AP Classes vs. Dual Enrollment Classes

Valerie Gregorio, Senior Staff Writer

Every year, more high school students take AP or dual enrollment classes. Both classes will help you earn college credit so you do not have to take certain classes when you go to a four year college. AP and dual enrollment classes both have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to preparing for college and earning college credit. You can decide whether to take AP classes or dual enrollment classes. There are differences between AP classes and dual enrollment classes so you should know first before deciding.

AP classes are offered in many different subject areas like calculus and art history. You can choose any AP classes that you want to take. Make sure you do well in the non-AP classes before taking the actual AP classes itself. Each AP class has a special end-of-year exam. The exams are not free and in order to earn college credit you must pass the exam with a 3 or better. Know that some colleges will only accept 4’s or 5’s. Since AP classes are hard, they can add more stress during your high school years and if you struggle and do not learn any of the content, then it is not a good preparation for college. If you are going to take AP classes, make sure you can do well in them.

Dual enrollment classes are classes that you take at your local community college while you are still in high school. These classes count for both high school credit and college credit. Usually, anyone with a 2.5 GPA or higher should be considered to take dual enrollment. A four year college will award a few number of credits if you pass the classes and pay the fees. The classes cost somewhere from $200 to $1000, depending on how many you take. There is no special exam that you need to take to earn college credits. You will need to pass the classes with a C or higher in order to earn them. Make sure you do well in them. They are similar to AP classes in terms of workload, but you can get them done within a semester. Not every college will accept college credit from dual enrollment so you will need to keep that in mind. If you can handle dual enrollment classes, then you can handle college classes.

I asked Brian Yellets, a LHS Senior, about what classes he prefers to earn college credit and he said, “I prefer dual enrollment classes because you get more done in a short amount of time. Dual enrollment classes only last a semester and I earn credit by passing them.”

AP classes and dual enrollment classes are both great ways to earn college credit. They also help you prepare for college. You will be better prepare for college if you take one way or the other or both. Decide which is best for you first before taking one of them or both. You will be ready for college in no time.