Students’ high school math records are linked to their college opportunities in multiple ways. Colleges tend to emphasize math courses on students’ transcripts in their admissions decisions. Plus, high school students who are aware of colleges’ preferences are likely to pursue more advanced math courses. For the most selective colleges, calculus is often expected, even for students who are not pursuing STEM fields. Given students’ widely disparate access not just to advanced math courses, but also to counseling, the equity implications of colleges’ admissions practices are concerning. In this session, college-access experts discussed recent research on how college admissions policies and high school counseling practices affect students’ math course–taking decisions, and how those decisions, in turn, influence students’ college opportunities.
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