AP vs Dual Enrollment

Callie, staff

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As upperclassmen settle into their day-to-day schedules at SHS, a clear divide emerges between students who were previously referred to as “advanced.” Moving into junior year offers a unique opportunity that was not previously available: we can enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) or dual enrollment courses. For some background information, an AP class is a higher-level class that prepares students for college and for a test at the end of the year. A certain score on the AP test grants a passing student a corresponding college credit, depending on which university they are attending. A dual enrollment course, on the other hand, is a college-level class that students can take and receive college credit for, depending on the grades they earned. For dual enrollment, class is in session 2-3 days a week. On the days with no class, students are allowed to check into school after second period. AP students, however, arrive at normal time every single morning.

A benefit to each of these is an extra quality point added to someone’s GPA. That means that if a student earns an A in either of those courses, he or she has a 5.0 in that class rather than a 4.0, which would be typical. Also, college credit is on the line. One drawback is price. Because we no longer have a grant, AP tests will cost roughly $100, while a dual enrollment class will be around $800. Financially, that much money is just not possible for a lot of families.

As an AP student, I feel I am learning lots of valuable lessons. We learn time management, study skills, communication techniques, and responsibility on a daily basis. We are held accountable for our own learning, with the expectation that we keep up with our work while juggling extracurriculars and jobs for the first time. Dual enrollment students are learning these skills, too. With these higher level classes, we have been given a unique opportunity to prove ourselves with much higher rewards. It is wonderful chance we get to prove ourselves while possibly earning credits that will greatly affect the future.