2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Can I still get into good schools without a lot of AP classes?

Hi! So I'm a high school junior, and I want to attend UIUC to major in Chemical Engineering. I know that their engineering school is highly prestigious and ranked though, and I haven't taken many AP classes as I could have. This year, I only took AP Chem and no other AP classes, because I heard that it was a really hard class, and COVID messed up my school's course selection process and I didn't get a lot of time to properly choose classes. I know that colleges look at junior year the most though, and while I signed up for 3 APs for next year (Calc BC, Physics 1, Macro) and signed up for 2 community college summer classes (Microbiology and Comp Sci I), and signed up for a dual credit class in Stats for next year as well, I'm worried this won't be able to fix my lack of APs for this year, especially since most of my peers took multiple AP classes this year. Can I still get into good engineering programs with this academic coursework? Do I have to change my focus to still get into good schools? Thanks!


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hi @nikg231!

Colleges usually evaluate your course rigor by comparing it to what's available at your school. If your school didn't offer a ton of AP courses, especially ones related to engineering, then you won't be penalized that much. In fact, I think the community college credits and dual courses will show some initiative to colleges (even if they don't look quite as good as APs).

4 APs total is a good number and should be enough to get you into UIUC. However, I would check our Chancing Engine (link in sidebar) to get a more complete look at your chances. It will have all of our data on how many AP courses the average UIUC admit has, and it will be able to provide a fuller picture by including things like grades, test scores, and extracurriculars.

Lastly, if most people in your class have fewer APs due to the scheduling issues you describe, it might be worth finding a way to mention that in your essays so colleges have better context.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions.

2 years ago

Colleges do use your junior year for most of their admissions, but they will still take into account your class choices for the next year. If they see your senior year schedule is rigorous and requires you to participate at a high level or meet tough pre-requisites then it will certainly help your chances.

At the end of the day, if you do poorly in those classes they can revoke their acceptance. From what you wrote, your senior year courses are difficult and you're going to do plenty of extracurriculars, so you'll probably be fine.

Although if you're trying to cram for your senior year to get into college, they'll know.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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