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AP Vs Dual Enrollment

SchoolLover22SchoolLover22 19 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi! I am an upcoming sophomore. I am trying to decide if i should take AP classes starting my 11th Grade year or take Dual Enrollment Classes at a nearby community college this year. I wanted some advice from parents and any students on which you think is best? My guidance counselors seem to push AP on any students that asks for advice about taking Dual Enrollment Instead of AP, so i wanted to get some advice from an outside source. The community college that i would be attending offers a program for Dual Enrollment students, if you take a course for a "High Demand" degree(Ex. Nursing/ Medical classes) then that course and 1 educational course is free.

The guidance counselor told me that "AP classes will look better on a college application" is this true? IF this is true how much will this effect an application to a selective school?(my Dream school is Emory or Duke)
I am also in the top of my class! I would love some advice! Thanks!
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Replies to: AP Vs Dual Enrollment

  • SchoolLover22SchoolLover22 19 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    By "educational class" i mean any History, English, Math, or Science class.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38455 replies6720 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited July 18
    if you take a course for a "High Demand" degree(Ex. Nursing/ Medical classes) then that course and 1 educational course is free.
    If you have no interest in the "High Demand" class and/or it does not align with your future plans,then the opportunity cost of wasting a course outweighs any benefit of a free course, IMO.

    In general, with an exception that I will explain later, I would recommend AP over DE, particularly in areas where the subjects overlap. In the first place,for AOs,AP is a known commodity. The quality of DE courses vary depending on the school or instructor. Secondly, unless you know you will be attending an instate public college, DE courses are less likely to earn credits than high AP scores. Third, AP courses may(and this varies by HS) be weighted higher than AP.

    The exception is when you've exhausted the HS curriculum in a subject. If you've taken AP Calc, then a DE multivariable calc course is a fine option.
    edited July 18
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6609 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Parent here of a now college sophomore. My D took 8 AP classes and 2 DE courses.
    The 2 DE courses were classes that her school didn't offer otherwise (ie there was no AP gov but they offered DE college gov through an agreement with a university).

    IMO, the person you should be listening to the most is your guidance counselor as they are familiar with your school's course rigor, how they will accept the DE courses, how they will look on your transcript, and how they will impact your GPA. Some schools will not give honors/AP weighing to DE classes.

    For college applications, especially to schools like Duke and Emory, you want your transcript to reflect the highest course rigor possible. At my D's school, that meant AP courses offered at school.

    Colleges are also more apt to accept AP credits over community college DEs unless you are targeting your in state universities.

    IMO, DE options are good if you've exhausted what's being offered at your HS. They shouldn't be used to substitute for AP courses.

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  • SchoolLover22SchoolLover22 19 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    They do. I plan on Going into medicine, and i feel that taking the Basic medical courses offered at the CC will give me a chance to see if i will truly enjoy going into medicine.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6609 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Basic medical courses are not going to impress colleges that want to see 4 years of math, 4 years of english, 4 years of science (bio, chem, physics, and then one of those as an AP), 3-4 years of history, and 3-4 years of foreign language.
    Volunteer at your local hospital and shadow to see if you are interested. Don't compromise on your academics.
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  • SchoolLover22SchoolLover22 19 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Basic medical courses are not going to impress colleges that want to see 4 years of math, 4 years of english, 4 years of science (bio, chem, physics, and then one of those as an AP), 3-4 years of history, and 3-4 years of foreign language.
    Volunteer at your local hospital and shadow to see if you are interested. Don't compromise on your academics.

    My high school doesn't offer a Physics class, should i take a DE physics class?
    Also, Thanks for the advice.
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  • SchoolLover22SchoolLover22 19 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Parent here of a now college sophomore. My D took 8 AP classes and 2 DE courses.

    The AP courses that my high school offers are AP Lang, AP Lit, AP Calculus AB, AP Bio, AP Chem, AP US History II, AP Gov(Semester), and AP Economics(Semester). Are these classes close to the classes your D took in high school? Also do you mind telling me what AP and DE classes your D took?
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  • SchoolLover22SchoolLover22 19 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Basic medical courses are not going to impress colleges

    My HS offers a Health Science Pathway where you can become a CNA(certified nursing assistant), would it be OK for me to take those classes? they wouldn't be preventing me from taking any AP classes. My HS also doesn't offer any "extra" core classes, so you really can only take 4 core classes and a Foreign language then the rest are random extra-curricular classes you like.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6609 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I will private message you.

    Your physics doesn't need to be AP, just some level of physics. If that isn't possible at your school, I would take a DE class.
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 7 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
    My D is a rising senior and has taken a mix of AP and DE courses across multiple disciplines. Now that she is looking at which colleges to apply to, we are finding the AP classes to be more useful than DE. She is looking at smaller, very selective colleges and none (and I mean NONE) give any credit or consideration for DE classes taught in the high school with a high school teacher. She took a few 100-Level classes affiliated with a CC and followed up with 200-Level classes affiliated with the local state university and even the higher lever classes won’t make them consider giving credit for the lower level ones. AP tests cost about $85 each, DE classes here are between $175-350 so financially, AP classes are a better bet. If you are looking at state schools or less selective schools it may be more of a toss up.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6609 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @WayOutWestMom - do you have any advice for this poster from the pre-med perspective?
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77103 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you want to eventually apply to medical school, be aware that college courses taken while in high school and their grades do have to be included when calculating pre-med GPA for medical school applications (even if the college you attend as a matriculated student does not accept transfer credit from them). This can be good if you earn all A or A+ grades in your dual enrollment courses, but bad if your dual enrollment grades drag down your pre-med GPA.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10113 replies200 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are hazards associated with DE classes.

