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AP vs. College courses

breadbreadbreadbreadbreadbread 8 replies2 threads New Member
I go to a top 10 public high school in the nation, so we have loads of advanced courses, including dual enrollment. Our dual enrollment courses are taken at our high school, and taught by our teachers, in an average high school class size, as opposed to at the college itself in a large lecture hall or something of the sorts. Most of our courses are 200/300 level, with one 400.

Obviously it's pretty teacher specific, but this is basically a high school class in terms of set up/environment. My problem is that I am worried that colleges would be less impressed by these than they would be had I taken more APs and less dual enrollment. Which is likely to be harder/more impressive to college?
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Replies to: AP vs. College courses

  • h8annahh8annah 410 replies29 threads Member
    At my school in CT, we have something called ECE (Early College Experience), which is offered by UConn. It's high school teachers teaching classes audited by UCONN for college and high school credit. It's a great opportunity and colleges will see it as rigorous, however, not every school will accept the transfer credit.

    Many schools, like Rice, for example, will not accept transfer credit if it is not taught on a college campus. Not every college will grant credit for Dual Enrollment, regardless if it is taught on campus or not due to curriculum variations. Therefore, if there is an AP equivalent, it is better to take that course since it's a standardized curriculum and you are more likely to get credit. However, DE courses will be a great way to add rigor in courses that there is no AP for! It will still look challenging.
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 974 replies7 threads Member
    edited February 7
    My daughter did two years of dual enrollment and is attending a private school which accepted all her dual enrollment credits.

    One thing to note with dual enrollment is even if you get credits from the matriculated school it can mean different things such as:

    1 full credit for a matching class
    2 full credit and the ability to take the next class in a sequence/higher level
    3 no credit but the ability to take the next class
    4 elective credits that may not be needed for anything at all
    5 no credits

    Dual Enrollment can help with admission even if the college does not give credit for the classes.

    When my daughter was researching we found that several colleges will not accept college classes unless they are part of a college catalog open to all students taught in a class that all college students can sign up for. However a college may be familiar with your school so your best off talking directly to admissions at colleges your thinking about and/or talking to the school guidance counselor since your high school may be an exception.

    Another thing is you need to look at colleges individually for dual enrollment. Yes schools connected to the college you do dual enrollment with are most apt to give credit. However other schools may also give credit including private and out of state public schools. Typically no school will guarantee credit until your matriculated and they decide. However admissions departments can usually give you a feel for what is accepted and some colleges have online ways of checking transfer credits.

    Make sure to read the section for transfer credits coming from a high school student which can differ from transfer credit from a college.

    Tip: save all the syllabi from dual enrollment classes - a school may want to see them to help determine if they will give credit and for what.

    Tip: if college credit is a goal it is best to stick to common classes. Taking a class such as how to utilize college confidential will not be offered at tons of schools and if the college you matriculate at does not have a matching class there is less chance of credit.

    edited February 7
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  • H20resqdogsH20resqdogs 61 replies1 threads Junior Member
    My son has 2 years/30 hours (after this semester) of dual enrollment, however he goes to the community college or does it through their online program. He did not take AP because he was in this program. I left it up to him. Not taking the AP test appealed to him, as was jumping in and getting college credit done now so he didn’t have to take it when he got to school, and it was free. I think going to the college campus and participating in classes helped show he could handle it. Hard to tell what colleges really think. I suggest reading very carefully all the details of your particular dual enrollment program. Our program here (assuming he takes classes off the published program list) is completely transferable to any in state public school by contract. Out of state so far, they are taking the majority, but it’s by university. He’s thrilled to have this much general ed done when he enters. My 9th grader though is interested in more AP as the school offers more of what he is interested in then what he can take in dual enrollment, he is going to try and do some of both. It’s really going to come down what YOU want and your goals and interests. I think colleges are impressed with any higher level academics, however they are achieved.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    Much of it depends on the course. If you’re taking DE Multivariable Calculus it’s a pretty standardized topic. Schools will recognize it at least as valuable as core AP courses, and more valuable than taking more easy AP courses.

    If it’s DE Basketweaving from the local small community college, not so much.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9778 replies110 threads Senior Member
    As noted, it's super school specific what will be accepted for credit and for which courses. Unfortunately there is no blanket statement.

    In our experience, AP credits were more straight forward because it's a set curriculum and exam. My D didn't know if her DE credits would be accepted until a month before classes began, well after depositing.

    The advice we were given during HS was to take AP versions if available and to use DE to fill in what wasn't offered.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82665 replies737 threads Senior Member
    I go to a top 10 public high school in the nation, so we have loads of advanced courses, including dual enrollment. Our dual enrollment courses are taken at our high school, and taught by our teachers, in an average high school class size, as opposed to at the college itself in a large lecture hall or something of the sorts. Most of our courses are 200/300 level, with one 400.

