Hi! I'm in 11th Grade, and I've been thinking a lot about college applications lately. My dream school is the University of Michigan, and I am an in-state student. However, last year, due to the changes in learning that the pandemic brought, I dropped a class. It was an honors math class, and I know for a fact that there are other people in my class who have also dropped the class. I've taken regular math this year, and I've gotten all A's so far with 3 AP classes, so I'm working on recovering my GPA from that class, but I'm worried that I won't get into Michigan because of my dropped class. Can anyone tell me how bad it looks to have a dropped class on my transcript? Is it a major detriment to me if I can explain it away in my personal statement and continue to get good grades, or should I just give up on applying to Michigan and other selective schools? Thanks!
Dropping a class is not as bad as getting a B or a C or lower in the class. It's not ideal but if you are getting all As and showing course rigor with taking your APs and signing up for more APs next year, you should be fine and this "drop" won't be held against you. In college, it's not unusual for students to drop a couple classes during their 4 years there. IMO its better to cut your losses than to struggle and fail if you are not grasping the material and keeping up with the pace of the class.
I don't think you need to use the add'l info section to write about. It's better to just let your upward trend in grades and course rigor speak for themself.
Since you are in-state I would try to find some other classes perhaps some online college courses you can do over the summer to show that you are intellectually curious and are capable of learning outside of classroom at an advanced level. You want to show that you are better than the other in-state applicants vying for your seat.
You shouldn't give up on applying to selective schools. I'm sure that they will understand that people were having a difficult time in the pandemic. The fact that you're taking rigorous courses will help you despite the dropped class. If you want to strengthen your application, you should also join extracurriculars and get a leadership position if you haven't already. With strong extracurriculars, courses, and the pandemic taken into consideration, I'm sure that schools will look over that dropped class.
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