Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The College Application Game

The college application process can be exhausting, what with juggling multiple applications (see subject link) and AP classes and tests.

I can't understand students who apply to 20 or more colleges -- how will they ever winnow down the options?! -- but as a parent in the middle of the process, it certainly makes sense to me to apply to 10 or 12, especially for a strong student. By the time you've included applications to schools for a variety of financial and academic contingencies (less expensive state schools, a "reach" school or two, private colleges in commuting distance, and the schools that most interest the student), it adds up. My daughter's kept track of her college application deadlines and responses with an Excel spreadsheet. Quite a contrast with my own application to exactly one college!

I think the College Board auditing AP classes for quality and content may be a good idea. My daughter has had some AP classes that were very rigorous, while others, such as her current AP English class, are most definitely not being taught at college level. On the other hand, if a student is capable of passing an AP test without taking the course -- or after suffering through a poor class -- shouldn't credit be given where it's due?


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