Thursday is the registration deadline for DD2's senior year of high school class schedule. While it seems early, they like to get this out of the way early as then the administration needs to plan class sizes, teacher needs, and other logistics to have in place by summer, ready for the following school year. DD2 is a very good student, but unlike her older sister, is not well organized and like her older brother, has a wandering brain. Still, despite this, she manages mostly A grades, and has all but three honors or AP classes, and has eight hours of classes instead of seven and no study hall. She has been on the fence about taking AP calculus and AP physics or the regular versions. Technically, she needs neither to graduate as she will have completed all the requirements in these areas by the end of her junior year. We though are parents that do not believe in a senior year slide, and while we are letting her make a choice about which math or science, not taking one at all is not an option.
By taking AP, she will be eligible to test for college credit, saving her time later to graduate early or earn a second bachelors degree, and save her parents, potentially thousands in tuition. Yet, she takes the risk that the subject matter is presented in timeline and detail that will stretch her ability to maintain her high grade point average. She has a couple more days to discuss her capacity and aptitude with her current science and math teachers and her counselor. As her GPA, even if it went down a few decimal points, is high enough to get into just about any state college in Minnesota, Wisconsin or the surrounding states with reciprocity, she is aware that her first choice school is very competitive academically and accepts less than 50% of applicants. If she decides a private school is a better route, she needs the GPA for potential merit based scholarships to make attending financially feasible.
It's a lot for a 17 year old to weigh, but this is the first of many decisions she ultimately has to be the one to make. The stakes are high, with no guarantee that any choice is the right choice, and no guarantee that even if the right choice, she will have the career rewards after college she hopes for. Still, she has never been one to shy away from a challenge. If she ends up selecting the AP versions, she most likely will have a second stressful year academically, but in the end, will use her grit and determination, along with a healthy meltdown or two, and find a way to be successful.