I know that GPA (class rank) is one of the key factors in college applications, but applications have to be sent in before much of anything is known about the senior year. Does this mean that the courses you take in the senior year and grades you get don't matter so much? I know that colleges check to see if you crash in the senior year, but exactly what do they know about the senior year? Does this mean that the class ranking at the end of the junior year is all that the college knows? If so, does this mean that students should try to get more AP classes in before the senior year?
I was also looking at the course catalog for the high school my son will enter next year. It finally (!) struck me that if he wanted to take an AP science course, it has to come after taking the regular honors version. Is this typical? Do some kids get authorization to go directly to the AP version? This relates to the senior year issue. If colleges can't base their decisions on the results of the senior year, then do some kids relax their schedules a little in the senior year - perhaps not cram in every last AP class they can?