Parents of HS Class of 2024 3.0-3.4 GPA

D24 enrolled yesterday evening in the Modern States’ course “Analyzing & Interpreting Literature.” Comprised of 6 modules with ~ 6 hr per module. Taught by a professor from Tufts University. She’ll start going through the lecture modules tomorrow. Goal is for her to complete it in early August since school starts on 8/3. The class will give her elective credit @ UofA, English class credit @ UNM, credit for 2 english classes @ NMSU, etc.

When the school year begins, she’ll enroll in the other following Modern States classes online and is going to use them an a supplement to prepping for the AP exams…but will also take the corresponding CLEP exam for those courses when the time comes. Sort of hedging our bets in order to save some time and money in college.

  • Calculus
  • French Language
  • History of the US: Early Colonization-1877
  • History of the US: 1877-present

At some point during end of 11th grade to end of 12th grade, she’ll also take College Composition.

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If your child wants hot weather (100+ degrees for many days) Las Cruces [NMSU] is a good match…Albuquerque [UNM] is cooler, hitting 100 maybe a couple times a year. And the only Research I University in the state.

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Hope everyone is doing well. We’ve already started to buy school supplies for this next school year…one of the local districts started back this week! …which I think is nuts but it means that all the school stuff is on sale at Walmart. And if I wait 2 weeks when OUR school starts back, everything will be picked over.

Making tentative plans to spend spring break on a college tour road trip through NM and parts of TX. Will probably also do a quick trip just me and D24 to tour Centre College in KY some time during the school year. YDD and DH will stay home for that so we can keep the travel costs down.

Crazy- I feel like we only;y just got out (6/23). S24 and D26 don’t go back until 9/6!! By then there will be no school supplies left and everything is on sale right now. I told them both to go ahead and grab the basics at least.

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My D24 is starting to freak out about her schedule for next year. I mentioned up thread that she surprised us all at her scheduling appointment by indicating she wanted to take AP chem. Recently, she has started to express nervousness about taking that along with Physics and Pre-Calc at the same time and said she wanted to drop it and take it senior year, instead. We tried to talk with her about it last night, but it didn’t go well. My H feels that while we shouldn’t make her take it, we should freely express why we think she should. Long story short, there were lots of tears (hers, LOL) and in the end we told her it was her decision, but gave the reasons why we thought she should stick with it and she agreed to do so.

Today I’m feeling conflicted. On the one hand, she’s a super bright kid who has never really had to work hard to achieve anything, so I think the experience could be a good one. My H argues that while she is great at many things, she also has a history of immediately dropping/avoiding things that she doesn’t think she will excel at. On the other hand, she’s had some depression issues over past couple of years, and I am so nervous about doing anything to add to her stress level. I am really not the tiger parent type, but have tried to be involved and offer guidance where I think it can help.

Happy to hear any/all opinions on the subject.

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Does your D’s school have a drop period so she knows she can move down to honors or CP chem if the AP is too stressful?

I believe there is merit to a student challenging oneself and struggling a bit while still at home with parental support rather than waiting to experience that for the first time in college. However, the student should not feel a failure if they decide that an AP is too much.

It sounds like you have a solid relationship with your D and will make sure she knows she has your support no matter her decision. Our D dropped an AP sophomore year because she was going through a challenging time outside of school and did not feel the teacher was a good fit. We felt her mental health was more important than pushing for more academic rigor.

She can drop within the first 4 weeks, I think. She would not be moving down, as she’s already taken chem - this is an elective for her.

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Gotcha. How does she feel about giving it a try and challenging herself (for the reasons you mentioned)?

Does she want to study STEM in college? Is that the reason for an AP chem elective?

I think that’s where we’ve landed (give it a try and challenge yourself), just not sure if she’s only doing it to keep us happy or what…:woman_shrugging:

The reason she chose it in the first place is that she loved her chemistry class, it was really the first academic topic in her entire school career that she really enjoyed and was interested in. So at her scheduling meeting, she asked her counselor if there were any other chem courses she could take…and the rest is history. At the time, we talked about how it would be a heavy course load with physics and pre-calc in the same year, but she seemed confident about it. The freak out started a few weeks ago…not sure if it is generalized anxiety and this is a convenient target to fixate on, or if it’s a valid concern.

