Taking summer courses to boost GPA, AP courses or community college courses?

My son is currently a 11th grader. He plans to take summer courses to boost GPA as he didn’t do well in the last semester. He is interested in majoring in Engineering. The courses in consideration are: AP Physics C and AP Microeconomics offered by another high school, or their equivalent in community college. These two courses are not offered at his high school at all, and the grades will come with a separate transcript for GPA calculation.

Which option is better when it comes to college application? Any advantage AP courses over community college courses if the goals are getting a higher GPA and showing a concrete indicator of academic abilities? Whether or not he takes AP exams for those two courses next Spring will not affect the college application this Fall.

He should take the class he is most interested in, and thinks he could do the best (if the point is to raise his GPA).

I wouldn’t worry about how a college will interpret the classes, I am pretty sure they will give fairly equal weight to either CC or AP (pros and cons).

FWIW Physics C was by far the hardest course my D took in H. Is this summer course both mechanics and E&M? If so, I’d think long and hard before condensing it into one summer.

Note that some college calculus-based physics courses include more than just mechanics in the first course, and more than just E&M in the second course. This can affect how difficult they are and how well they transfer to other colleges, compared to AP physics C.

In addition, the college calculus-based physics courses may assume more advanced math, since they commonly list calculus 2 as the corequisite for the first course and calculus 3 as the corequisite for the second course, while AP physics C lists only calculus (starting from the beginning) as its corequisite.

It’s Physics C: Mechanics, an one-semester course in regular school work.

I think that this is the first time that I ever heard someone say that they are thinking of taking a Physics class to pad a GPA. Have you done the math to see what the impact could be? It can’t be much.