Sophomore year is one of the most significant in the college admissions process for high school students, but it is often dismissed by students and parents alike who think it is “just sophomore year.” Students are just coming out of their freshmen year, and they are still adjusting to high school. College is the last thing they want to think about. In a cover article in the San Francisco Chronicle, “The Great Admissions Race,” August 10, 2003, I was quoted as saying, “Often times, kids are immature at 15 or 16,” says Walker-Moffat. “There’s a lot of denial. They don’t want to look into the future. … I try to tell them that what they do now matters to their future, but at the same time, I try to get rid of the fear that they’re not going to be good enough.”
The Olympic Valley Academy provides a non-threatening and fun way to provide all students with opportunities to augment their GPA, to gain solid knowledge in fundamental courses that will serve them a lifetime, and to take advantage of the unique circumstances surrounding them. It is these three steps that will increase the choices of colleges, the scholarships offered regardless of income, and help to connect natural curiosity with a love of learning.
I use the University of California requirements for admission as my gold standard because if high school students meet those, they can go anywhere in the world. The University of California only looks at the courses studied and the grades from Sophomore year and Junior year. And while the admissions officers will look at activities from Senior year, if the student has not been involved in those activities or similar ones at least since Junior year, and preferably since Sophomore year, they are not given a great deal of weight in the ultimate admissions decision as to whether the student is accepted or rejected.