What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

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What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Take the highest level offered and do well, you are compared to your school not the world.

Amberley WolfCollege ConsultantWolf College Consulting

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Not every school offers Advanced Classes and college admissions officers are aware of this. When you send in your transcripts, the Admissions Office is able to read about your School Profile so they can better understand if you took the hardest classes available at your school. Below are some suggestions for students that do not have advanced classes available: 1) Make sure you are taking a full academic load. If able, take 4 years of all academic courses available 2) Take some courses at a city college. This can benefit you in two ways — You can get college credit in high school and you are able to show the Admissions Office that you are successful in college coursework 3) Take CLEP tests. Many colleges accept CLEP test scores for college credit (like AP tests). Look online to find out what if your colleges accept CLEP tests and take ones that you believe you can pass.

Amberley WolfCollege ConsultantWolf College Consulting

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Not every school offers Advanced Classes and college admissions officers are aware of this. When you send in your transcripts, the Admissions Office is able to read about your School Profile so they can better understand if you took the hardest classes available at your school. Below are some suggestions for students that do not have advanced classes available: 1) Make sure you are taking a full academic load. If able, take 4 years of all academic courses available 2) Take some courses at a city college. This can benefit you in two ways — You can get college credit in high school and you are able to show the Admissions Office that you are successful in college coursework 3) Take CLEP tests. Many colleges accept CLEP test scores for college credit (like AP tests). Look online to find out what if your colleges accept CLEP tests and take ones that you believe you can pass.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Most colleges/universities ask that your Guidance Counselor provide a profile of your high school with his/her support materials for your application – or the admissions officers may be able to access the website of your high school online to see the profile. The reason this profile is of interest to admissions officers is that it lets them compare what you did in high school with the offerings which were actually provided by your school. You won’t be penalized for not taking advanced classes if your high school doesn’t offer them. Do arrange to take the most challenging courses offered, however, as they are appropriate to your interests. That is, if you are considering college/university studies in Mathematics, for instance, you would want to take the most challenging courses you can in that area. If your high school does not differentiate at all among the various courses of a certain subject, this will be apparent in the profile. This is probably an issue for you since you’re reading this answer, so you might want to arrange to send a copy of the school profile with your applications yourself to make sure that the admissions officers do have a clear idea of what was available to you. Some high school students arrange to take courses at local community colleges or four-year colleges/universities while they are still in high school – either during the school year or during the summer break. You would then submit these grades with your regular college application. This would give you a chance to do more advanced work in selected areas. If this is not a realistic option for you, however, don’t worry. Just make sure that the admissions officers at the institutions to which you are applying are aware of the offerings at your high school and do your very best in the courses which are available to you.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Most colleges/universities ask that your Guidance Counselor provide a profile of your high school with his/her support materials for your application – or the admissions officers may be able to access the website of your high school online to see the profile. The reason this profile is of interest to admissions officers is that it lets them compare what you did in high school with the offerings which were actually provided by your school. You won’t be penalized for not taking advanced classes if your high school doesn’t offer them. Do arrange to take the most challenging courses offered, however, as they are appropriate to your interests. That is, if you are considering college/university studies in Mathematics, for instance, you would want to take the most challenging courses you can in that area. If your high school does not differentiate at all among the various courses of a certain subject, this will be apparent in the profile. This is probably an issue for you since you’re reading this answer, so you might want to arrange to send a copy of the school profile with your applications yourself to make sure that the admissions officers do have a clear idea of what was available to you. Some high school students arrange to take courses at local community colleges or four-year colleges/universities while they are still in high school – either during the school year or during the summer break. You would then submit these grades with your regular college application. This would give you a chance to do more advanced work in selected areas. If this is not a viable option for you, however, don’t worry. Just make sure that the admissions officers at the institutions to which you are applying are aware of the actual offerings at your high school and do your very best in the courses which are available to you.

