSU is the only one of the twelve schools that I see that recommends more than 2, recommending 4. 3 or 4 may look better, depending on what might be taken in their place.

I suspect the benefit from additional years would be meaningful at FSU but not as much at the others.

If the student wants to get to a higher level in foreign language more quickly, why not take the foreign language courses at the college, since dual enrollment is available? College foreign language courses cover material faster, so that a semester in college is often equivalent to a year or more in high school. For example, reaching a level equivalent to 3 on the AP exam may take only two or three semesters in college.

Obviously, the college foreign language courses will be more difficult and require more work than the high school ones.

Be sure to check if the colleges in question have foreign language graduation requirements that may be higher than the admission requirements or recommendations. If so, it may be advantageous to reach a higher level while in high school in order to be able to start at a more advanced level in college to complete the requirement in fewer courses in college.

@EduQueen - What has the guidance department at your children’s school said about this? They should have years of data about admission to all of the in-state universities, and will be better able to guide you about your children’s situation than we can.

My kids are both at risk for Covid, so, I had to withdraw them from their HS and they are currently taking FLVS Flex classes online. I have no access to the guidance department any longer. I’m the captain of the ship now… I hope I don’t sink it! :smile: