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Dual enrollment vs AP

An0malyAn0maly Posts: 2,689Super Moderator Senior Member
edited April 2008 in College Admissions
I'm sure this has been asked before, but I have some questions on it. I'm going to be entering 11th grade next year, and I was wondering whether it'd be better for me to just take 5-6 AP classes on a normal high school course, or take some ap classes then do dual enrollment at community college. I'm really not sure which one colleges prefer, and I 'm aiming to enter an Ivy League school. Also, there is another program known as "College Academy" that is offered at community college, except it offers both high school and college classes at the campus. Their link is:

College Academy @ BCC

I've never really heard of it, so I was wondering if that is a better alternative to dual enrollment/ap, or are the aforementioned better?
Post edited by An0maly on
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Replies to: Dual enrollment vs AP

  • hebrewhammerhebrewhammer Posts: 807Registered User Member
    I think you're probably better off taking AP's than classes at a community college. I can't speak for your HS or community colleges, but I think AP classes at my HS are probably more challenging than classes at nearby cc's.
  • ebeeeeeebeeeee Posts: 5,199Registered User Senior Member
    You need to ask some questions of your high school on how they handle the two. For instance, at my childrens HS, the AP classes are weighted grades at the normal credit level...5 credits for any class, AP or not, but the AP gets the weight of one grade bump. B equals 4.0, etc.
    The dual enrollment classes are weighted one grade bump BUT they are worth ten credits instead of 5. Also, the college my oldest attends accepted all the CC credits with no worries about whether he received a 4 or 5 on the AP. If you take AP at the HS and the teacher isn't the best or you don't pass the AP you do not get the college credit. Financially his CC classes saved us a lot of money.
    I should also say that my oldest is NOT at an ivy or a top tier and it will probably depend on how decent your CC is.
    For the ivies, you are probably better off to take the APs provided you can get As in those classes.
  • missypiemissypie Posts: 16,989Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, please ask how your HS weighs the grade. At my kids' school, AP classes are weighed most heavily and dual enrollment classes are treated as regular classes (not even given the weight of a PRE-AP.)
  • rucaruca Posts: 387- Junior Member
    At my school you can take [all of] your 11th and 12th grade yr courses at the U of MN. IMO this is a better option than IB/AP.
  • An0malyAn0maly Posts: 2,689Super Moderator Senior Member
    At our school, AP gets 2 extra quality points, and honors gets one extra quality point. So, if I had A's in 6 regular classes, my gpa would be 24/6 4.0. A's in 6 honors classes would give me 30/6 = 5.0, and A's in 6 ap classes would give me a 6.0

    Weighted of course.
  • kenf1234kenf1234 Posts: 1,865Registered User Senior Member
    I think it depends on the quality of the AP class, the quality of the community college, and what you want to study. If the CC offers classes you want to take, but can't take in high school, I think that makes a lot of sense. If you want to take multivariable calculus or something, where there's no AP class, or if you want to take Japanese, which isn't offered at your high school. However If it's AP English in high school vs. English 1 in CC, I'd opt for the AP English.
  • BZ-BBZ-B Posts: 162Registered User Junior Member
    Doesn't dual cred classes only apply to state universities?
  • PackMomPackMom Posts: 7,422Registered User Senior Member
    S ( a sr) has done the dual enrollment program this yr. as have many of his friends. Here, the CC classes count as Honors as far as grade weighting goes. Of course that's still 1 point less per class than an AP (A=6 pts.) but he didn't care.

    With dual enrollment, there is not the "all or nothing" gamble like with the AP exams. S is going to a state u. next year so his credits will easily transfer. The dual enrollment program is run through our school so the course counts as both h.s.and college credit. He takes one less course at the h.s. each sem. since the CC courses count toward his high sch. credit requirements. This means he has gotten out of school at 12:30 every day his entire senior year...a great perk.
  • rucaruca Posts: 387- Junior Member
    Doesn't dual cred classes only apply to state universities?

    It varies. My UMN--TC creds (2.5 yrs worth) *could* transfer to some top LACs.
  • khrushchevtmkhrushchevtm Posts: 220Registered User Junior Member
    If you take dual credit courses at a community college, and not part of a summer university program, they will only transfer to public state schools. AP is the best bet if you plan to go to a private or out of state college.

    If you need to get some courses out of the way however that are unaffiliated with your major, take them at the community college. In my case, they were less time consuming than taking it at my school and weren't too challenging. This could just be ACC though.