It’s so difficult finding that right balance as a parent. You aren’t alone!

As long as she knows she has the drop period fallback and your support, I hope she’ll try it. There are so many stories of kids who are not really challenged until college, and it’s not possible to provide the same level of parental support then. If it were my kid in this circumstance with a subject she loves, I’d do exactly as you have. I may also have a conversation with the teacher and/or class counselor to have an extra set of eyes out for any mental health struggles. (We did that my D’s sophomore year.)

Hugs to you and your kiddo. And yay for women in STEM! (Chem was also my D’s fave subject in high school.)


I’ve shared this on the 2023 3.0-3.4 thread

D22 dropped out of all of her honors classes after 9th grade (our high school starts in 8th, so it’s hard to say after freshman year). While I didn’t agree with her decision at that time, I can tell you how her situation played out.

She really wasn’t stressed through high school while her honors classmates were. She felt like the kids in the honors classes were always “fighting for airtime” and that’s just not her. She would go for help and be shut out by the kids that were there because they got a 95% rather than 100%, while she really needed the help but wasn’t about to fight for the teacher’s time. Over time, she had a friend group shift. She just couldn’t put up with the drama of crying over grades. She felt like it was their identity and even if their grades were good, they needed the attention of crying about their stress.

As a mom, I’m not sure how I feel about the friends switch. These were kids I really liked, but once I scratched the surface, they were a mess emotionally. Not a huge fan of the new BFF, but the new group is much more down to earth in terms of not basing their lives on their high school GPA. (We’ve always told our kids not to peek in high school). All of her new friends work, as does she. She will be majoring in the field she currently works in (early childhood education) and took classes in high school to come out with a certification. She was also able to take a few more electives and she found a passion for graphic design which allowed her to get a great on campus job in the graphic design department. These are things she probably would not have done (or managed well) with an honors/AP load.

Was my daughter challenged in her non-honors classes? Not really. But I also can’t say if she learned any less than she would have in the honors classes. She didn’t even attempt APs and I’m okay with that as philosophically I’m not a big fan (but that’s another story for another day).

As for what colleges want, it is true that they want to see that you’ve challenged yourself. But if her GPA is really 3.0-3.4 not having AP classes will not keep her from being admitted to most of the colleges that will be matches for her. If she wants to try to get her GPA up, has good test scores and has great EC, perhaps she can change what schools are matches, but that’s a heavy ask for junior year. I’m assuming you are here to hear about all the great colleges kids can go to without having a 4.0 and 1500 SATs. Not only are there great schools out there, but they could very well be the best fit for your daughter regardless of stats.

As for college acceptances, my daughter was a one and done. She knew exactly where she wanted to go. She chose a small state school with a great program in early education. The entire process was stress free. Already having a lot of experience in the field made her very confident in her choice of a major and also allowed her to really evaluate different programs. I am in the field and really wanted her to visit multiple schools, but once I saw the program at the school she picked, I realized that nothing was going to beat it.

Meanwhile, the kids that stressed about grades all through high school basically ended up going to many of the same schools mentioned in this thread. Either because they are great schools or because they were too emotionally damaged to attempt going somewhere where they might not get the grades they wanted.

While I didn’t support D22’s decision when she made it, I now realize it was the best decision for her and worked out just fine. While she hated high school she is very excited to be going off to college and we feel confident that she has the “real world” skills she needs.


This is a tough one. I’m comparing this in my head to a similar situation we had last year w/D24. What I think DH & I would probably do is sit down with the kid and walk her through the thought process of weighing the pro’s and cons of this decision.

Some people are visual learners, so write it down the pros & cons if that helps, too. I know that it helps my D24 understand it better if she can see it in front of her. Also, explain how going through this thought process of weighing the pros and cons of a decision like this is something that she’s going to do MANY times in the future.

For DH & I over the years, writing down the pros & cons in a list helps us make a more informed, balanced decision instead of making an emotional decision.

What other stuff does she have in her class schedule for this upcoming school year? That might help sway some of the decision-making, too. If it were my kid taking AP Chem, I’d probably also purchase an AP Chem study book off of Amazon or Barnes & Noble and have her use that as a study guide throughout the school year.

