I’m looking to apply to Harvard for just the fun of it. It would be amazing to get in and I know it’s very far-fetched, but it’s ine of my dream goals. I know they look for AP and IB classes, but if my high school doesn’t offer these, will admission advisors take that into account? I’m also planning on doing advanced dual enrollment classes at a local community college. Will this look as impressive to them as well? I don’t want my chances of getting in to be looked down on just because of my circumstances. Any other advice or recommendations on what i should do are welcome.
If your school doesn't offer AP or IB classes, not taking any won't harm your admission chances. However, going above and beyond by taking advanced dual enrolment classes will definitely help your application, as it shows you're taking initiative to advance your knowledge even without AP and IB classes being offered. Dual enrolment classes at a community college are sometimes favored by students (over AP or IB) because just by taking the class you get college credit, which can help reduce the cost of college in the long run.
As for overall advice or recommendations, there are all sorts of college discussion sites where people talk about how they were accepted and how to be a better applicant. Reading those and seeing how you can follow a similar but still unique path will help you.
Colleges want you to take the most rigorous courses that are available to you at your school. So, if you're school doesn't offer APs or IBs, you won't be penalized for not taking any. Advances Dual Enrollment classes are great, and colleges will be happy that you took your own initiative to find rigorous coursework for yourself.
(P.S. If I may add, you could get even more serious about finding rigorous coursework for yourself, and try to take an AP course online on your own.)
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