I am a rising senior and it's course selection time again.

I have always dreamed of attending highly ranked schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, or Columbia, but I have just realized that I have done nothing in school to satisfy the strong foreign language requirements that selective schools have.

I am looking to go into business and have maintained a 3.8-9 unweighted GPA in full AP and honors classes this year, with 4.0 GPA my past two years and placed third in my state for Accounting II in FBLA, moving onto nationals. I am also in a multitude of other extracurricular activities and scored somewhat high the first time on the SAT, but hoping that I will improve the second time on the SAT. I am confidently bilingual, able to fluently converse as well as read Chinese as I am a second generation Asian-American.

I was originally planning to take Spanish I over the summer and test into Spanish II in my senior year to at least satisfy the two language course requirement, but my course scheduling has caused conflicts in my plan.

Is being bilingual enough to satisfy language requirements, or are there any ways I could use my bilingual ability to bypass the foreign language requirement in selective colleges?

I've heard that colleges are lenient with languages if a student had shown strong growth in a particular field and taken those classes instead of a language, and I have taken four business classes with a 4.0 average over all of them, but I do not want to take any chances. Any help at all would be appreciated. Thanks!

asked 11 Apr, 17:46

SZhang760's gravatar image

SZhang760
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edited 28 Apr, 00:34

Fred_PrepScholar's gravatar image

Fred_PrepSch...
101111217


Colleges look for foreign languages for two reasons. First is being a master of a language that's more than English. Second, is showing that you have the diligence and the cultural openness to learn a new language.

To target the first part, you're probably best off brushing up your Chinese and try the strategy of taking SAT Chinese or AP Chinese instead of getting up to Spanish II.

For the second part, whether you choose a second year of Spanish or not won't matter much. 1-2 years is not considered a lot of foreign language.

Whether you take Spanish or not depends on whether you think your biggest problem is not being well rounded enough, or not having enough of a spike. If it's the first, I would slightly lean take Spanish. Otherwise, I would lean against. It's not a critical choice either way.

PS, if you're curious; I took five years of Spanish before college. I also spoke Chinese at home with no formal classes. After high school, I've spent a good amount of time learning Spanish, visiting and living in Spanish speaking countries. I can tell you that my SAT Chinese scores blew my SAT Spanish scores out of the water, and my Spanish still below Chinese even today. The point being if you want to show strength in a foreign language it's much easier to cram for a native language.

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answered 28 Apr, 00:43

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Fred_PrepSch...
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