Similar decision we went through last school year:
At the end of last school year, D24 had to submit what electives & science classes she wanted for 11th grade. Her school requires her to take honors physics before graduation, so she was definitely taking that in 11th grade. Her school also usually requires students to take as an AP science, whatever science they took as honors in 10th grade.

In this case, she had honors chemistry in 10th grade. But the teacher was pretty horrible…For example, many quizzes & tests on stuff that was never covered in class OR in the book, very snarky & passive-aggressive, plays favorites with a couple of students in the class but treats everybody else in the class like they’re stupid. And that same teacher is teaching AP chemistry. D24 really had to struggle and work hard just to get a B. I had a couple of email exchanges with the teacher last year and she’s snarky & rude. During the end-of-school year anonymous online parent survey, the school has you rate each of your kids’ teachers. I rated the teacher appropriately given the train wreck of instruction in that subject. D24 learned that this teacher had previously taught at a couple of colleges…she & classmates looked her up on Rate My Professor and literally ALL of this teacher’s ratings on that site were downright horrible…many college students reporting all the same nonsense that she was doing in D24’s class.

Guess what? Almost NONE of the kids who took honors chem last year signed up for AP chem for this coming school year. Would D24 taking AP chem have been a good idea, since she wants to be pre-med in college? Yes. But she’s also not one of those students who can just show up to class and get an A without even trying.

…AND D24 is already taking a lot of other AP’s next year anyway…AP Calculus AB being 1 of them…a class which she’s going to have to work hard at. Add in Honors Physics to that (more math-based homework), and I think that our collective decision for her to not take AP Chem is a solid one.

So by the time D24 starts college, then, it will have been 2 years since she’d taken honors chemistry. She’s going to use the Modern States’ chemistry class online (it’s lecture only, and you go at your own pace) as a refresher before she starts freshman year at college.

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Hello all, have enjoyed following this thread and the other 3.0-3.4 threads, and have already gotten a lot of ideas. Hope it’s OK if I post here, I have twin daughters in class of '24. I’m widowed so it’s just the 3 of us embarking on this crazy college journey!

D#1 is a little above this GPA range right now with a 3.67 U at a Catholic high school, but tackling her first 2 AP classes this year (APUSH and AP Bio) so we’ll see how that holds up. She’s mildly on the autism spectrum and is not a great test taker, has accommodations for testing. Scored a 1070 on PSAT last year, 20 at the beginning of the summer on a practice ACT, has been in ACT tutoring this summer and will take on Sept. 10. So we’ll see where that lands but I’m guessing she will end up being a TO applicant. Likely a history or poli sci major, very involved in theater and chorus for EC’s. We are looking mostly at SLACs for her, I think she will be happiest in a smaller (hopefully more nurturing) environment. She says she wants to stay close to home.

This summer she did a week long vocal camp at Stetson University (my hometown) and another week long Civil War history camp at Gettysburg College… had a great time at both. We also did official tours at Mount St. Mary’s, Gettysburg, Bucknell, and Hillsdale. Hillsdale is a big reach for her, but I wanted us to be able to see it. I loved it but she thinks it’s too far away, doesn’t want to get on a plane to come home. Similar reaction to Stetson, even though she had a great time at the camp and we have tons of family in that area and go down 3 or 4 times a year… but it’s still not “home.”

Gettysburg is now top of her list, we had an awesome tour guide, interested enough to sign up for the camp, and she came back sounding like a Gettysburg AO quoting me all these stats about employment, study abroad programs, and raving about the food, LOL. So she was very comfortable there and it’s only an hour and a half away. I liked it a lot too, and it seems like a reasonable target for her assuming her grades stay up, but I don’t know how much of a hit she would take for going test optional? She also liked Mount St. Mary’s, so feel happy that we already have a good safety lined up for her. She liked Bucknell but that is definitely reachier.

Thinking of adding to the list: GMU, St. Joseph’s University, Clemson (probably too far away for her but want to at least show her one big southern public as an FSU alum myself), Lehigh, Washington & Jefferson, and Villanova (reach). However, so far it seems that she is one of those kids who kind of likes everything she’s seen so far, and she is also one who has a very hard time making a decision, so kind of wary of putting too many options in the mix. How many is too many do we think? I’ve put open houses for Villanova and St. Joe’s on my fall calendar, maybe will go.

