25 days ago
Admissions Advice

The provided course at my school

Hello, I'm an international student from a country with a 180° differences with American ones. My school has no AP class, nor IB class. So I only go to a regular class and I have no choice for my course list. My school has a fixed schedule for their student and as a social science student, I learn no STEM subject. Do you think that it will give disadvantage for me and perhaps other international student?

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
25 days ago

Hi! Many colleges in the US (at least the ones that use holistic review), especially the very selective ones, will consider your context and won't penalize you if you really didn't have access to as many opportunities. If you had no choices for your course list, they'll know that (you can also mention it in the additional info section or ask your counselor/teacher recommenders to mention it) and they won't expect you to have any AP's or IB's.

Not having any STEM subjects might put you at a slight disadvantage because some colleges have requirements for how many math subjects you took, how many science subjects, etc. You can try to make up for that by taking standardized tests (SAT/ACT/Subject Tests) and doing well on the STEM sections, by taking online courses just to show that you have still been learning STEM subjects outside school, etc. Still, I would definitely make sure to get in contact with the colleges that you're planning on applying to (email their admissions office) to explain your situation, ask how they would view it and whether it would be disadvantageous to your application, and work with them to make sure you show that you're prepared for college academics.

24 days ago

I'm in a similar position but even as a social science student, did you ever have any STEM classes in any year of high school? Or was there no STEM class for the entire duration of five years

25 days ago

Top colleges mentioned in their websites that they evaluate applications considering each applicant's resources, so they will not compare you with someone who has access to AP class or IB class to make their decision.


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