Lora LewisEducational ConsultantLora Lewis Consulting

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Colleges assess your academic achievement in relation to the opportunities your high school provides for students. If your school doesn’t offer AP or honors placement classes, you won’t be penalized by colleges. They want to see that you’ve taken the most rigorous coursework available to you, and you can’t take what isn’t offered. This doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t worthwhile to pursue advanced learning opportunities outside of your high school. Consider taking summer or evening classes at your local community college. Not only do these courses carry the same “grade bump” as AP or HP classes, but they demonstrate to potential colleges your ability to do undergraduate level work. University extension classes an summer courses that carry college credit are other options (though they are more costly than community college). It shows a lot about your enthusiasm for learning and your initiative as a student if you find educational opportunities to fill in the gaps in your high school curriculum. This can be just as impressive to colleges as a transcript full of APs.

Jessica BrondoFounder and CEOThe Edge in College Prep

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Then it’s not your fault if you don’t take any? Colleges want to see you do the best you can with what you have. If there are no APs at your school that doesn’t mean you aren’t as smart as the candidate with seven credits, you might do even better were you in their shoes. This being said, if you don’t have them, you should be throwing yourself into extracurriculars, and showing colleges that you keep yourself occupied. And of course, taking online courses shows initiative beyond simply learning what your school has to teach you, which colleges would also appreciate.

Ivery McKnight

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

If your high school does not offer Advanced level courses, be prepared to research and concurrently enroll in your local Community College courses and/or look into Accredited On-line programs that offer courses that are acceptable by the UC/CSU A-G Admissions requirements. If you are an Athlete with NCAA potential, you will also need to consider those guideline as well.

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Take the most challenging courses you can handle, and do as well as you absolutely can. If you’re really interested in a subject, do extra reading about it and have periodic discussions with the teacher. Develop your own projects in a subject area you love. No college will hold it against you that your school didn’t offer advanced classes – they will evaluate your application based on how you took advantage of what you had to work with.

Kiersten MurphyExecutive Director and FounderMurphy College Consultants LLC

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Well, it depends on what you want to do about that….do you worry that you won’t be judged as critically in admissions, or do you seek advanced options for the sake of learning? I would be happy to address your concerns individually in this matter.

Eileen Ed.D.Associate DirectorEducational Directions, Inc.

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

The race to the top is becoming more and more competitive, and students who have fewer than one or no AP classes feel like they have somehow failed. Not all schools can offer these types of classes, and some school districts have strict requirements to get there. If you miss one class in your first year of high school, for example, you may not make it to the top by your senior year–and not all first year students know in which direction they want to head! That said, there are options. You can take the highest level classes available to you at your school, and then take summer classes at a community college or at any number of competitive level colleges that offer special seminars or course work. For example, a student attending a vocational technical school could enroll in a summer robotics class at his competitive college of choice, take an AP class at community college in the summer, and take another AP course at community college in the fall. Of course, such a student would have to perform at competitive levels, but this would be an example of what can be done if you are driven and capable of pushing yourself. Another option would be to find employment in that area of interest if the course work is simply not available. For example, a student can find an internship working in the office of a local lawyer or helping with the campaign of a local politician if they are interested in history, government, or political science. On the other hand, if you receive high grades in your classes and take the highest level of classes available to you at your school, do not despair! College admissions counselors divide the country into areas of specialty, and more likely than not the colleges you are interested in are well aware of the limitations your school may have in terms of course work. They want to see that you have worked hard and dedicated yourself as best as possible within your current environment. That will say more about you than all the AP classes in the world!

Prilla OConnell

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Colleges will not ding a student’s application if a school does not have advanced classes. Admission counselors look at student’s transcript within the context of course offerings at the high school. This information about specific course offerings comes from the secondary school report the high school counselor fills out. If there are opportunities to take concurrent classes at a community college or local college, that’s something to consider. No matter what courses are offered at your school, try to take the most rigorous classes for you and do your best!

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Each student is measured in the context of what their school offers for academics so students must take the best program that is offered, do well and don’t worry about being measured against another student from another school is may have all AP’s, etc. Remember you can’t be judged against something that was not offered but you will be judged if many advanced courses are offered and you chose not to take them. If a student just wants more academic enrichment or intensive courses they can try to attend a local community college at the same time as high school but this is increasingly becoming harder as campuses are impacted across the country.

