Should Students be Taking More Dual Enrollment or AP Classes?
May 23, 2019
Should I take Dual Enrollment or AP classes? This is one of the biggest questions students have, and many people have conflicting opinions on which is better.
To decide, it would be best to start with the basic differences between the two.
One major difference is that Dual Enrollment classes allow students to use the credits toward both high school and college graduation requirements, according to the Counseling website’s dual enrollment page.
Students only get college credit for AP classes, however, if they pass the AP Exam with the minimum score the college requires.
More elite universities require higher scores on the AP Exam to receive college credit, and some colleges don’t allow credit to be earned for certain courses.
Other colleges will give different amounts of credit for different AP scores. (The College Board website has a page where you can search AP credit policies, found here).
Dual Enrollment courses also differ from AP courses because students have to apply and be accepted to the college before being allowed to take the class. Any student can take an AP class, even if they aren’t recommended for it by their teacher — there are waiver forms on the school website for that purpose.
Some students might choose Dual Enrollment over AP classes because they think Dual Enrollment classes are easier.
Suzanne Wren, who teaches literature, said that some students see Dual Enrollment classes as an easy A, especially College English.
“AP Literature has more work and more reading than College English,” she said.
Wren also said that she’s seen a huge increase in people taking College English, which has led to smaller class sizes in senior-level English classes. She thinks that some of the students taking Dual Enrollment classes aren’t suited for them.
“Some students aren’t equipped,” she said. “They’re failing, and they have no time management.”
Wren also said that staying on campus is beneficial for students because they can participate more in school activities and be with their friends.
Dual Enrollment students and AP students often have different locations for their classes.
AP classes are usually taken in school and taught by a high school teacher, although they are sometimes taken online. Dual Enrollment courses, on the other hand, can be taken in a variety of ways.
For some classes, a college teacher comes to the high school’s campus to teach. Some Dual Enrollment courses are online, some of them are actual college classes livestreamed for students and some require students to go to the college itself to take the class.
There is a greater variety of ways to take Dual Enrollment than AP classes.
What do students find most important in deciding which to take (if not both)?
When asked, senior Savannah Forrest said she would take a Dual Enrollment class over an AP class.
“It would allow me to leave school earlier and it’s easier than taking an AP class,” she said.
Junior Danny Alvarado, on the other hand, would rather take an AP class.
“Transportation would be easier, and AP classes would probably be easier to do,” he said.
However, Alvarado added that Dual Enrollment classes might sometimes be easier depending on what classes you take; he noted that College English was likely an easier course than Dual Enrollment Georgia Tech math.
Deciding whether to take a Dual Enrollment of AP class is based on many factors, from course credit to location to difficulty to school culture.
It’s impossible to say one is always better than the other, as it all depends on the circumstances of the student.
When choosing between Dual Enrollment and AP classes, it is important to consider which would best fit your specific needs.