I'll start by saying some may take the following as being boastful about my kid. If that's your feeling, I suggest you click on another topic. I'd rather not get flamed over my son's aspirations. That said, on with the query:
My son is a freshman in high school. He has aspirations of attending a prominent university (among the candidates is Michigan, of course).
He's a straight A student and is enrolled in Honors classes. He's got a 4.2 and he also plays quarterback on the football team and 2nd base/pitcher on the baseball team.
His school offers AP and International Baccalaureate courses. We've shied away from the IB program because some of the teachers seem to take pride in giving students "their first B." I don't want him reaching for the "low hanging fruit" but I also don't want his gpa to take a hit from a teacher who prides themself on a reputation of being "tough."
My question is, in your opinion, does a student with a 3.5gpa in AP/IB courses have a more favorable background than a student with a 4.0+ in honors courses (standardized test scores being equal)?
I've emailed one school in particular that my son really wants to attend. The response was to take the AP/IB courses because "we recognize that honors, AP/IB, and college courses are more rigorous and require high levels of commitment and effort. By choosing the most advanced courses for which he is prepared-and by doing well in them-he can send a powerful message about his desire to challenge himself in an academic environment and about his preparation for the demands of (insert school's name here) academic programs.