Before College: Financial and Other Pros and Cons of AP and Duel Credit Courses

High school students will be registering for 2018-19 later this semester. If your student‘s bound for a 4-year college degree, urge him to consider enrolling in advanced placement (AP) and duel credit courses. Here are some of their pros and cons.

Financial Pros and Cons

These courses are an opportunity to pay little or nothing to earn college-level credits that may then substitute for courses your student would be required to take — and pay for — at his college or university. This can reduce what he must pay for tuition, fees, and books while in college.

IMG_0681And imagine the savings if your student graduates from college a semester or two early. Transferring AP and duel credit courses may reduce the time during which college-related room, board, and transportation costs are necessary.

But not every postsecondary institution accepts AP and duel credit courses from all students. Some won’t transfer AP credits if AP test scores, even passing AP test scores, are too low by their standards. Out-of-state colleges may reject such credits because they cannot evaluate course quality at your student’s high school. Check this out when applying to colleges.

Academic Pros and Cons

AP and duel credit participation isn’t just accompanied by financial pros and cons. There are also academic implications.

These courses tend to attract the brightest, most dedicated, and hardest working IMG_0682students in a high school. So if your student finds regular classes dull, AP and duel credit courses will doubtlessly be more stimulating.

Such stimulation is usually accompanied by a faster pace, more demanding assignments, and considerably more homework. If these are turn-offs to your student, AP and dual credit courses may not be for him.

Many high schools recognize the additional effort AP and duel credit courses require with different grades. For example, on a 4.0 grading scale, an AP or duel credit “A” may be worth 5.0 points, a “B” may be worth 4.0 points, etc. So AP and duel credit can boost GPA and class rank.

Of course, AP and duel credit courses may also work against your student. They could be so rigorous that classmates taking regular classes might amass more grade points than he does.

Your student, and maybe you, should discuss AP and duel credit options with a guidance counselor. Sure, there are downsides; but the upsides are too beneficial to ignore!

College Affordability Solutions can be reached at (512) 366-5354 or for no-cost consultation on strategies for making higher education more affordable before, during, and after college.

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