If success in the college admissions process is important, then your student must choose the right classes.
The high school transcript is almost always the most important document in a student’s application. However, keep in mind that there will rarely be a particular class in a transcript that determines the applicant’s outcome.
While there is no 100% guaranteed future college admissions formula, there are some solid patterns for success.
Here are some tips to guide you:
1. Meet the high school requirements. High schools have a list of required credits that must be taken in order to graduate. Most colleges (online and otherwise) require a high school diploma to enroll in any program that awards bachelor’s degrees.
2. Take a balanced set of classes. Generally, a student should try to take courses each year in English, science, math, social studies, and foreign languages.
3. Choose a smart range of college prep courses. A student does not need to take AP Everything to enter college, but the course choice depends on the selectivity of the colleges they wish to attend. Demanding and challenging honors, accelerated, AP, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Advanced International Education Certificate (AICE) courses make a student more desirable for a school. However, colleges recognize that a student can only take advantage of accelerated courses if their high school provides them. If AP courses or International Baccalaureate programs are not offered at a high school, colleges understand and only expect a student to excel in the opportunities they have access to.
4. Show universities a positive pattern. Colleges like to see a high level (or degree of improvement) of rigor and success throughout the student’s high school years. This includes the last year. Have you heard this famous question: “Is it better to take a course in which I know I can get an ‘A’ or should I take a more difficult course and risk getting a lower grade?” The answer is: “It is better to get an ‘A’ in a more difficult course.” For those who find this answer unacceptable, we recommend that students take the upper course if the student thinks they can get a “B”. Typically, “C” or less means that a student is simply at the wrong level. The key is that students should look for challenges, not avoid them, and succeed in your chosen challenges.
5. Learn about the admissions guidelines for the best colleges. Many universities, especially selective ones, have specific admission requirements for incoming students, for example a foreign language requirement. It is best to research each school individually. Make sure your student meets all the minimum requirements.
6. Pursue intellectual interests. It’s okay to take self-interest courses like film or fashion, just make sure it’s not at the expense of the overall rigor of a schedule. Honesty is very important when a student decides between different courses. Are you choosing theater because of real enthusiasm about it and the challenge it presents, or is the motivation driven by a desire to avoid a different (and perhaps difficult) academic subject?
7. Consider online and dual enrollment options. Are you very interested in physics but your school doesn’t offer Physics C? Now, with the Internet and dual enrollment, students can take almost every class imaginable! Be sure to check with your school before taking an online or dual enrollment class to confirm credit will be accepted.
8. Consult with teachers, a high school counselor, and / or an expert college advisor from International College Counselors on which courses are most appropriate. It may also be necessary to make some tough decisions about what courses to take and how to balance school work and extracurricular activities.
9. Don’t catch Senioritis! Many admissions offices verify the applicant’s program and senior year performance before offering admission. Additionally, schools can rescind an acceptance if a student performed poorly in the past year.
Students who strive to excel through high school, or show a trend of improvement are the kind of colleges for welcome students. Colleges go “the extra mile” to be a good sign that a student will do the same at their school.
For help from an experienced counselor, contact the expert counselors at International College Counselors at Popular course for international student in Australia.