No math senior year: would that have a negative impact on application to top schools?

<p>DS, a junior, has exhausted the math classes offered in his high school. He is now taking Multivariable Calculus with Differential Equations and that is all that the hs offers. So for his senior year, he would have to either take a distance-learning class or go to the local community college. He is not interested in going to the CC (doesn't drive yet) and would only take the math distance-learning class if it made a major difference in his college application. Math comes easily to DS, but he doesn't particularly like it. He would much rather take one of the other options the hs offers, for ex. AP Environmental Sciences or some other honors class that he finds more interesting at this point. He is a very competitive student who needs to make the most of his application since his family is already paying full tuition for his older sibling in an expensive school. I feel that my son shouldn't be "forced" to take a class just to look even better in his application and, considering all the expenses with education that we are going through, am resenting having to spend another thousand at this point. So my question to you is: do you think that not taking math in his senior year would have a negative impact in his application?</p>

<p>If that's his math level, and he'll have a full schedule of challenging classes, and his school offers no more, this is nothing to worry about. He should participate in some extracurricular activity meaningful to him, possibly including a math league or a science fair project related to math.</p>

<p>MV Calc is waaaaay beyond what 99% of college applicants take, so he's fine. But, might I suggest AP Stats, which should be easy for him, but keep the analytical math brain working?</p>

<p>Given that he has already taken a post-calculus course, I think he's absolutely fine not taking math as a senior.</p>

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He is now taking Multivariable Calculus with Differential Equations and that is all that the hs offers.


<p>He's way ahead of the curve if that's what he's taking now. Just be sure he keeps on taking a full schedule with challenging classes and I don't think it would ever be a problem.</p>

<p>My daughter took no math her senior year after taking BC Calculus as a junior, despite the fact that her high school offered two math courses she could have taken as a senior -- AP Statistics or multivariable calculus/differential equations. She did have a challenging courseload in her senior year, though (all the courses she needed to complete the IB diploma plus one extra AP course).</p>

<p>Cornell University didn't seem to mind her lack of senior year math. They accepted her ED.</p>

<p>Your son has more math than my daughter did and no convenient opportunity to take more. I think the lack of senior year math will count against him even less than it might have counted against my daughter.</p>

<p>Bluebayou, </p>

<p>DS took statistics in grade 10, got a 5 in the AP exam. :-)</p>

<p>I also think he will be fine if he would like to substitute another challenging class and not take an online math course. My S had finished AP French by 10th grade and never took another foreign language class. He substituted challenging classes in areas of more interest. I did ask admissions officers at VERY selective colleges whether it would hurt him and with only one exception, each one told me that it would make no difference in the process, as long as he wasn't taking "basketweaving."</p>

<p>I am going to buck the trend here.</p>

<p>Do you know what schools he is interested in attending? Check their admissions web sites. If they state "4 years of HS math" call the ad office and inquire about your son's situation. </p>

<p>The reason for this suggestion is that our State Flagship (very well respected) is pretty rigid about this. Could be because of the numbers of applicants they need to screen.</p>

<p>Any way, I think that some specific research is in order before you take our advice!</p>


<p>good point. </p>

<p>fwiw: The UCs specifically state classes taken in middle school (such as math or foreign lang) count for admissions purposes. And, they state that single variate Calculus = Year 5 of math and AP Lang for admission purposes, even if taken as a Frosh.</p>

<p>Yes, the general pattern is that "four years of high school math" really means in practice, "math through precalculus." As the MAA link I posted above indicates, students who finish AP calculus BC before senior year number in the thousands, and thus colleges are used to students who have done that much math by that age. How many of those students take yet another math class in senior year is unknown to me--but I am part of an MAA special interest group that is trying to find out.</p>

<p>My S is taking Calc AB as a sophomore. He's not terribly fond of math (prefers music and humanities) but has to take more credits to graduate. I'm encouraging him to look at the Philosophy department at nearby State U for next year. Some of the philosophy courses are at the interface of math and verbal skills and might (I hope!) strike a real spark of interest: Intro. to Formal Logic, and Methods of Reasoning for starters. Anyone else try college philosophy courses as an alternative to a straight math-major progression?</p>

<p>I don't think your son's situation would have any impact at all, as long as he explains (or asks his GC to explain) on the college apps that he has exhausted all math options at the high school.</p>

<p>Waiting, my son and I nearly came to blows over his senior year courses, but did what he wanted and it didn't hurt him at all. Long story short -- he didn't take math OR science, concentrated on his areas of interest (art, creative writing, religion) and was accepted ED to a highly selective college.</p>

<p>My S didn't take any math classes his junior year and was accepted ED to Princeton as a math major.</p>

<p>I hope that Waitingfor2013 doesn't mind me piggybacking onto this thread, but I have a <em>somewhat</em> similar question relating to my daughter: </p>

<p>She's currently a HS sophomore, planning to take Pre-Calculus for next year. According to her high school transcript, she already has completed 2 units of Math from her freshman HS year, as she took Geometry, as well as a computer programming class each semester last year, which her high school classifies as a Math course. With Algebra II this year and Pre-Calc. next year, she will have four completed math class units, according to her High School transcript. With those four units completed, she would prefer, if at all possible, not to take any math class (her only options would be Calculus or AP Statistics). This is because math is probably her weakest subject. She's doing okay now, but math is currently her only non-honors level class, and she's concerned that by the time she gets to Calculus in her senior year, it would start to be a enough of a struggle for her that it would adversely impact her gpa. Furthermore, she has no interest whatsoever in the subject of math(or any other related subjects)--she intends to study English Literature and/or Creative Writing in college. If she has to take any math class at all in college, it would be just to satisfy a distribution requirement, if necessary. For what it's worth, she has maintained a very challenging courseload(other than her current math class and the Pre-Calc) and plans to continue doing so throughout high school: The academic courses that she's planning on taking(once again, aside from Math)are either Honors or AP level.</p>

<p>Now here's my question: Even though she'll have four completed math units(technically, 3 math classes plus the computer programming classes), per her high school, by the time she graduates, maintains a challenging courseload through her senior year, and is planning to major in English, could her lack of a math class senior year harm her chances of college admissions?</p>

<p>Thank you--I'm sorry for the long post.</p>

<p>Momonthehill, I think she really should take a senior year math class. Her math progression is pretty standard ... so the advice given to those whose kids have taken higher level math by your D's age would not apply for you. The advice selective schools gave us at every single info session was to take calc in high school.</p>

<p>If your D is not looking at selective schools, I would suggest emailing the admissions reps at the schools she is interested in. Explain the situation & get a response in writing. CYA is always a good thing.</p>

<p>My S2 is a senior not taking math. Like your D, he completed his 4 units as a jr. by taking 2 units of math as a freshman. Since math is his weakest subject ,he was at the end of the road as far as our high sch. offerings go. He had not taken honors math so hit the wall as all the higher offerings left required an honors math pre-req. He is an average student ( 2 AP's plus a mix of honors and reg. classes) in the top third of his class of 500. He has been accepted at two of our state u's and will attend one of them (his first choice) next fall. </p>

<p>I will say that these are not "flagship" type state u's which would have required the extra math(S1 attends one of those. He took math thru AP Calc. AB and Stats).</p>

<p>So I would say it depends on what type of college your D hopes to attend.<br>
If she is happy to go to a less competitive sch. like my S2 , the math shouldn't be a prob. but if she wants a more competitive sch., she may need it.</p>

<p>The kids at my daughter's HS who finish all math levels (Calc BC is the highest) are allowed to do an independant study higher level math; does that work for you?</p>