Switching High Schools

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by FFalcon16, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. FFalcon16

    FFalcon16 5-Year Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Does anybody know if it makes any difference about what high school I go to?

    I will be entering my junior year in a few weeks and am considering switching high schools. I currently go to a school of about nine-hundred in a lower-income neighborhood. The high school I am considering switching to has over three-thousand students and is in a fairly wealthy area. Could switching to this school change my chances of being accepted?

    Thank you!

    - Chris
  2. MorganC

    MorganC 5-Year Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    Likes Received:
    It would probably change your class rank.
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

    May 21, 2008
    Likes Received:
    What matters is the classes that you are taking, and how well you do in them. Yes, the academy asks for and reviews the school's profile. That is to determine how good the teachers and school is. They look at what graduates do after high school. Do they go to college? etc...

    Now the academy is not going to know the name of your school any more than they will the name of a school in Vermont or Alabama. The academy also realizes that the vast majority of students have no choice as to which school they go to. Most states dictate which school you will attend based on your home address. Of course, enrolling in private school allows you to go to whatever school you want.

    Bottom line is: The academy won't know if the school you're in is the one you're suppose to be in or not. All they care about is the classes you take, and how well you do in them. If both schools offer the same type of AP, IB, etc... classes, then it does you absolutely no good to change schools. Now, if the one school offers AP or IB classes and the one school doesn't, then you should go to the school with the more challenging classes.

    But the academy will not have any position whatsoever on which school you go to. They can't. That would be biased and prejudicial to the applicant that doesn't have the means of choosing which school they attend. So the profile is to give the academy a feel for the school and the graduates, and what you've overcome. What matters most is your gpa, the difficulty of the classes taken, and your class rank. And of course your ACT/SAT scores which doesn't matter at all which school you went to.
  4. lotsofbooks

    lotsofbooks 5-Year Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    My daughter attended our district's homeschool center, and then for grade 11 and 12 attended our neighborhood (AP crazy) school for particular classes she wanted to take. She also competed in sports for the neighborhood school.

    Her homeschool program consisted of classes taken from two different high schools from different university programs. So her transcript contained classes from 2 distance ed programs, and one public school, plus dual credit college courses. They were all nicely lined up on her transcript--you mainly notice the subjects, and the grades. It looks fine, really!

    However, when it was time to get the recommendations- the principal of the homeschool wrote a wonderful rec since she had observed her for many years, and gave us a copy to use as we needed. It's impressive when it's an administrator on letterhead paper.

    At the large school the best she could get was a recommendation from one of her teachers (we are grateful for that) but it was less meaningful since he hadn't know her all that long, and for only 2 periods per day.

    If you are involved in competitive sports there's usually a penalty if you change schools (like sitting out a year)

    So- if you're really happy at the school and in line to get great recommendations ---you're better off to take the classes you can get there, and perhaps supplement with distance ed courses if there's something lacking. ( Either during the year or the summer. ) You could save the time you spend commuting to the other school and study an additionaly course or prep for the SAT. And for your senior year if your state has the possibility to do community college for free that's another option. Many of the high schools don't tell the kids about these programs, but the home schooled kids really take advantage of these programs.
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother 5-Year Member Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Likes Received:
    As a home/cyber-schooling parent whose kids also were enrolled (10-16 credits per semester) in local U's, I agree that those personal recommendations from teachers are priceless, no matter if you attend a Service Academy or civ college.

    Especially if you buy into the notion of smaller class size = better education, why change to a larger school at this late date? More/better labs? Not likely to make much of an impact on your SAT or ACT scores. Better sports? maybe, but at this point in your career, unless you are a stellar stand-out, you're not likely to set the proverbial world on fire with kids who have been on the new school's teams since they were 5.

    The point I am (weakly) trying to make is this: get the best education you can, and don't worry about the supposed prestige or "name" of the school. No matter where you go in life, what you learn and what you do with that learning will be more important than where you learned it.
  6. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Likes Received:
    A couple of things to aim your attention to.

    1. Your WCS includes everything. They will look at the rigor of the school and the rigor of your course load. If your school only offers 5 APs, and you took all of 5 of them, you won't get marked down because the school across district lines offers 10 APs. You took what was offered.

    2. If you go across district lines, before you do talk to the GC. What if you can't take those additional 5 APs because you need pre-reqs. This is now going to hurt you, because the AFA board will see you didn't take the most rigorous courses offered. It wasn't that you weren't trying to, but because of transferring so late, you couldn't. They can't see that, they can only see what you took, and what was offered.

    3. Leadership and EC's. Starting over means fresh. You are the unkown to the school. You are not going to become Key Club President as a jr there, because nobody knows you. You were never a member off THEIR Key Club, however, at your old school, they do know you and you could get a leadership position as a jr. Same with athletics.

    4. As military towns go, because the rate is @30% turnover every yr. kids come and go. Cliques exist in hs, but there's a difference if you are not from a military town. These kids have gone to school with each other since they entered 1st grade. They have built their friendships, and it is hard to break into their groups because again you are unknown. School is more than academics, it is social. Our DD was forced to attend a new hs when she became a jr. (we moved because of the military). When I say she hated us all that 1st yr., that is not a lie. Every fight resulted in with these words, "why did you make me move, I want to go back". She is INCREDIBLY social, we call her the social butterfly, but because for the 1st time she went to school that didn't have a military base filling it up with students, she found it difficult to make friends. It took her to early spring before she found her footing.

    Best of luck in your decision.

Share This Page