Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

AP vs PSEO advice please?

1Lotus1Lotus Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
My sophomore D could take classes through PSEO next year. This year she is taking AP Calculus AB, AP Physics and AP Biology, Honors English. I was concerned about the 2 AP sciences at once, but she seems to be handling it. Her school has plenty of AP classes but I know some students also do PSEO. If my D were to do PSEO, we are thinking online since no school is conveniently located. I think she likes the idea of flexibility of online classes and has taken 2 years of HS Japanese online. I think that she should continue on the AP Calculus BC path for next year regardless to whether she decides to PSEO and I'd like to see her stay in orchestra during school time, but wondering if there is any advantage to PSEO, or since her school has AP classes, then stick with that? I'm looking for experiences/opinions. My husband took PSEO at nearby college when he was a senior, but his school did not have any AP options. What are things we should be thinking about to make a decision? She has the stats (32 Pre-ACT, 1320 PSAT, 4.0 gpa). She does not have a college preference after high school, but interested in math/science careers.
«1

Replies to: AP vs PSEO advice please?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,009 Senior Member
    College courses taken while in high school can give her more options beyond AP courses. Examples include math beyond single variable calculus, and subjects like philosophy and sociology.

    Also, some college courses cover material at a faster pace than AP courses do (e.g. calculus 2 in college is a semester, compared to a year for AP calculus BC taken after AP calculus AB).

    However, some colleges (e.g. highly selective private schools and University of Michigan) are stingy with credit or subject credit for transferred college courses.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,739 Senior Member
    There are some issues with post secondary courses or dual enrollment courses to consider. The main one which seems to be a surprise to some students is that those transcripts will follow your child, not just to undergrad. but to grad school. The other big issue is that depending on where she lands for college, those courses may not transfer in the same way an AP course might.

    IMO, if the school offers a full breath of AP courses that will challenge your daughter, I would personally stick to that. If it's a situation where she will run out of classes because she's too advanced, then that's a different decision.
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 740 Member
    Are you in Minnesota? I haven't seen "PSEO" used anywhere else so just curious.

    I have a kid doing PSEO. Is your kid enjoying high school and really entrenched in extra curricular activities and a social life there? Or is the thought of 2 more years of that not great? Is your kid self motivated and can follow a syllabus and stay on track without help or intervention or reminders?

    My kid has taken some interesting classes. Like American Film and World Music. I will say some of the content of class discussions including online discussions is rated R. My kid does broader community extra curriculars and this schedule has given him much more flexibility. My kid has a 4.0 in his dual enroll classes, but we intentionally just started with 2 hand picked classes we thought he would enjoy.

    I was going to mention the U of MN is pretty great with PSEO credit acceptance and I think UW-Madison looks like it should be pretty good as well if either of those schools are in the running and you are in the area.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,009 Senior Member
    There are some issues with post secondary courses or dual enrollment courses to consider. The main one which seems to be a surprise to some students is that those transcripts will follow your child, not just to undergrad. but to grad school.

    Yes, for a pre-med or pre-law student, it is highly important to earn A or A+ grades in college courses, including those taken while in high school.
  • 1Lotus1Lotus Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Thanks for all advice so far!

    ucb-She enjoys math and I think the pacing on AP Calc AB is going well this year...might be too intense if she had to do it in one semester. Med options have been

    momofsenior1-I don't think she will run out of challenging APs, just wondering if there would be more interesting options, but also if her choices at college would be limited to what is leftover after current college students are done registering.


    musakparent-yes, MN. she is definitely self-motivated, and involved in some school activities. I do wonder about the great unknown of having her first experiences of college life while still trying to balance HS life.


    Keep any advice coming our way, please :)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,009 Senior Member
    1Lotus wrote:
    She enjoys math and I think the pacing on AP Calc AB is going well this year...might be too intense if she had to do it in one semester. Med options have been

    She should be aware that college math will cover material about twice as fast as her high school math. E.g. single variable calculus in one year, instead of her two year AP calculus AB followed by BC sequence.