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Be sure to include that in an essay, and possibly do dual inrollment. As a last resort, see if you can attend another high school or perhaps a private school.

Benjamin CaldarelliPartnerPrinceton College Consulting, LLC

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Take the most rigorous curriculum available to you and then supplement it with individual study. You can study and take AP exams without taking the class at school. A good score would be very impressive showing a lot of drive. You could also seek out an online program like the Stanford EPGY or simply express an interest to your teachers and ask if they are willing supervise some more advanced study.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Short Answer: Look outside of your high school to find classes that 1) will challenge you, and 2) you will excel in. But the bottom line is to make sure your primary efforts are made toward excelling in the courses that are available to you in your high school. Colleges will take into consideration the fact that your courses are limited, but they will want to see that you have exceled in the courses that were available to you. Detailed Answer: If you have exhausted all of your academic college prep, honors, and AP options at your high school, check into taking a strong academic course at the local/regional community college or four-year college/university. This looks great on your application – assuming you receive a grade of B- or better (unless you are only applying to highly selective colleges, in which case it should be an A). Colleges want to see that students have challenged themselves – reasonably. In other words, if you sign up for a ton of extracurriculars, and your grades suffer as a result, you will probably be denied admission. Likewise, if you take challenging classes at a college in order to bolster your application, approach that challenge with a realistic attitude. Ask yourself the following questions: 1. Are you able and willing to put in the time-per-week that a college course requires for success? 2. Will you have to take the college course over again when you get to college? Many college curriculums require that certain fundamental courses be taken within that department – they won’t accept the credit from another institution. So would you be better off taking a different course that would actually count for credit? 3. Will the course you want to take enhance your application? In other words, is it a strong academic course, such as a 100 level math, English, science, or language course? Is it a course that builds on learning you have already received in such courses in high school? Is it a natural progression in a strong area of interest? 4. Be careful about taking college arts courses as extras in high school. If you are an arts major and you feel you are headed for a conservatory program in college, they most likely will not accept the transfer credits. They may accept music theory or something fundamental like that, however, most conservatories have their own departmental philosophies and training structures that they want you to be immersed in from day one. Another option for students seeking a greater challenge than is offered within their high school is working at a part-time job in an interest area they wish to pursue in college. High school cooperative internships, externships, and volunteer opportunities in professional areas are a great way to learn as you are assisting professionals within fields such as pharmacy, veterinary medicine, industry, etc . This can count for a lot in an application. But I cannot stress enough the importance of achieving great grades in the courses that you have available to you at your high school. If you are a student who pushes him or herself beyond your capability in terms of grades in order to “overachieve” and impress an admissions office, but this self-pressure results in average or poor grades, it won’t matter if you have taken college courses in addition to your high school academics.

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

No Advanced Courses? No Problem—But Do Your Very Best You won’t be penalized if your school does not offer advanced classes. The colleges always evaluate a student’s strength of schedule in the context of what they could take. At the same time, your performance in the classes you do take, as well as your approach to your education is very important. Demonstrate a work ethic, a curiosity, and a love of learning that show you are ready for a college level curriculum. Not only will that lead to strong performances, but such an effort should also yield strong recommendations, testimonials that will make clear the kind of student you are and how you will respond to the challenges that college will present.

Geoff BroomeAssistant Director of AdmissionsWidener University

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

That is ok. Don’t worry about it. You are be looked at by a college based on what your high school has to offer and what you did with it. Did you take the most rigorous course load that was made available to you. A college can’t knock you because of where you live and the fact that your school doesn’t have AP or IB Programs.

Ed GarciaAssistant Professor/CounselorAustin Community College

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

If you are up for taking advanced courses that have the potential to earn you college credit and high school credit (also known as dual credit) check with your local community college. Lots of community colleges have programs were high school juniors and seniors (sometimes sophomores) can take college level courses at the community college for low cost/no cost provided they meet a certain criteria set by the institution. Most of these programs you can find on the institutions website. Here is an example of one offered by my institution: http://www.austincc.edu/ecs/index.php Just copy and paste the tab above into a new web browser. Each community college well have its own unique set of requirements. It might be good to start at your high school guidance/counseling office first, and then go from there. Oh, one more thing, as a parent and student you can always speak to a member of your schools administration and put a little polite pressure on them to start offering advanced courses. You would be surprised what a little parent involvement and action can do. Take the time and make your voice heard. Consider attending a school board meeting as well. Wish you all well, EG

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Be sure to include that in an essay, and possibly do dual enrollment. As a last resort, see if you can attend another high school or perhaps a private school.

