I'm a sophomore and my school is starting course selection in a few weeks. In my school, for English, if we're in an honors course, we can go to the next honors course if we choose to, and the same with AP. However, if we're in an honors program, and want to go to an AP program, we have to have an 85%+ in the class first semester. If not, we get to put on a waitlist and if by the end of the year, we have an 85+ and someone drops out, we can get in. There's also an option to fill out a waiver but it's a complex process.
I currently have an 84 and there's a chance I might not get into AP, which would mean that I would have only 1 AP course in my junior year and either 3 or 4 in my senior year totaling to 5 or 4 AP classes throughout high school. I'm wondering if that will really hurt my chances of getting into a good college.
I checked the chancing calculator but I'm not very sure if it's accurate or not because even for Ivy colleges, it's showing that my workload is average (except for freshmen year during which I was in a different school, this year pretty much all my classes are honors and will continue that way the rest of the high school).
The colleges I'm especially interested in are the University of San Diego, the University of Denver, and Penn State. Wondering if someone could please provide any insight on this.
As others have said, colleges put your course rigor in context. What they care about the most is not that you take a certain number of APs, but rather, that you take the most challenging course load available to you at your school. This could mean only honors classes or a full load of APs starting freshman year.
Since others at your school are probably in your situation due to the grade requirement to take AP classes, 4-5 AP classes is likely average for your high school. Regardless of circumstances, 5 APs would be a solid number for most of the Top 50 schools - including the ones you are most interested in. The average accepted applicant to Harvard takes 8 APs, which is not drastically different from 5.
If you do end up taking less APs than you would like, I recommend explaining the situation in your Additional Information section. Taking dual enrollment classes would be another way to boost your rigor if your school allows for it. In any case, you should still apply to the schools you listed along with a few reaches.
Hope this helps!
It usually depends on your HS's typical AP load and AP total allowance, but you are most likely competitive for those schools with 4 AP classes.
I know it may sound weird, but for Penn State, the chancing simulator considers anything up to 18 AP classes as about average (not sure why). The chancing simulator cannot take into account the context of your high school (meaning how many AP classes are offered and how you get into an AP class). I wouldn't depend on the chasing simulator for considering course rigor.
Hope this helps!
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