Knowing Your Teen’s Course Requirements, Selection, and GPA Status

As we approach the crucial time of year for high school students – the course selection period – it's essential for you to dive into the intricacies of your teen's academic journey. Whether your teen is a freshman, sophomore, or junior, understanding the dynamics of course sequencing is pivotal for their success in gaining admission to the best colleges.

Decoding GPA: More Than Just Numbers

Let's start by demystifying the GPA puzzle. While it holds significance, it's not the sole determinant of your teen's academic prowess. Every school has its own grading scale, and colleges recalibrate grades based on their rules. So, what does this mean for your teen? It means focusing on the appropriate level of rigor rather than fixating solely on the GPA.


The Right Rigor: Balancing Act

When choosing courses, encourage your teen to tap into their strengths, interests, and curiosities. The goal is not to bite off more than they can chew. While taking the most rigorous courses available may be beneficial, striking a balance is crucial. If your teen takes on too much, it might not impress colleges as much as you think. Quality over quantity should be the guiding principle.


Strategic Course Sequencing: Building Future Opportunities

Understanding course sequencing is like holding the key to unlocking future opportunities. A class taken as a freshman can pave the way for advanced options in subsequent years. Electives, quarter grades, half-year or semester grades – grasp the nuances of your teen's academic journey. This knowledge empowers your teen to make informed decisions, ensuring they navigate high school purposefully.


A Word of Caution: AP Courses and Overcommitment

For those convinced that Advanced Placement (AP) courses are the golden ticket, a word of caution. Overcommitting to challenging courses can backfire. It's essential to prioritize your teen's well-being and happiness. An 'A' in a regular course often holds more weight than a lower grade in an AP course outside their wheelhouse. Let your teen challenge themselves, but not at the cost of their mental and emotional well-being.


Transcript: The College's Window into Your Teen's Academic World

Remember, all colleges will require your teen's transcript. While some schools are test-optional and may not mandate essays, the transcript is non-negotiable. It goes beyond GPA, scrutinizing how your teen tackled the curriculum's rigor and maximized academic opportunities. Colleges seek a comprehensive understanding of your teen's academic journey.


Crafting the Right College List

As parents, your role is crucial in guiding your teen toward the right colleges for the right reasons. Here at Strategic Admissions Advice, we’re ready to assist you. Our College List Builder is designed to simplify the process. Answer a few questions, share your teen's transcript with us, and let us help you create a college list tailored to their aspirations and strengths. We offer free discovery calls to kick-start this journey.


Don't fall into the trap of thinking harder classes equate to lower grades being acceptable! It's about appropriate rigor and aligning your teen's strengths with the expectations of their desired colleges.

Let's embark on this journey together. Schedule a Discovery Call, and let's unlock the door to your teen's future success.