Shoshana Krieger

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

The first thing to do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes is to not worry that it will hurt you in the college application process. Colleges won’t expect you to take classes that aren’t available to you, so if your school doesn’t have advanced classes, then you don’t need to worry about taking any. As long as you are taking what is considered to be a rigorous curriculum at your high school, colleges will see it that way too. However, if you would like more of a challenge than is offered at your high school, and go beyond your standard curriculum to get it, colleges will notice. And that could help you in the college application process. Here are a few things you can do for some extra challenge. 1) Take advantage of your summers by pursuing challenging projects or courses in areas that interest you. 2) Take classes a local college during the school year to supplement your current curriculum. 3) Pursue an in-depth independent project with the help of a teacher at your school. 4) Find extracurricular activities that relate to your academic area of interest and pursue those. 5) Ask if you could be a teaching assistant in a class that you’ve already taken at your school. However, don’t feel the need to do these things simply because you think colleges will expect it. If you don’t have advanced classes at your school, you don’t have to take any. However, it never hurts to go beyond your curriculum for a little extra challenge.

Joyce Vining MorganFounder and college counselorEducational Transitions

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

See whether you can take some courses at a local college; community colleges often make that very possible. If that isn’t an option, look for online courses – a very different way to study, but many states have Virtual High Schools with advanced classes. Colleges and universities are also beginning to make college courses available, sometimes at no cost.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

Max Out Your Curriculum

If you are even discussing advanced classes then chances are you are a serious student looking to apply to selective colleges. If your school lacks curricular options, that is not your fault. The question remains: what are YOU going to do about it? What CAN you do about it? Three things: 1. Max out your school’s curriculum. 2. Seek out online or community college options. 3. Communicate to colleges your school’s curricular limitations.

Erica WhiteCollege & Career CounselorMiddletown High School

School Profiles

High schools typically send out school profiles to the admission offices with your transcript. In the profile, it states if advanced classes are offered, how many advanced classes are offered and if students are restricted in the number of classes they may take. If using the commonapp, the school counselor form also has a section where the counselor will report on the number of advanced classes are offered. You will never be penalized if your high school does not offer advanced classes, admission offices will examine if you took the highest level of classes offered and how well you did in those classes.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Challenge yourself

Take courses that challenge you (and that you can get an A or B in). If nothing in your high school challenges you take a class at a community college, or take a course online. Even if your school does not offer AP, there are ways to show the college that you are doing your best to stretch yourself.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Take the initiative!

First off — don’t worry. Individual students will not be penalized for the curricular and institutional policies in their high schools which limit advanced course offerings. Colleges will know which courses your school offers because your high school submits a “school report” which describes what kinds of courses its offers. That said — if you have exhausted the course offerings at your school — consider pursuing some intellectual interests on your own. Check out your local community college or reputable online schools for AP or other advanced offerings. In addition, remember that you can take the AP exam without taking an AP course! So if you are taking a course at a local college or online that essentially covers AP material — you might want to consider looking into taking the relevant AP.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Take the initiative!

First off — don’t worry. Individual students will not be penalized for the curricular and institutional policies in their high schools which limit advanced course offerings. Colleges will know which courses your school offers because your high school submits a “school report” which describes what kinds of courses it offers. That said — if you have exhausted the course offerings at your school — consider pursuing some intellectual interests on your own. Check out your local community college or reputable online schools for AP or other advanced offerings. In addition, remember that you can take the AP exam without taking an AP course! So if you are taking a course at a local college or online that essentially covers AP material — you might want to consider looking into taking the relevant AP.