    --Any grades earned in DE classes are included when calculating GPA/sGPA for med school admissions. You must also send official transcripts from the CC when you go to apply for med school.

    --Some medical schools will NOT accept community college classes as fulfilling med school pre-reqs. They want your science & math classes taken at a 4 year college. This means you may need to retake those same classes once you get to college--which Is a waste of time & money, plus you'll need to mark those classes as "re-taken" on AMCAS. (Adcomms do not look favorably on re-taken classes.)

    --Those schools that will accept community college credit strongly recommend (which in med school speaks mean required) that you take additional classes in the same department at a 4 year college if you want to be consider a competitive applicant for medical school. This can be especially problematic for physics since the physics classes that come after 2 semesters of general physics in college are math intensive, physics-major classes like modern physics, E&M, statistical mechanics, etc.

    You don't need to take AP physics in high school, but you do need some exposure to physics concepts before you take physics in college.

    ~~~~~
    The Health Pathway classes leading to a CNA will be consider vocational training by colleges and aren't considered academically rigorous. They may hurt your college application if you take those instead of more academic coursework and APs.

    However, earning a CNA ill allow you to work in a medical setting and earn some money while getting the hours of clinical volunteering/employment you'll need for strong med school application.

    If you want learn if you're interested in pursuing medicine as a career, you should try to do some volunteer work in medical settings--your local hospital or at a nursing home or group home for physically or mentally disabled.
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  • SchoolLover22SchoolLover22 19 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member

    @WayOutWestMom Hi Thanks for replying to my post! i have 2 more questions! Do you mine answering them?
    The Health Pathway classes leading to a CNA will be consider vocational training by colleges and aren't considered academically rigorous. They may hurt your college application if you take those instead of more academic coursework and APs.


    What do you mean by "more academic coursework"?



    You don't need to take AP physics in high school, but you do need some exposure to physics concepts before you take physics in college.


    After contacting my guidance counselor i have discovered that my HS doesn't offer a single physics class. Should i just not take a physics class before entering college and study and learn it on my own( with khan academy) or should i take a DE class and risk making a low grade(c+/B-) and have that follow me all the way to med school?
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 785 replies4 postsRegistered User Member
    My daughter did all de classes for two years. Since you have particular schools your interested in you can call admissions and see what they say. In general classes that are considered vocational/developmental will not be considered rigorous on either a high school or college level. However if your goal is actual college credit that is different than accpetance. Some schools, like both you mentioned, do not give credit for courses needed for high school graduation etc. However every school is different so you need to look at each one individually.

    Beyond just ap vs de you also need to decide if doing all classes off campus if your ready to give up having lunch with friends every day, how long transportation will take, how will you get there, can you still do desired high school activities etc. Also since the schedule isn't say 8 to 2 it can be completely different than a typical high school schedule.

    One tip for any de class is to save the syllabus since it can be requested by the college you matriculate at. My daughter found that schools may post a list of classes that have transferred in the past to give you an idea but will not promise any credits until after you matriculate (pay deposit to attend after being accepted).

    This is Duke's website info on high school courses for credit: https://trinity.duke.edu/undergraduate/academic-policies/credit-AP-IPC-PMC#PMC
    Here is Emory's info: https://apply.emory.edu/apply/first-year/tips/credits.html


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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10113 replies200 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 19
    I wouldn't recommend that you take a DE physics class if you plan to be a pre-med. I especially wouldn't recommend a DE physics class if you feel you wouldn't make a strong grade (A/A-/B+) in it. Since you home HS doesn't offer physics, could you take a summer physics class at a neighboring school? What about a physics class through an on-line HS program? Teaching yourself physics isn't ideal, especially if you don't have the necessary mathematical background. (Minimally you'll need advanced algebra, trig, polar coordinates. But understanding basic physics concepts is easier if you have calculus. Otherwise all you're doing is memorizing formulae and doing plug & chug.)

    By "more academic coursework" I mean you shouldn't take vocational classes (Health Pathways) instead of additional academic classes--foreign languages, math, sciences, literature & composition. social sciences. Colleges consider the rigor of your coursework when making admission decisions.
    edited July 19
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77103 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    --Those schools that will accept community college credit strongly recommend (which in med school speaks mean required) that you take additional classes in the same department at a 4 year college if you want to be consider a competitive applicant for medical school. This can be especially problematic for physics since the physics classes that come after 2 semesters of general physics in college are math intensive, physics-major classes like modern physics, E&M, statistical mechanics, etc.

    Note also that colleges which offer a non-calculus or less-calculus physics-for-biology-majors sequence (typically acceptable for pre-meds) tend not to consider it (or AP physics 1 or 2) a suitable prerequisite for more advanced physics courses (that are for physics majors) which require calculus-based physics-for-physics-majors as a prerequisite.
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