AP vs dual credit

Students and teachers weigh the two options

Andrew Madsen, Reporter

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Studies have shown Advanced Placement (AP) and dual credit classes are both an efficient way to earn college credit while students are still in high school. But which class is the best to take? The answer to this depends on students’ learning style. 

While both of these classes can give students college credit and are a good option for students that are willing to put in the work, they have a few differences. AP classes prepare students to pass an exam to prove students’ mastery of a college level course, whereas dual credit classes give students the opportunity to earn college credit based on students’ grades.  

Some students believe AP is the hardest course students can take. “We do way more work in AP than in any other class I have taken,” Logan Tinsley, an AP student, said. “The grading in AP is harsher and we are given harder work.” 

AP, unlike dual credit, prepares students for an exam that students  take during May. The test is over everything students learned throughout the entire year and usually costs around 90 dollars to take (with the ability to lower it if needed). 

Adym Cooney, AP World History teacher, says AP is not just a test. He said, “The purpose of AP is to get students ready for college and their career.”

In addition, AP also teaches students important skills like writing, critical thinking, and problem solving. Cooney added that these skills will translate into students futures whether they pursue secondary education or not. 

On the other hand, some students believe dual credit is the less stressful and the easier option. Unlike AP, dual credit does not require students to pass a test in order to earn college credit. Instead, students must have at least a B by the end of the class. 

Anna McMillen, a guidance counselor, said that “dual credit allows students to earn credit for college while they are still in high school at a discounted rate.” 

Dual credit also helps with many other things like finding students’ academic interests by being able to take classes that are not normally offered. It is also useful for students who are not qualified to take AP or are just not up to it. 

McMillen also said, “Students can earn high school credit for a class like College Algebra for example, while it will also go on their college transcript. Most colleges in Missouri will accept these credits in place of [college] courses, and when it covers course requirements it can really save students time and money in the long run.”

Marcus Campbell, sophomore dual credit student, said he encourages students to take dual credit classes because students will earn college credit as long as they maintain a specific grade. 

“Dual credit is about the same as any other class but it helps Students when Students go to college,” Campbell said. “Dual credit is a great idea for people who want to get college classes out of the way in high school.” 

Another plus to taking dual credit, is that students pay a fraction of the cost than they would if they were enrolled in the same class in college, and the credit is transferable between some colleges. 

According to parchment.com, educators show that there is no right answer to which option is better. Counselors and teachers say that it depends on the student, and what students want to get out of the class. Each option offers different subjects and teach different skills and content. 

Students wishing to enroll in an AP course or dual credit class can sign up during class or in the spring semester.