The "most rigorous" box

<p>Does your school have a policy on what it takes to get this mark by the counselor? I have no idea whether my kids' school does.</p>

<p>Ours did. Taking a lot of AP courses or being IB program would earn you this designation.</p>

<p>But do you know what exact number is needed to attain that designation?</p>

<p>The most rigorous classes are marked with an asterisk on the school profile list of classes and if a student has taken some of those in lieu of the normal college track classes then they are defined as having taken a rigorous load. There is no differentiation between those classes e.g. if a student takes Anatomy and Physiology they get the same courtesy as a kid who takes AP Chemistry. A kid who takes one of the AP math gets the same courtesy regardless of which AP math. There's really no gamemanship. You either challenged yourself or you didn't. You can't because you can disadvantage a kid who took four years of French vs. a kid who was able to take Spanish in middle school (no French in middle school) and fit in a fifth year of Spanish as a senior they both maximized what was available. It's a matter of what is available and what the kids choose.</p>

<p>YDS, even if the application asks the GC to check off one box or another, I think most colleges know. They know the HS and they know what's rigorous. Along with a transcript, the school has a profile, which lists the # of APs, the test scores of the last few years, the # of NMF, etc. Why not find your profile (usually available online) and see what they see. It's often sent in with the GC's recommendation. Then you look at where your children fall.</p>

<p>I have our HS profile, and it lists all the APs, though not the exam scores, but I have no idea whether taking 8, 10 or 12 APs would be enough to get that designation. I'm trying to determine whether some schools have a set policy.</p>

<p>^^ Even the colleges look at a students class choices with regard to what their school offered and the choices a student made given their college interests. No college is going to evaluate the choices a future English major made against choices a future science major made. They will evaluate the choices the future English major made given the classes at the future English major's high school. At an admissions session at UofM earlier this year the admissions rep said point blank the reviewers looking at a future engineering students transcript and scores is going to look close at the math and science and technology classes and math and science ACT scores than they will look at the English classes and the verbal scores. So its not "who has the most check boxes" it is how did the student structure his class choices at that high school given what the admissions department knows about the interests of the student. Clearly liberal arts colleges might take a slightly different look, BFA programs a different look.</p>

<p>Often the colleges have a predetermined number of APs they'd like to see, but that also depends on whether APs are even available or not. A GC once told me (back in 2007) that you couldn't get into an ivy without at least 5 APs. But all this may have changed. </p>

<p>One reason why the profiles may not list scores is because often the students have graduated by the time scores come in. Also, it's one thing to take 10 or 12 APs, but are they all a 4 or 5 score? There are also some who think "just" APs aren't so great either, because they're a predetermined curriculum, established by College Board, and doesn't allow the teacher to teach deeply. Instead, most APs are general overview classes.</p>

<p>If you're really concerned about this, check out what the colleges "like to see", also found online. Or you can call them up. But before you do, I think it's pretty safe to say that 8-12 APs are quite rigorous.</p>

<p>
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YDS, even if the application asks the GC to check off one box or another, I think most colleges know. They know the HS and they know what's rigorous.

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<p>Not so fast. One of my kids' schools knew, but the other? I think my D was the first student ever to apply there from that high school. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Along with a transcript, the school has a profile, which lists the # of APs, the test scores of the last few years, the # of NMF, etc. Why not find your profile (usually available online) and see what they see.

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</p>

<p>Profiles may or may not have that info. Or they may have it in an incomplete manner (for example, X students took Y AP tests, but not giving the distribution of how many got 5/4/3/2/1). Our school's listing of courses included lots of abbreviations that were not readily apparent as to what they stood for. I tried to get it changed, but to no avail. I would not assume that it is simple for a school to look at a school profile and know how many AP's are offered, what a "good" student typically does, etc.</p>

<p>Probably in response to kids/parents upset b/c that "box" wasn't checked, DS' school has a policy of not making ANY judgment as to the rigor of a particular student's courses. You have to just hope they know the school well enough to judge the transcript.</p>

<p>I'm not really concerned about this. I'm just trying to figure out whether high schools out there are transparent about this, or whether GCs kind of wing it or what. Just curious.</p>

