Nothing is more important to your admission than your academic record – no matter what anyone else has told you because I’m right and they’re wrong. I suppost that’s why my recent post on AP and IB courses and test scores resulted in a few emails (even a phone call!) asking for more insight on how admissions committees look at your grades.
To start, we’re usually not talking about ALL your grades. Yes, colleges look at your overall grade point average, but we’re a lot more interested in your grades in your academic coursework than anything else. That’s grades in English, math, science, social science, and foreign language. Sure, there are exceptions if you’re applying for a specialized program (culinary school will likely care more about your sauces than about your algebra skill), but for the most part, the academic grades are the focus.
Everytime I present that in a speech, the hands go flying up in the air, “But…what about band?” Hey, I was in the drum line, I get that the classes may be hard, but still its the academic courses. This response usually gets me at least one hand still gesticulating wildly, “But…it’s HONORS band.” Yes, well, in that case…we STILL care more about your academic courses. Grades in those courses are the best indicator of how you will do in college courses.
Tomorrow – what years on your transcript count the most (and least) and do final grades count once your admitted? Be seeing you!