    What do you mean by "Med options have been"?
  • 1Lotus1Lotus Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    UCB-Oops...did not complete my sentence. Should be “Med options have been considered as future career.”
  • havenoideahavenoidea Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    I think the answer may depend on what she wants to accomplish by taking the PSEO classes. Is she looking to use the credits to graduate college/university early? If so, have you checked to see if a wide variety of schools would accept the credits?

    Also, are the PSEO classes as or more challenging than the AP classes? If they are, do most institutions you think she may want to attend view them this way? I don’t know the answer to this.

    Another option, if she wants to add an online class, may be CTY online. That would cost extra though, and she won’t get out of school like she would through the other program. We just found out about this option in researching summer programs, and it sounds like your daughter would probably qualify. They have accelerated APs, among other online options.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,009 Senior Member
    1Lotus wrote:
    Should be “Med options have been considered as future career.”

    In that case, she needs to know that the pre-med grade pressure to earn A grades in everything starts with the first college course she takes, including while in high school.
  • 1Lotus1Lotus Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Talked to D last night and she is taking AP Biology this year and enjoying it. Her thoughts are that she wants to do another more advanced Biology course. I looked in last year’s registration guide and it appears the school has several courses that would fall in line with medical (Biomedical Sciences), but I think she wants the AP or college level. I told her I’m not sure what availability she would have to classes if PSEO, after current college students make course selection. So, does anyone have experience on course selection of PSEO? Are they limited? There are enough AP math and English at her school. I kind of worry about her trying to pile on too much college level work in Hs and miss out on the Hs/teen experience. As I’ve seen on this board before...it is not a race. Maybe it would be nice to have some Hs level courses for fun to explore different areas?
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,739 Senior Member
    Personally I would stick with offerings within her HS, especially for junior year. She can also take a PSEO course senior year.

    YMMV but my daughter found her in school offerings plenty challenging.
  • Darcy123Darcy123 Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    I'm sure it's going to vary tremendously by school and particular class, but my daughter had to wait to register for her DE course after the full time students registered and it resulted in significantly fewer options. She ultimately had to choose a course in the middle of the day that required her to leave her high school class more than a half an hour early and even then driving to the university, parking and making it to class on time was a challenge. She ended up dropping the class as the logistics were just a mess and completely stressing her out. I highly recommend making sure you really consider the options and reality of leaving high school in the middle of they day if you end up having to choose a class late. Her high school starts early, so with an open block at the end of the day for DE, she would have had plenty of time for a 2 or 3 o'clock class without all the headaches. But not surprisingly those were very popular with the full time students.
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 740 Member
    edited January 10
    Yes you really need to evaluate what is available for PSEO student individually by school. We chose not to pursue PSEO at the U of MN partially because it's hard for new PSEO students to get classes they want. They register last. If you want to do PSEO at the U it also helps to have flexibility on what you are willing to take and timing. My kid had graduation requirements he also wanted to fulfill via PSEO so he really needed a couple classes. We have had early registration at community college every semester. Plus small class sizes and easy prof access. Check rate my professor and read the reviews to get a sense of teachers wherever you end up doing PSEO. Many of the community college profs my kid has had teach at other 4 year colleges in the cities.
  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,997 Senior Member
    @1Lotus - This has been mentioned already - but factor in college plans when making this decision. I know your kid is a sophomore, but do you have any idea where your kid will be looking for college? Many states offer a transfer of HS post secondary or dual enrollment credits to state universities- but they are FAR less likely to transfer to private or out of state colleges than AP credits (the reason being, AP is a national system). My state (ohio) has a similar program, and I have seen kids get "burned" where they have taken half a dozen college classes, and done well, but found that the credits do not transfer.
  • bgbg4usbgbg4us Registered User Posts: 1,014 Senior Member
    sounds like she's off to a good start. I agree with toowonderful above; I'd chose several colleges of interest so far, google them plus the words "credit transfer" and also "AP credit" in another search and make a spreadsheet. AP credits are accepted at lots of good colleges (maybe not at the tippy top ones) and a pretty cheap way of getting credits -- you'll need to check to see if your PSEO (or what we call DE) credits are transferable, and if the grade comes in too. but yeah, it looks like she's doing well so far!
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.