French is still considered the language of diplomacy. My kids have found plenty of folks who speak French. Of course, if you know just one language, English is the most useful.

Most Canadians I know speak French (and these folks don't come from Quebec or anywhere near there). Perhaps they are not representative of the general population (likely "gifted" folks with clearly gifted kids).

As for languages in school, the quality of courses can vary greatly, and varies from teacher to teacher within a school. Most kids we know take four years of a foreign language - the kids around here don't view that as an onerous, odd college admission requirement. My kids have seen how it is more difficult to learn a language in middle/high school instead of learning at a young age. They were in an immersion school from Pre-K into elementary. My older two take/took a second foreign language at the HS. They are proficient at the second language, but not fluent.

Eldest took the AP in both languages and has college credit in both. She also took the college's online language placement test in both and was cleared for 400 level courses (though she is starting with a 300 level course 1st semester). She thought the test in her immersion language was easy, but had a tougher time with the other language.

Getting back to the original thread and Ivy admissions - while I am sure that there are some kids with less than the suggested number of years of language, or missing some other suggested items, there are tons of kids who apply that meet all of the suggestions. The vast majority of the applicants have stellar test scores & GPA, good ECs, etc. It is very tough to stand out.

You'll never know why you weren't accepted at a school, but if you want to maximize your chances, you should fulfill all of the suggestions (and go above and beyond, if possible).

And I guess I don't understand why most kids here wouldn't take these courses - I always thought that the typical HS day includes five "core" subjects - Math, English, Social Studies/History, Science w/Lab & Foreign Language. What are the kids taking in place of these core classes?