Should Student Life Trump Academics?
In his Admissions 101 discussion group, Jay asks readers:
A very interesting e-mail arrived a few minutes ago from a Washington area parent. I will disguise the details, but it is a pretty common situation all around the country. She has a son who would like to go to a Catholic high school where his friends are going, but she discovered that, like many private and public schools, this school will only let students take AP if they have a GPA of 90 percent or above.
He is sort of a mid to high 80s student. In their neighborhood is a public high school with a fine reputation that lets any student take AP who wishes to work hard. I told her the AP part of the question was easy. He would get a better education, all things being equal, at the public school. But all things are NOT equal. His friends are going to be at the Catholic school.
I told her that if his friends were conscientious students, that was a positive factor that she might consider. Friends are very important to this age group, and in the end they might lead him to study harder. She was worried that without a lot of APs on his transcript, he would have a tougher time getting into a top college. I said that might be right, but there were plenty of good colleges he would get into with or without AP.
What advice would you give her, and why?
Read responses -- and submit your own -- in this Admissions 101 discussion.
Washington Post Editors
| March 12, 2009; 11:02 AM ET
Categories: Admissions 101
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