D#2 is much more significantly on the autism spectrum and has struggled in school the last 2 years. She is an artist. For her, I’m looking at a couple of very small colleges specifically for students with LD’s… haven’t ever seen anything on CC regarding these places. We visited Beacon College in Leesburg, FL while we were there for Easter, and really liked it. Only about 400 students and maybe 7 possible majors, with every possible kind of support built in everywhere. They have a 3 week summer program for HS students that allows them to evaluate each student’s readiness, and if they do well in that program the summer between junior and senior year, they will be offered automatic admission to the college. We applied for this year too late, they ran out of space, and she was waitlisted, but the waitlist is offered auto admission to the summer program for next year. So she will likely do that next summer and I will have my fingers and toes crossed for 3 weeks! Other similar college is Landmark in VT. I will take her to visit sometime this year, but would much prefer for her to be in FL of those two options… close to my family. I don’t think she will be anywhere near the stats needed to get into and handle a smaller regular college with a specific autism support program (for example, Marshall U in WV), but I have a list of those just in case she surprises us this year.


Just wanted to say welcome to the group!


I have a S23 with a 3.34 and a D25 with a 3.1. I follow this page to get college ideas.

My S23 may consider Stetson for music. How did she like the vocal camp?

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Welcome! If you haven’t seen this thread, you might find it helpful: We need a short list of colleges that have programs similar to Marshall's College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Well, we had much eye rolling and gnashing of teeth this morning w/D24. :rofl: Made her do an hour of driving practice, including freeway driving. She still has her learner’s permit. Still needs a lot of extra practice. :slight_smile:

I also told her that when college visits start at her high school this fall, she needs to attend the session for U of A and a session for 1 LAC. There was a lot of dramatic teenage sighing going on. Haha!

D24 isn’t taking the SAT later this month. I think we’ll have her take it on 11/5.

It appears that our state (AZ) requires 11th graders to take the ACT, so that apparently will be in the latter half of March. Historically, D24 hasn’t been the greatest at taking standardized tests. She did great on her 3 AP exams (2 3’s and one 4), but on stuff like the PSAT and previous annual state-mandated testing, she usually just does ok.

D24 has totally ruled out attending ASU, adamantly doesn’t want to go there. She’s also not interested in attending NAU…“too cold and too high up” (~7000 ft elevation). Some time this fall, I plan to take her out of school for a day to go spend the day at U of A.

At the moment, at least, U of A is still test optional. I also think that the 3 LACs we’re considering are still test optional. Southwestern University, for example, has you submit a copy of an essay from your 11th grade English class if you apply test optional.

A lot of the “Colleges That Change Lives” schools are going to be in AZ later this month for a college fair, so we’re going to go, get some info, ask some questions.

D24 is still waiting for the background check process to complete at the hospital she’s applied to volunteer at.

D24 said there’s a total of 5 kids in her AP Music Theory class.


S24 has an official Driver’s License! Took test yesterday morning and was out and about with friends about 45 mins after getting home from DMV. Actually got excellent photo, pleasantly shocked.

Tentative schedules were just released and both S24’s and D23’s are correct and complete. Now we just finish up back to school shopping and (fingers crossed) D23’s common app essay.

S24 did very well on PSAT 10 but still planning to apply test optional, with no plans to take any SAT tests except the ones mandated by the state. He hates standardized tests and we told him it doesn’t matter if he submits or not - that is the beauty of test optional.

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Welcome. My good friend has a daughter with Autism who graduated from Lesley University (in Cambridge MA). Here is info about the services they can provide for students with learning differences:


Welcome @24NoVAMom!

@sbinaz, congrats to D24! It’s an exciting time. In MA, newly licensed drivers can’t drive with friends for 6 months. It’s a good law to have but I see kids breaking it way too often :grimacing:

We toured 2 schools this summer, UNH and Sacred Heart University. S24 enjoyed them both. After our tour at UNH, they sent a thank you note that included a sticker and he put it right on his water bottle, and he’s been wearing his shirt often. Then we toured SHU, a smaller school, established in 1963, so everything is more modern and up to date. Many emotions and I think he would be happy to go there. I asked him to respond to their survey and to think of a question to email the admission counselor, and he didn’t complain…except when I gave him suggestions. We will tour some more local schools to us in the fall and go from there.

All in all, it’s exciting yet I am not ready for this chapter. Enjoy the last weeks of summer!