I received the following question on Facebook:
Is Dual Enrollment a better option than AP classes?
Great question! There is a growing trend to earn college credit early, but we should always step back and ask ourselves which tools best fits our circumstances (or if early credit even makes sense for your situation).
To best understand this question I want to quickly summarize what each of these tools are:
Dual Enrollment: Where you take a college course while still in high school, with the goal of earning both high school and college credit.
AP Classes: An advanced, college-level high school course created by College Board that is designed to prepare you to take an AP exam and possibly earn college credit.
AP Exams: A test that is designed to be taken at the end of
It's important to realize that while both of these tools have become increasingly popular, they still are very specialized college prep tools that are not required and do not make sense for...
Let's talk about a popular subject:
Everyone seems to be doing it. And it sounds amazing: take inexpensive or even free classes at college that meet both your high school and college credit requirements.
Yet in my 12 years as a college prep consultant I have seen many, many families that rushed into signing their teen up for dual enrollment before they had a plan in place, and ended up shocked when they realized the credits weren't all they were hyped up to be when a college wouldn't accept their credits, or just counted them for electives and made the teen take the general studies classes again (boy is that a downer), or even realized too late that their teen wasn't ready for college-level work and was permanently stuck with a low grade on their college transcript.
Dual enrollment is a great tool for specific situations. But it can also way overpromise and underdeliver in other circumstances. So if college credit early is your goal, here...
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