Using AP Credits

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<pre><code> I'm currently a junior in HS, but I have a question about using AP credits (that you might have answered before; I used the search forum feature but found nothing relevant). Well, first of all, my situation: both my parents are encouraging me to use as many AP credits as I possibly can (these will include AP Phys B, Bio, Chem, BC, Eng Lang, and Eng Lit) to cut down on the number of years of college and, more importantly, the cost of tuition. I'm asking this question, therefore, because the college I end up attending might depend on me using these credits to cut tuition (as in, my parents won't let me take on absurd debts at a top school unless I plan to save as much as I can). So:

<p>1) Is this recommended?
2) What are the pros and cons to this plan?
3) Any personal experiences with premeds who have done this?
4) Though this question must have already been answered several times: Is it worth more to take on the debts at a top college (and then possibly the exorbitant costs med school) or purposely attend a state or lower tier school at reduced tuition (and assault med school costs with a full coffer)?</p>

<p>Thanks to all in advance.</p>

<p>1.) No.</p>

Con #1: Some medical schools will not accept your AP credits, and you will therefore be automatically rejected from those schools. Some schools do, but in four years you will have to apply to a broad spectrum of schools and limiting your options is very, very bad.
Con #2: Furthermore, even schools which accept it will not want to see that much -- Math, English, Chemistry, and Physics. That leaves you with four of your twelve premed classes on which they can evaluate you.
Con #3: Inadequate MCAT preparation, most likely.
Con #4: Graduating early is in and of itself a problem. There are ways to mitigate this (take time off afterwards), but I'm increasingly becoming convinced that even after mitigation, there's still significant harm.</p>

<p>3.) Nobody does this to this extreme, because it doesn't work.</p>

<p>Extra Note: You can alleviate the harms from Cons 1 and 2 by replacing those courses with higher-level courses -- for example, an advanced physics course instead of introductory physics. For your parents' purposes, however, this defeats the whole point.</p>

<p>4) Don't assume debt will be greater if you attend a top school. WashU and Cornell recently joined the ranks of the top schools that now offer very generous FA. I know for Cornell, you will have no debt if your parents make under $75,000 and your loans are capped at $3000/yr if your parents make under $100,000. Cornell's FA plan is probably the least generous since its endowment is small.</p>

<p>norcalguy: My parents' income falls in the 100,000-180,000 range (I think somewhere in between that bracket). However, our savings are low and between property taxes (I live in NJ), income taxes, and mortgage payments, they aren't sure if they can fund a college education (hence, we must now cut down where we can). I've already expressed my resent at having to limit my college options on account of our financial predicament (which sounds odd considering our income bracket), but there doesn't seem to be a way out of it. Can I get some FA or even merit aid (assuming I might qualify)? I haven't tried a financial aid calculator, so I'm not sure what I might get. Any advice?</p>

<p>Any siblings in college?</p>

<p>No. One eleven year old sister...but she's probably not going to attend a top college (my parents want her to stay close to home). Sorry for the late response!</p>

<p>It would matter if she were around the same age and attending college as well, because the Ivies would cut your EFC in half.</p>

<p>You're certainly eligible for merit aid -- not at Ivies themselves, but numerous top universities (Chicago, Duke, WUSTL, etc.) offer merit scholarships.</p>