    Obviously it's pretty teacher specific, but this is basically a high school class in terms of set up/environment. My problem is that I am worried that colleges would be less impressed by these than they would be had I taken more APs and less dual enrollment. Which is likely to be harder/more impressive to college?

    Some colleges do exclude transfer credit for college courses taken at the high school campus, as opposed to a college campus with college students.

    Obviously, if the material covered is more advanced than AP level (which targets college frosh level in most cases), or the material is not offered as an AP course, then the college course would be the only option for that material. Examples include such things as multivariable calculus, organic chemistry, foreign language at the advanced level, philosophy, sociology, and history other than the AP history courses.
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  • yearstogoyearstogo 747 replies30 threads Member
    DS attends a public high school and has been able to take Multivariable, Graph Theory, Diif EQ, etc. Unfortunately, when he begins college he will need to repeat most, probably all of these courses, but if it were DE then he would probably not have to repeat from what we were told by some admissions officers.

    If he is lucky and gets accepted into a top college then my understanding is that many of their courses go quite a bit beyond what he may have learned, but this is not the case at many other colleges. He is not excited about repeating material and we are full pay and definitely not excited to pay for him to repeat...

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  • breadbreadbreadbreadbreadbread 8 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you all for your help! I planned to take the DE classes anyway, because I find the subject matter very interesting and beyond the scope of APs offered at my school. I just wanted to make sure doing so would not kill my chances.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6565 replies10 threads Senior Member
    @yearstogo , some colleges will allow students to take the final exam for a course at the beginning of the semester.
    If they pass, they do not have to repeat and can take classes beyond that in the sequence. Obviously, this varies school by school but since college is still in the future, this could be an option. Personally, getting credit is far less interesting than getting to study something new.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 2197 replies37 threads Senior Member
    AP courses are more-or-less standardized so the AOs know what they are (and you have test scores to back them up). College courses, on the other hand, are all over the place in terms of materials covered and rigor. So for college admission purpose, APs are more suitable unless you've completed all the core AP courses (or equivalent courses at your HS), and the college courses interest you and are the only options left.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10395 replies574 threads Super Moderator
    edited February 10
    Good thread. DE is more common in some states than others. I live in NY which has no system for reimbursement for DE fees. Some states offer it totally free to students. I was curious about how DE is paid for and found this link: http://ecs.force.com/mbdata/MBQuestRTL?Rep=DE1504

    It gives info for all states. There is wide variation. The video linked above is also helpful, though I think she should have mentioned how fees or payment were handled in her district. It’s possible she didn’t know.

    AP tests aren’t free either, but some states do provide the tests for their students. I wasn’t able to find info specifically, but this is an interesting article which includes some information about paying, and a lot of information about the controversial new registration deadline. College Board is intent on getting more money out of AP classes. This is worth a read. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/02/06/college-board-ap-exams-test-prep-fees/2772196002/
    edited February 10
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  • yearstogoyearstogo 747 replies30 threads Member
    @gardenstategal Thanks. DS definitely prefers to not repeat material. While it would be nice to have the credit, at least getting the course to count as a prereq so he can move on would have him learning something new. It looks like he will just have to have conversations with the colleges that accept him before he decides.

    I would think this is a somewhat frequent issue with kids that do academic competitions, and not just the medalists.
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 974 replies7 threads Member
    Some other things to think about

    AP - is cost a factor at your high school and it is possible now that you need to agree to take the test in order to take the class

    DE - cost varies - completely free at some schools including free rental books to probably full price - this is very school specific

    for DE
    Time and transportation to get to/from college campus

    are you comfortable doing group projects with college students

    Does your high school have specific rules as what you can/can't take (which for our high school rules out anything like basket weaving)

    For my daughter the idea of loading up on AP classes in primarily Core subjects did not really interest her.

    Since she was full time dual enrollment for two years she

    1 took what she needed to fulfill high school graduation requirements
    2 took what we felt may still be needed for college admission
    3 all remaining electives were business courses since that was her passion - her concern was not credit. Some were offered at the honors level at high school but by taking them in a semester rather than a year she was able to take a wider variety of subjects

    4 she knew she wanted to major in accounting but by taking finance class it helped her realize she liked that too and is now a double major
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 974 replies7 threads Member
    I tried to edit my post but it wouldn't let me

    My daughter's de classes were completely free including book rentals - I would have paid I believe $12 or $25 per AP test - for me either was okay but technically AP classes would have cost me more money. I did spend $30 for a science lab book so my daughter could write in it. However I do believe there is a waiver for AP costs for low income.

