How to Choose High School Electives to Prepare You for College

As you consider your high school schedule for the upcoming year, you might be excited about the different elective course options that can enroll in. Sometimes it’s tempting to select those seemingly easy electives, the ones that sound like you could grab a quick 4.0 and boost your overall GPA. Other times, you may want to try an elective because it covers a topic you are interested in and you want to explore it further. 

Ultimately, it’s important that you intentionally select elective high school courses that will complement your strengths and increase the appeal of your college application.

These tips will help you choose the high school electives that will best prepare you for college:

Work With Your Counselor to Choose Electives that Will Appeal to Your Top Colleges or Universities

While much of your high school schedule is dictated by the requirements you need to fulfill in order to receive your high school diploma, you also need to consider what your top colleges are looking for out of your high school schedule. Some of the most competitive colleges and universities want students to complete additional courses outside of their core classes to be considered. This might include higher-level math or science courses, or several years of a foreign language.

Consider Taking a Foreign Language as an Elective

Most high schools do not require students to take a foreign language, but it is highly recommended that those who are on the college track take at least two or more years of a foreign language. High schools now offer a variety of foreign languages, allowing students to select a second language that is interesting to them and relevant to their future goals.

Select Electives that Showcase Your Personality and Allow You to Explore Your Interests

Electives are an opportunity for you to learn more about something that interests or excites you, and the electives that you choose will say a lot about who you are to college admissions officers. Perhaps you have no intention on pursuing a career in photography, but you are interested in cameras and enjoy taking pictures. A photography elective will be an enjoyable course for you, and will prove that you have an interest in the arts.

Choose Electives that Help You Develop Life Skills

Electives also provide you with a chance to learn a new skill, such as a coding, public speaking or cooking. These skills can help you enhance your college application, but they also will help you feel more prepared for adulthood as well.

Most high school students only have room for a few electives, as they have to focus their efforts on completing the core requirements for graduation. Since your opportunity to indulge in a few interesting electives is limited, you will want to make your electives count. This is the time to make learning fun, and it’s also a chance to showcase a different side of yourself to college admissions professionals.