Suzan ReznickIndependent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection

Don’t worry

With the transcripts, colleges receive a document known as the high school profile. This form will list the range of courses available at your high school, including the list of AP classes offered. This way you will not be adversely judged by not taking a particular AP class, if it was not even offered at your school. If you are still concerned about the lack of rigor on your transcripts, you always have the options of taking some classes at a local community college. If that would not be convenient, then you take college classes online.

Mildred PlanasSupervisor of Student Support ServicesBarringer High School

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

If your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes, check with your local community college. Often community colleges have courses that are offered to high school students for free or for a nominal fee. Some colleges even have partnerships with their local high schools so that students have experience taking college classes and earn credits, while still in high school. If that is not an option, students should contact Institutions that might offer programs interested in a particular field. For example, one of the local hospitals offers a program for students interested in the medical field. Students attend the program one night a week and on Saturdays.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

Look outside of high school for advanced classes

You should try to take a well regarded class either at a local college or from a respected online resource. There are many pre-ollege courses offered online that will demonstrate your ability and commitment to succeed in college. Ask your guidance counselor for assistance in locating these opportunities.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

take the exam only or take the class outside

you can do self study to take the exam directly or you can take the class outside the school such as community college. you may also consider online courses. other options including SATII exams

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

take the exam only or take the class outside

you can do self study to take the exam directly or you can take the class outside the school such as community college. you may also consider online courses. other options including SATII exams

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Advanced Coursework

If your school doesn’t offer AP courses or an IB curriculum there are other options. You may take a class at the local college, earn credit and maybe even get some assistance on the tuition from your high school. Pursuing a course on-line may be a possibility and again, your high school may have an agreement with a program offering the class of interest. There is alway the thought of seeking out a teacher who would allow you to do an independent project/course that would challenge you beyond what is offered. And finally, some faculty are willing to let you make the course more challenging by doing extra credit work at the Honors level.

Zahir RobbCollege CounselorThe Right Fit College

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

Look to your local community college for classes. In many cases these classes are offered free of charge and look great on a college application. You can also take additional courses through programs such as Stanford’s EPGY program or look for additional summer options. If you have a passion in science and your school does not offer AP Bio, volunteer at an aquarium or zoo. The opportunities available to students are larger than ever.

Lin Johnson III

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

No surprise, admission officers prefer college applicants who have a real hunger for knowledge and a solid personal pursuit of intellectual challenges. Also, nearly all admission officers understand that not every student has the same access and opportunities to advanced classes in their high schools. However, several approaches can illustrate your thirst for learning and your academic ability. First, you can work with one of your high school teachers and create an independent study course to study an advanced subject area. This requires a great deal of determination, maturity, organizational skills, and real academic love, which admission officers love to see. Second, you can take classes at a community college or a local college. This is a great way to show your college readiness to admission officers. Our advice is to have one of your high school teachers to be your mentor during the courses in case you need additional assistance and support. Third, you can create an informal group of classmates to pursue more advanced studying in a particular subject area. The informal group should work with a high school teacher. Overall, limited access to advanced classes should not stop your pursuit of intellectual rigor.

Lin Johnson III

What should you do if your high school doesn’t offer advanced classes?

No surprise, admission officers prefer college applicants who have a real hunger for knowledge and a solid personal pursuit of intellectual challenges. Also, nearly all admission officers understand that not every student has the same access and opportunities to advanced classes in their high schools. However, several approaches can illustrate your thirst for learning and your academic ability. First, you can work with one of your high school teachers and create an independent study course to study an advanced subject area. This requires a great deal of determination, maturity, organizational skills, and real academic love, which admission officers love to see. Second, you can take classes at a community college or a local college. This is a great way to show your college readiness to admission officers. Our advice is to have one of your high school teachers to be your mentor during the courses in case you need additional assistance and support. Third, you can create an informal group of classmates to pursue more advanced studying in a particular subject area. The informal group should work with a high school teacher. Last, many colleges such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford and CalTech have summer programs for talented high school students who have shown exceptional intellectual abilities. These programs are wonderful opportunity to get advanced training in a particular subject. Overall, limited access to advanced classes should not stop your pursuit of intellectual rigor.

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