In the past, you have pointed out that it is better for students to take honors courses and possibly get B's instead of taking regular classes and getting A's. I always thought like you did, until I met the dean of admissions of a Midwestern university. He told me that if there was only one space at his school, without question the student with the A's in regular courses would be admitted over the one with B's in honor courses. I really think that students should know this. - Father of a B Student


We contacted several admissions offices to find out how they would handle this situation. First of all, they pointed out that only about 25 to 40 colleges in the country are very selective with such a limited number of spaces. For most universities, getting B's rather than A's in honors courses really will not make much difference. Students can always ask schools about their admissions policies if they are concerned about grades in honors courses.

The admissions officers also agree that taking more difficult honors courses has two important advantages: They better prepare students for the challenges of college-level courses and help them do better on college-admissions tests.