The Benefits of AP Classes and Dual Enrollment
High school students don’t have to wait to step foot on campus to start earning their degree. Taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes or enrolling in college-level classes as a high school student (known as dual enrollment) are both options for students to get a jump-start on college. Gaining college credit while in high school allows students to graduate with less debt and finish their degree faster.
Here are a few things to consider when deciding which option is right for you:
This option might be more expensive, depending on whether your school, school district or state subsidizes dual enrollment programs. The price of a college class can range from free to several hundred dollars. The current cost of an AP test is $87.
Enrolling in a postsecondary institution while in high school gives students the experience of taking a college-level class. Although certified teachers teach AP classes, college professors or other faculty members teach dual enrollment classes.
With AP classes, receiving college credit is based on a single test, which can be detrimental for students who ace homework assignments and class projects but freeze when the pressure is on. In dual enrollment, multiple factors count toward a student’s final grade.
If the college a student wants to attend offers dual enrollment, attending classes at that institution can help a student stand out among other applicants. Another way to stand out through dual enrollment: If you do well in a class, you can ask your professor for a letter of recommendation.
Instead of having to go to a college or block out time to take online classes, most AP classes are offered at high schools, sometimes by teachers students are familiar with.
Whether or not you receive credit is based on one test. That can benefit students who do well on tests. There are numerous resources to practice for AP tests, so students can study on their own outside of an AP class.
Many colleges recognize AP scores. Some colleges, however, do not accept credit from dual enrollment courses. Be sure to check with the colleges you’d like to attend before making your choice on whether to take an AP class or pursue dual enrollment.