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09/07/2019

Schools are cutting honors courses, how are colleges going to react?

QUESTION
Schools are cutting honors courses, how are colleges going to react?
In my district and elsewhere schools are getting rid of honors courses because of budget cuts, leaving only regular courses and AP, IB and AICE courses to students. Considering colleges want to see that students are taking challenging classes, how is this change going to affect them? Students who are well-adapted for honors courses but not so much for AP courses are going to be stuck in regular classes which means lowering their class rank and GPA because those courses aren’t weighted. What I’m saying is since honors classes, which are challenging but not in the degree of college-level AP courses, aren’t going to be available, are colleges going to regard that when it comes to admissions? I know they really favor AP courses, but those courses can be really too difficult for students, so regular classes are the only options available.

ANSWER
Are you a student? You write very well and you have obviously given this a lot of critical consideration, which tells me that you SHOULD be in AP classes. Even if you don’t do a knock-out job, you should challenge yourself with at least one AP class in your junior year and one in your senior year. Colleges want to see that you’ve stepped up to some challenges.

And in your admissions essays, you can write about this experience — about how you wanted to challenge yourself, but were unable to find a balance between regular and AP, given your district’s budget cuts. You took a course of study that involved a few AP classes to demonstrate your drive and interests, but wished that you could have taken a full courseload of honors-level classes, rather than having to mix AP and regular classes in order to get a challenge that was at the right level for you. You might even mention how your professional goals involve helping provide challenging experiences for bright students who are struggling with finding their place in the school system. It sounds like you’re very passionate about this subject, so that might be a good career move!