PSEO and Class Rank

<p>Next year I can choose between Honors English or PSEO English. PSEO stands for post secondary enrollment option a.k.a. classes taken through the local community college. PSEO would be more rigorous but it will not receive a weighted grade. It doesn't just not receive a weighted grade but substantially hurts my class rank due to the formula used. It won't do too much harm now but my senior year I planned on taking three PSEO classes instead of regular classes (which would be my only option as I ran out of Honors and AP classes to take). What should I do, should I sacrifice class rank for difficulty or should I do the opposite? What will colleges view more highly? Help!</p>

<p>Are you applying to rank-centric colleges (e.g. Texas public universities)?</p>

<p>Non-remedial college courses are generally looked at as equal or better than high school AP courses from an admissions standpoint, particularly if they cover topics more advanced than what AP courses cover. Attending a true college course can also give you a preview of the general expectations in college courses, where students are expected to be more self motivated and need less hand holding than high school students (even in AP courses covering similar material).</p>

<p>It probably depends to some degree on the college, but most highly selective colleges place equal or greater weight on the rigor of your HS curriculum than on class rank. And as a general matter, I’d say if you’re safely within the top 10% of your class, marginal differences in class rank probably won’t matter much, unless you’re contending for val or sal which could be an added boost to your credentials.</p>

<p>Here’s a sampling of what some highly selective colleges and universities say about the relative weight of rigor of curriculum and class rank in their admissions process:</p>

<p>Both rigor and class rank “very important”: Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Dartmouth, Duke, Northwestern, Georgetown, Williams, Swarthmore, Pomona, Bowdoin, Carleton, Grinnell, Oberlin
Rigor “very important,” class rank “important”: Caltech, Penn, Brown, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Amherst, Haverford, Wesleyan, Vassar
Rigor “very important,” class rank “considered”: Macalester<br>
Rigor “very important,” class rank “not considered”: Michigan
Rigor “important,” class rank “considered”: MIT
Both rigor and class rank “considered”: Harvard</p>