<p>I asked the GC this exact question. We offer only 4 APs and due to scheduling, only 3 may be taken. She is a non-exact, non-detail oriented person. They answer was extremely vague and lead me to believe it's a subjective determination, made on an individual case basis, by her. I think that answer should be transparent, objectively determined, and the info made available.</p>

<p>I wish we had a Profile. I fought that losing battle for 5 years and gave up. "They are a waste of time and no one reads them..."</p>

<p>I am amazed that there's no profile for the HS...what do students submit when they apply to college?</p>

<p>^^at our public, we have an even bigger issue.....how can you hold a student responsible for taking the most " rigorous" course load when they don't permit just anyone into either an honors or AP course? The only thing rigorous is the process to be admitted into the class....</p>

<p>We were told over the years that like the above poster, it was a vague subjective issue...a couple of GC's over the years were literally "stalked" by students wanting that designation on their counselor recs.....</p>

<p>In our schools case, it was almost stupid.....tons of kids went to the local private HS over the summer to "jump" math and science levels.....so do you penalize the kids who "worked for pay" over the summer and stayed at just the two year ahead level rather than the three in math....? Well, that's what technically happened. </p>

<p>I totally agree that the colleges should use the profile if it exists to determine if they think the kid took the most rigorous course load.</p>

<p>Seems like they should have an easy to understand policy like this:</p>

<p>Check the "most rigorous box" UNLESS:</p>

<ul>
<li>In English, student will not complete the typical four years of college-prep English courses.</li>
<li>In math, student who is not a year ahead in math will not complete precalculus.</li>
<li>In math, student who is a year ahead in math and intends to study a STEM subject, economics, or business in college will not complete calculus.</li>
<li>In history and social studies, student will not complete the typical college-prep courses as offered by the high school.</li>
<li>In foreign language, student will not complete level ____ or higher or have equivalent proficiency in a foreign language (____ could be three or four, depending on the high school's offerings).</li>
<li>In science, student will not complete all of biology, chemistry, and physics.</li>
<li>The student was recommended for the honors or AP version of a standard college-prep course in the subjects above (by teacher recommendation, previous course performance, and/or placement testing, however, the high school does it), but chose to take the regular version for reasons other than schedule conflict (e.g. two honors or AP courses offered only at the same time, so the student could only take one).</li>
<li>The student has not chosen sufficient additional college-prep electives beyond the above subjects (high school discretion on how many, if any, additional college-prep electives are needed -- probably only one or two at most beyond the above list).</li>
</ul>

<p>Note that peripheral APs like statistics and human geography would only count as "additional college-prep electives" in the above scheme. There should not be an incentive to try to collect a dozen of the peripheral APs.</p>

<p>siliconvalleymom - No Profile is submitted with aps. The overwhelming majority of kids attend cc, state univs or small religious LAC. GC has no idea what to do (and doesn't try) with anyone who wants more than that. Ours is a small rural school; it's not as if colleges know our name and students.</p>

<p>After repeated requests which went nowhere, S1 gathered the info and wrote a school summary/Profile and submitted it with his aps. If a senior can write it in a couple hours, would it be that difficult for them to do so? sigh...</p>

<p>I am always amazed when I hear people say your school profile will definitely have this or that information. I asked our counselor for our school profile and she acted like I was crazy. She showed me the profile she sends to colleges and it was about four sentences long and said nothing at all useful. </p>

<p>I'm just saying, the school profile is not some standardized document.</p>

<p>I think we have an excellent HS profile. We got a new college GC four years ago, and one of the first things she did was redo it. Previously, it had been long on narrative and short on stats. Now, it lists all kinds of great information. While the AP passing rate isn't broken down, it does list the number of tests taken and the overall pass rate. I feel lucky.</p>

<p>Oh, and I flat-out asked the counselor whether she was going to say my son took the most rigorous courseload. She said yes.</p>

<p>Our school has no AP classes. As in zero.</p>

<p>I asked our GC about this and the answer is it's ok not to take all honors and AP sequence at our high school for her to mark most rigorous.</p>