    My school offers 2 free courses per semester for dual credit; if yours does the same, take advantage of it, maybe take courses you don't have time for in your schedule. Even if they don't transfer, you still have a background to start on for college. Same with APs.

    In short:
    Ivies and private schools= APs.
    In-State Publics= CC
  • ebeeeeeebeeeee Posts: 5,199Registered User Senior Member
    Sorry to disagree but my son is at a private college and they accepted all of his dual enrollment credits. It differs from school to school. Students should look at the private schools they are interested and research before making a decision.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    Yes, the best advice is to ask admission officers of your target colleges what they think. (They may tell you, "Do whatever is most challenging and educational for you.") There are a lot of college information meetings coming up in various parts of the country.

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/460097-how-meet-college-admission-officers-spring-2008-a.html
  • galoisiengaloisien Posts: 3,741- Senior Member
    It really depends on the RIGOUR of your dual-enrollment courses. Ideally, in the courses you take, your classmates (save for any fellow high school students) should be at least 3-4 years older than you, unless you're dual-enrolling at a high-quality school (not necessarily highly-ranked) or have some other way of confirming that your classmates will be your intellectual equals (you usually can feel their attitudes). It is also better if you can find a way to dual-enroll at a state university instead.

    You do NOT want to attend a college writing course to find that a good portion of your classmates in the community college have no real passion to learn, talk about how much they want to party this weekend, and are the type of people content with C's, etc.

    If you're choosing mathematics courses, less-than-bright "peers" is more tolerable, (I've been there) since the course will depend less on feedback and discussion with your peers.

    Courses I recommend dual-enrolling for:

    Mathematics courses your school doesn't offer (linear algebra, multivariable calc, etc.) This will be great for you and the school you're applying to, as you are pursuing courses beyond the HS curriculum;

    Mathematics courses your school offers but for which dual-enrolling college might offer greater rigour;

    Language courses equivalent to a fifth year in a language (for high school) or higher -- this usually equates to about 3rd/4th year for college-level langauges; lower level courses for other languages can be good (both to the school and you) if they are for languages that are relatively understudied, such as Sanskrit, Arabic, etc.

    Classes in computer science, since these tend to be better than most HS computer science courses;

    High-level courses (200/300+ or up) are always encouraging, except for language courses (since it's easy to attain the college equivalent of a 200/300 of a language course in high school).

    BE WARY OF:

    A lot of science courses -- for no reason than you'll be usually unable to take the lab component without the lecture, or vice versa, and often they tend to be held in different parts of the day -- such as when you are still physically in the high school building, for instance. If you can take all the components of a science course, then go for it, although again I caution you to watch out for rigour (ensure that your course will be as rigourous or more rigourous than the AP course you are replacing).

    Most "English" courses, as these tend to be lacking in rigour compared to both the AP English language exams, unless again there are other ways of ascertaining the course's rigour, e.g. they are highly-levelled. (Even so, the good courses tend to be highly specialised as "rhetoric", "literary devices", and so forth; these are good to take, but they won't replace an AP exam; other acceptable courses are linguistics-related courses such as phonology, the historical linguistics of a certain language, and so forth.)

    Any supposed design or "engineering"-related courses that don't use calculus-level math or higher

    Any classes for which you can tell your classmates are obviously not going to be your intellectual equals, even though they may be older

    Encouraging signs of rigour are situations like when your own teachers mention they have studied under the professor who would teach your course (for example, a teacher who grew up in my town but went to Duke mentioned that he's studied under two of my professors who taught some of my courses, a decade ago though), or when other students complain how a certain professor is a really hard grader; when the professor teaching your course is actually retired but teaching emeritus; when you hear other people (such as another HS teacher) speak well of your professor's work. Then you should be encouraged.
  • galoisiengaloisien Posts: 3,741- Senior Member
    Also, there is another program known as "College Academy" that is offered at community college, except it offers both high school and college classes at the campus. Their link is:

    Checking out the link, this seems a full-time thing, where you basically do the equivalent of transferring from HS to a community college, and thus it seems you won't have the opportunity to do other AP courses. Unless you can replace *all* the AP courses you'd otherwise take with courses of sufficient rigour, I don't recommend it.
  • book_wormbook_worm Posts: 766Registered User Member
    is taking dual enrollment through a state school (for me, U of WI LaCrosse) different than taking courses at a community college?
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