2 months ago
Admissions Advice

No clue how to even approach college these days

My son is in 9th grade and I have a few questions. He is pretty good at lacrosse and cross country track. Does that help getting into college?

My son is a pretty smart kid. In 9th grade he is taking 2 honor classes, PLTW and computer programming and has a 91 average. Does PLTW has any meaning?

Next year the school wants him to take 3 honor classes, PLTW, and computer programming class. Is that needed? I don’t want him not enjoy his high school with all the pressure of school and sports. They make it hard to be a good athlete and student these days. If you’re not looking at Ivy League schools does it matter much?

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 months ago

Hi there!

His athletic participation is great, and colleges definitely love to see it! If he is at/approaching a higher level within his sports, he may be eligible for scholarships and recruiting, which is great! Even if he's not competing at a level elite enough to qualify him for those opportunities, it still displays that he's a well-rounded and balanced person, which colleges specifically look for. Exercise also extremely beneficial to your physical and mental health, not just your college application, so I'd definitely try to keep it up!

As far as PLTW and Honors classes go, the difference in rigor between academic and honors/PLTW courses is pretty small. The curriculum and workloads are nearly indistinguishable, but honors/PLTW classes have the benefit of boosting your GPA and can better prepare you for AP/DE classes & college! If your son is fine in his current honors classes, continue to take them. PLTW is also considered the same as honors classes - so, same thing! I'd recommend taking as many of these as possible!

If your son is ever feeling overwhelmed and cannot handle his workload - it isn't worth it! I'd say the school's recommended schedule sounds manageable, but if you and your son disagree, don't take that route! It doesn't matter much, especially if you're not aiming for Top-25 schools. It's never ever worth sacrificing your mental health to impress colleges! As someone who's done that, it's detrimental in so many aspects of your life! As you said, enjoy high school! Where you do/don't go to college doesn't determine your success in life, so always prioritize you and your wellbeing! Best of luck! I hope this helps!

2 months ago[edited]

Hello! I will put it very simply, if you are not looking to t25 or Ivy league school, what your son is doing is very good, 91 average means that your son should have around 3.7-4.0 GPA which is good for most school.

But if you are aiming for t25 or ivies, your son should also take some AP classes, even if you are not planning to go to t25 or ivies, it will be good if your son takes about 1-5 AP classes. I am a freshman right now in HS and I am taking AP Human Geography which is on the easier side of AP. AP classes are considered harder than normal classes so trying to start out with easier APs could get you the idea if you are ready for AP or not. AP CSP, AP CSA, AP Human, AP Psy, and APES are considered pretty easy for AP class and it will also help boost your son's gpa since APs generally gives GPA boost of 1.0 (ask your counselor for facts and recommendation).

Other factors are important too, ECs, GPA, Class rank, etc.

I wish you the best of luck! You can ask more questions too if you need them!


from, @_KC_

2 months ago


If he wants to be a recruited athlete, it could increase his chances of getting college scholarships if he intends to continue playing sports in college. PLTW can be taken in various ways depending on his major. Does he want to take honors classes? Ivy Leagues don't matter if you are not looking at them.

I hope the answers were helpful. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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