9 months ago
Admissions Advice

What do I do if my school doesn’t offer AP classes?

My school does not offer AP classes and I’ve heard that those are a must for getting into high ranked colleges.

What should I do?

Is it too late since I’m already a Junior?

My school does offer dual enrollment though and I’ve taken, and plan on taking, those classes.


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Accepted Answer
9 months ago

You have other options as I have mentioned to you in other answers to your posted questions.

1.) Self-study your AP courses using guidelines from CollegeBoard and a vast variety of AP books



2.) Enroll in an online accredited high school for the purpose of taking AP Classes.


3.) Enroll in a college that offers AP course such as Johns Hopkins University



4. Enroll in a MOOC like eDx.org where dozens of AP courses are taught by colleges




And alternatively, if you want to show course rigor and intellectual curiosity or vitality, you can take an online college course either directly with your community college, a national university, or a college course portal like Outlier.org. In my brief experience with Outlier.org, I found them to be highly effective, with great teachers and reasonably priced. I earned 6 college credits in Calculus and Psychology and received a transcript from the University of Pittsburgh with my grades. I'm not sure whether Columbia College will accept these credits. The intent was to show that I have a love of learning outside of the classroom and used my summers in a productive way in order to challenge myself with the hardest classes I could find that I was interested in.


Although some people will emphatically state that if your HS offers no AP or IB courses, that you should not be concerned because colleges just care about the context from which you come from. Honestly, I have not heard that from any admissions officers at elite colleges. I've heard that only from online HS students and college consultants. In this hyper-competitive college admissions environment where your target or reach schools might get anywhere from 25% to 100% more applications than previous cycles, I err to side on caution following this advice. Since Ivy's and Elite colleges have fewer available spots and are perhaps admitting more legacies, recruited athletes, development candidates, offspring of employees and feel compelled to admit more first-gen/low-income students for optics, I feel that middle-class kids have to do much more than ever to have a chance of getting admitted to these schools. So what's leftover are 50% of the spots for everyone else. When you factor in that 5% of the spots are automatically going to Top 20 boarding school kids from HADES and 2nd drawer schools and 20-25% of those remaining spots are going to go to perfect GPA, near-perfect SAT/ACT scoring Asian kids, if you are a middle-class non-BIPOC HS student, you are facing an incredible amount of competition. Just my 2 cents.

Good luck with your course rigor.


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