Selecting courses for the next year of high school is a critical decision that can significantly influence your child’s academic journey and college prospects. As parents, your guidance in this process is critical. Here’s how to approach it:

Firstly, understand the academic strengths and interests of your teen. Encourage them to choose courses that align with their passions and future aspirations. For instance, if they’re interested in engineering, physics and advanced math classes could be beneficial. However, it’s equally important to expose them to a variety of subjects to foster a well-rounded education.

Consider the balance between academic rigor and achievable success. Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are excellent for college preparation, but it’s crucial to ensure that your teen is not overwhelmed. A mix of challenging courses in their strong areas with more standard courses elsewhere can provide a healthy balance.

Also, discuss the long-term implications of their choices. Some colleges have specific course requirements for admission, so it’s important to be aware of these early on. Participation in certain courses can also open doors to specific scholarships or advanced study opportunities.

Lastly, involve your child’s teachers or guidance and AcceptU counselors in this conversation. They can provide valuable insights into your child’s abilities and recommend courses that match their skill level and interests.

Remember, the goal is to support your teen in building an academic profile that reflects their abilities, interests, and college aspirations. By working together, you can help them make informed decisions that pave the way for a successful future.

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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