I think giving people an option separates the ambitious from the non-ambitious. whether or not the ambitious are high-achieving is another matter. ultimately I believe that your proposition is the best way to produce, or rather discover, the best potential chemists that are out there.
personally i think we should expect much from our so-called high-achievers and challenge them much more than we do today, even if it challenges our current, in my opinion, fanciful, understanding of their capabilities. i firmly believe that hard curriculums are the way to produce better chemists and students in general. i do not believe in hand holding or sacrificing curriculums for the sake of increased participation.