Is a "pass" grade a red flag?

<p>My school district weights grades in favor of AP courses, and I'm taking a summer internship course that is unweighted. If I take an A letter grade, my class rank will be impacted. I can prevent this by taking the course pass/fail.</p>

<p>I would prefer to do that, but I wonder if pass/fail grades in non-core subjects indicate anything bad or have any negative effects WRT admissions. Sorry if this is explained on the web site - I didn't see it.</p>

<p>If I can answer your question with another question:</p>

<p>Why do you care more about class rank than about this summer internship class?</p>

<p>
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Why do you care more about class rank than about this summer internship class?

[/quote]

Wow, that's a friendly response. Good job on blindly assuming that taking the course pass/fail will lead to less effort. I'm virtually guaranteed an A at this point as it is because I've gone way above and beyond the requirements by my own choice.</p>

<p>Anyone with helpful advice?</p>

<p>from what i've heard most colleges don't like pass/fail because they have no way of knowing whether you go above and beyond (like you say you are) or if you just do the minimum work and get a C. of course some classes only have pass/fail but this is a tough decision. i'm not sure what to tell you other than that most colleges would not like a pass/fail if it's not necessary. but would they even know that you could get a letter grade for the internship? they might assume it was like drivers ed, and only offered p/f.</p>

<p>Okay, thanks. I'll think about it.</p>

<p>When MIT admissions says they don't care about class rank, this is exactly the type of scenario they are thinking of. So in MIT's case, the "A" would be better as it demonstrates you actually did well, despite the fact it actually will hurt your class rank.</p>

<p>In terms of other top schools, I don't know what to tell you. But it would be dumb for them to care. You are better off asking an adcomm from a top ivy what they think.</p>

<p>My high school did the same thing, and I took band and choir pass/fail so they wouldn't mess up my class rank. I didn't experience any problems with this in admissions.</p>

<p>You could consider taking the class pass/fail, and having a supplemental recommendation letter written by your internship supervisor -- a great recommendation letter would pretty clearly mitigate any questions that could arise from taking the course pass/fail.</p>

<p>Wow, I meant that as a completely honest question. Trust me, if there's one thing I would never assume, it's that a person on college confidential would ever do anything at less than top effort.</p>

<p>What I meant was, if you cared about this summer internship (cared as in, wanted to get something out of it, and do well, and have other people know that you did well, because the experience was important to you) then why do you care about class rank more than that? Maybe you have a perfectly valid reason, I don't know. The answer to your question fundamentally comes down to which of these things is more important to you and why.</p>

<p>
[quote]
When MIT admissions says they don't care about class rank, this is exactly the type of scenario they are thinking of. So in MIT's case, the "A" would be better as it demonstrates you actually did well, despite the fact it actually will hurt your class rank.</p>

<p>In terms of other top schools, I don't know what to tell you. But it would be dumb for them to care. You are better off asking an adcomm from a top ivy what they think.

[/quote]

I'm mostly concerned about merit scholarships at my top choice state schools. Maybe I can figure out exactly how big the impact would be...

[quote]
You could consider taking the class pass/fail, and having a supplemental recommendation letter written by your internship supervisor -- a great recommendation letter would pretty clearly mitigate any questions that could arise from taking the course pass/fail.

[/quote]

This is an interesting idea. I'm planning on asking for a LoR anyway.

[quote]
What I meant was, if you cared about this summer internship (cared as in, wanted to get something out of it, and do well, and have other people know that you did well, because the experience was important to you) then why do you care about class rank more than that? Maybe you have a perfectly valid reason, I don't know. The answer to your question fundamentally comes down to which of these things is more important to you and why.

[/quote]

I don't really care about having other people know. I would have waived the credit altogether if it were possible, but the school district works in mysterious ways. Sorry if there was a misunderstanding :)</p>