Needing Some Advice About AP vs. Dual Enrollment Classes!

I hope this is the right tag to use ^^;.

I’m going to be a HS junior next month, and have just received my schedule for next year. I have a couple of APs on it. They are as follows: AP Lang, AP Psych, and APUSH.

When I showed it to my mom, she insisted that I switch all my AP classes to dual enrollment classes offered by our state flagship. She’s always cared about my education, so when I got a 3 on my AP Euro exam, she was less than pleased. I think that’s why she’s pushing me towards dual enrollment instead of an AP class.

I see the benefits of a dual enrollment class. It can be easily transferred, it’s cheaper than taking gen-ed classes at university, and all I have to do is pass the class to get the credit.

But I also really want to take those AP classes. Those are subjects that I know I like and am pretty good in, especially GPA-wise, and I feel like I at least have a shot of getting a 4 or 5 on the exams. Additionally, some of the schools on my college list are T50, so I worry that my credit will be for nothing.

So a couple of questions:

  1. Are dual enrollment classes considered less than AP classes?
  2. Am I chasing after the name of AP classes to stand out on my applications next year, rather than considering the actual credit that comes with it?
  3. Is it worth it considering that I may attend a university that won’t accept it?

I feel like I’m a little in over my head about this, so any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!

Are the dual enrollment courses actually at the college (not “college in the high school”)?

Are they similar or higher level than the AP courses in material covered?

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The classes are taken at my high school, not the university. I believe that only midterms and finals are taken at the local campus. If it’s any help, it’s the ACP program provided by IU-Bloomington.

I’m not sure if they’re on the same level, but the ACP classes are the same as general education courses at IU, with the only difference being that they’re taught in a high school.

I hope this is helpful! ^^; If not, I’ll try my best to answer again.

I can only tell you about my daughter’s experience. AP classes were weighted more heavily in her school’s GPA calculations, but one had to get a minimum score for the course to be accepted by a university for credit, and that varied by university (3 at minimum, but usually 4 or 5 only counted). DE classes may or may not transfer to your given university. If you are strongly consider IU, you are probably in great shape, but my daughter is still waiting (going into her starting year) to find out if her 5 DE classes (taken at her high schools) transferred and credit will be given at her university. The quick version-if you are a good test taker, AP is more universally accepted with a good score, but, if you are going to IU (or another college that accepts the credits which is the tricky part to establish), DE is a nice option.

What colleges are you aiming for? Our experience was that AP credits were more easily accepted than DE. Talk to your guidance counselor and get their opinion. At my D’s HS, APs were more rigorous but it can depend on the school. Also ask how DE courses are weighed vs AP.


I agree with speaking to your guidance counselor as I am not sure our opinion will help sway your mom. Consider AP lang and AP Psych to show at least some rigor. APUSH is very difficult and time consuming but some student love the challenge.

For those students taking APs, the primary objective is showing rigor, college credit is a nice side objective. If you feel you can get As in the classes, then take them. Otherwise dual enrollment is a very practical alternative.

Shaming you for getting an AP score of 3 in a college level course in 10th grade is not helpful and creates unneeded anxiety. If you got an A (or even a B+) in the course you should be very proud for challenging yourself.


Totally depends on the school, state. I’m in Texas, and AP is regarded as the better path to take. They’re across the board more rigorous (vs taking from the local community college). DC (dual credit, same thing as DE) are automatically applied, which isn’t always a good thing, AP is applied as needed or wanted. High chance DC/DE hours won’t be accepted if you go to a school out of your state, but AP most likely will.

Dual credit classes can automatically bump an incoming freshman into an upper level class (because it automatically applies), the DC probably didn’t prepare the student properly, then the freshman is left struggling, not having a solid foundation of the material-one example.

So thankful my college student only took AP!

*if you plan to go on to medical, dental or law school, be cautious about taking DC/DE. Those schools will look at ALL college classes taken, so you’ll want all A’s on your community college transcripts.


Courses: Advance College Project: Indiana University lists the courses available. Which ones would you choose?

“College in the high school” is sometimes looked at less favorably than taking the courses at the college.

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