    One thing that being at a cc was the school has lots of universities coming in to talk about transferring. They were just in the halls talking to students so my daughter was able to take advantage of that if desired as well as seeing schools at her high school. There were schools of all levels that visited including top 20/ivy league schools.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    Some colleges do exclude transfer credit for college courses taken at the high school campus, as opposed to a college campus with college students.

    i’ve never seen this. Do you have an example/link to this situation. It seems odd that the same material and same exams would be treated differently, as the student has a grade on a college transcript.

    Purdue’s transfer guide, for example, just asks for college/university name and course number.

    If you know schools that you are interested in, you can look for the same. Or check Purdue’s tool at https://www.admissions.purdue.edu/transfercredit/index.php - the Equivalency Guide is best - to see at least one school’s take on it. (It’s a little clunky but it works).
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40797 replies7569 threads Super Moderator
    RichInPitt wrote: »
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    Some colleges do exclude transfer credit for college courses taken at the high school campus, as opposed to a college campus with college students.

    i’ve never seen this. Do you have an example/link to this situation. It seems odd that the same material and same exams would be treated differently, as the student has a grade on a college transcript.

    I have. Many times. Transfer credit depends upon the college, and the more selective ones are usually stricter. But as an example:
    https://www.brandeis.edu/registrar/transfer/highschool.html
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 82665 replies737 threads Senior Member
    yearstogo wrote: »
    DS attends a public high school and has been able to take Multivariable, Graph Theory, Diif EQ, etc. Unfortunately, when he begins college he will need to repeat most, probably all of these courses, but if it were DE then he would probably not have to repeat from what we were told by some admissions officers.

    If he is lucky and gets accepted into a top college then my understanding is that many of their courses go quite a bit beyond what he may have learned, but this is not the case at many other colleges. He is not excited about repeating material and we are full pay and definitely not excited to pay for him to repeat...

    May want to check if the colleges' math departments offer subject credit or prerequisite waiver by exam for the material covered.

    Another possibility, if he must repeat the courses, is to choose honors courses if available.
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 974 replies7 threads Member
    @RichInPitt I've seen it mentioned from several colleges. However you may need to look at different areas of the website since it varies quite a bit or call to confirm. Sometimes it is part of freshman admissions info, sometimes transfer info etc. Here is another one

    NYU https://www.nyu.edu/admissions/undergraduate-admissions/how-to-apply/all-freshmen-applicants/advanced-credits.html
    College Courses Taken While in High School
    Credit may be awarded if:

    Received a grade of “B” or better
    NYU offers corresponding courses
    In most cases, courses were taken at a college/university, with college/university students, and taught by college/university faculty.
    Courses were not used to satisfy high school graduation requirements

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  • H20resqdogsH20resqdogs 61 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited February 11
    To add to what I wrote above.
    We are in NC and the program is Career and College Promise and there is an articulation agreement with the UNC system. Through CCP there are no fees, (at least to public NC high schools) and fees like textbooks depend on district and our district is free. I believe I wrote my son had 30 hours above, he actually will graduate with 34 DE hours. He had to choose from a list of classes that will qualify for high school graduation, and then another list that will transfer to the UNC system schools, many of which overlap. He chose all of his classes from the list that were both giving him high school credit and will automatically transfer to the UNC system. We went onto the UNC system site and downloaded a form they had for his major that you could track. With his intended major, he will get credit for 30 hours (he will get the credits for the other 4 hours, but his degree plan doesn’t recognize them).
    My advice is to read the information about your program closely, and you can get on to the college sites you are interested in and hopefully compare the classes to the transfer credit they recognize.
    My son has been accepted to a few out of state schools thus far as well, and so far almost all of these classes have been pre-approved by the school because someone else had already had them looked at. Good luck!
    edited February 11
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14454 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    edited February 11
    AP vs DE

    • AP tests are well known nationally and are uniform across the nation
    • You can look on any college’s website and see what credit you will get for what scores on the AP tests
    • AP Courses are given at your High School
    • AP Credit is based on a test you take on one day
    • AP courses generally are more spread out...e.g., AP Calc AB = Calc 1 is given over a year, not a semester.

    DE
    • There are more of a variety of DE courses available at a CC
    • DE courses will count for your college GPA…make sure to do well for future Med school/grad school purposes.
    • DE Courses may be only available at the CC…how will you get there? How will they overlap with your HS schedule?
    • Private and Out of State Colleges may or may not give you credit. They may not give credit for courses taken to fulfill HS requirements. You do not know what credit you can get ahead of time.
    • DE Credit is based on your grades over the semester (including final)
    edited February 11
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