Overheard in Committee: Dropping Classes

We Admit It! Committee season is upon us. As I’m posting this, our dean staff is meeting to have thorough, passionate, and detailed discussions about this year’s applicants. During the weeks leading up to April 1, we like to post “Overheard in Committee” blogs in order to give you a glimpse of the types of conversations we have.

Today’s post is brought to you by Associate Dean David Trott.

Overheard in Committee: “Why did this student drop AP Calculus?”

So it happens fairly frequently. You applied in December, well before the application deadline, and sent all the colleges you applied to your transcript listing your senior year courses. But then for one reason or another you have to change your schedule. Maybe you developed a food allergy and the food science class you thought would be fun really doesn’t make sense any more, medically speaking. Or perhaps you thought if you dropped that last period elective course of the day you could leave school early and get home and surprise your parents by vacuuming the house before they get home from work. I mean, you wouldn’t just drop a class to make life easier on yourself, would you? Well, guess what, in most cases, that’s really okay. That’s not to say you should go to your counselor tomorrow and drop a class or two, but here’s our take on things:

You work hard, we get that. You like to challenge yourself, and that’s terrific. Make no qualms about it, your first semester of senior year is tremendously important in our admission process. But, generally speaking, your core courses hold the most weight in our review process; math, science, English, languages, history, etc. If you have a really solid senior schedule and then you have a couple of electives, we’re not going to get too upset if you decide to drop Choir, Yearbook, Journalism, or something of that sort.

But drop AP Calc? Not sure I’d do that. So here’s the crux of the biscuit. If you have questions about dropping a class, don’t hesitate to call us. We’re honest folks, and will let you know what we think. Communication is the key. The less information we have in committee the more interpretation options we have. There may be legitimate reasons you have to drop a core class or switch up your schedule during your senior year. But make sure you let us know the reason behind the change. Drop us an email, or give us a call. We’ll make sure your regional dean is notified, and a follow-up conversation can take place if necessary.

In summary, as an admission staff, we expect you to continue along your academic path in your second semester of senior year. Remember that the more you get out of your senior year core classes, the better prepared you’ll be for your transition to college. (Should we admit students from the waitlist, senior year grades are also a big part of our discussion when extending admission offers.) At the same time, we want you to lead healthy, balanced lives. Should you deem it necessary to re-arrange your schedule, we will likely understand. We simply request that you be transparent with us, and that you keep our office informed and up-to-date.

Stay tuned next week for additional updates from our office. Happy Friday!

David Trott
Associate Dean of Admission

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