Do high school dual-enrollment/AP classes push kids too far ahead in college?

Across the country students will be graduating from high school with enough college credits for an associate’s degree or to be sophomores or juniors their first year in actual college.

Dual-enrollment and AP classes have grown in popularity during the last 20 years and enable high school students to graduate with college half-finished but I’m wondering if this is truly a good thing.

I guess the point is that dual-enrollment classes and AP classes can save the family money if the student can knock out core college classes in high school and enables them to immediately start on their higher-level or major classes. However, are kids really ready to do that? Should they have to pick their majors before they even pick their dorms? Do these classes eliminate some of the easier classes that allow students to acclimate to college life and being responsible for themselves?

Does it shorten their college experience too much where they aren’t ready to decide what they want to do with their lives and be in the real world?

Take for example a family friend on the East coast who graduated valedictorian of her high school class and entered college as a second-semester sophomore. She’s on a full ride so it’s not really costing her family anything for her to go to college but since she entered as a sophomore she is expected to finish in less than three years.

So far she’s not enjoying her “major” classes and isn’t enjoying her college experience because she’s being rushed through. Plus she’s just exhausted from working so hard in high school.

The Arizona Republic did a big take out on this issue.

From The Arizona Republic:

” ‘But an increasing number of high-school students are earning community-college credits. More than 16,400 students were enrolled in Maricopa County community-college classes while in high school in the 2010-11 school year, up from more than 14,300 five years ago. Figures for the 2011-12 school year were not available. ‘ ”

” ‘It’s actually part of a national trend that’s been building the last 10 years,’ said Linda Lujan, president of Chandler-Gilbert Community College.”

“Students save time and thousands of dollars by enrolling concurrently in community college while in high school, Lujan said.”

” ‘There is no magic about a chronological age … and many students are cognitively ready to take college courses,’ she added.”

“Students like Landon saved more than $18,000 in college tuition for the first two years by earning an associate’s degree while in high school.”

Our middle school is pushing high school classes – for math and Spanish – and our high school is pushing dual-enrollment classes. But to what end?

When I graduated from high school in 1990 AP classes were the big thing in Gwinnett County. Kids would leave school with two, three or four college classes under their belts. It would save their parents some money on those core classes and they could move on to more interesting classes. But it wasn’t like you were starting college half-way through it.

I’m just wondering if too much emphasis is being put on these classes and too much pressure is being put on the kids to “get ahead.”

What have your experiences been with dual-enrollment and AP classes? How many classes are good to knock out and how many push the student too far?

45 comments Add your comment

Techmom

May 17th, 2012
1:34 am

I am a proponent of taking college classes while in HS and not taking AP classes if the student wants to earn college credit. AP classes require you to take a class the entire year and then you only get college credit if you can pass the AP exam at the end. Everything rides on that one test. But in college, you can take the equivalent of 2 classes in that same time frame AND your college credit is not based one test. I took 1 AP class in HS and decided it was a waste of time and required way too much work for only 1 quarter’s worth of credit. I did joint-enrollment at the local university my senior year and by the time I graduated HS, I had an entire year’s worth of credit (at the time we were on quarters vs. semesters so it actually meant that I graduated on Saturday morning and then had a week more of class + finals at college, but it was still worth it to me.)

My son is currently a junior in HS and I have not encouraged him to take any AP classes. His school does have an agreement to do joint-enrollment via web-based learning with a college. So he could take college courses from his HS campus. I have tried to encourage him to do this with a couple of classes; at least for economics and government since they would give him HS and college credit and neither are super difficult courses. His problem is that he knows he can get As in those classes in HS but if he ends up with a difficult professor in the college-level course, he could end up with a B.

I think there is a ton more pressure on student in AP courses b/c schools use the number of AP courses and the number or percentage of students who pass those courses as an “advertisement” for their school. I still think there has to be an economic driver to the big push for AP courses. Do schools get more funds if they teach more AP classes? Do the teachers who teach those classes earn more?

Also, I don’t think that kids are actually finishing college any faster b/c they take classes in HS. It might help them in the short term but I keep hearing that it’s taking most students 5 years to finish college now so even as the trend of AP & college courses is increases, the length of time to graduate is increasing as well.

catlady

May 17th, 2012
7:02 am

Only one of my kids went to college with AP credit. Joint enrollment here isn’t an option. I preferred that they have the full high school experience in high school. They were well-prepared and did fine in college–2 were honor grads.

As for myself, in the late 60s there was no AP around. You could “challenge” a college course with CLEP, and I could have CLEPed out of Spanish and English, and maybe a couple of the histories. I did not, however. I made it through in 3 years by taking overloads (one term I had 8 classes). Only in the first term did I take as few as 5 classes. I would not recommend that to anyone either.

motherjanegoose

May 17th, 2012
7:10 am

My two did take some AP classes. Not as many as the student you mentioned though. Many rigorous colleges look favorably on students who take a few AP classes, as this shows they are able to make a good grade in a college class. We were told that it will help a student get into that college and for mine, it did. They did not do dual enrollment but some of their peers did. This was their choice and not mine. The AP classes are harder than regular HS classes ( NO SURPRISE) and gave them a bit of experience on what to expect. It was not about $$ for us, but about how things looked on their application and their course rigor.

OFF subject but somewhat related…I heard on WSB and read some mention in the AJC that the new testing in GA schools will require all Kinders to know their shapes…WHAT? My Kinders have known their shapes for 30 years. My point is that not all schools have the same expectations and the AP classes do seem to equalize things . All HS classes are not created equally…in fairness LIFE is not created equally either.

mom2alex&max

May 17th, 2012
8:04 am

Well maybe if college hadn’t become a huge debt trap we wouldn’t be pushing kids so hard. I will most certainly encourage my sons to take college classes in high school. I have been saving and investing pretty diligently, but I did some calculations the other day and it probably won’t cover it all. I can’t take away from my retirement, because that would only mean I will become a burden to them instead of college loan debt.

It’s a no win situation with today’s youth. They can’t be young. They can’t take the time to get to know themselves. They have to pick a career path before they are even old enough to drive. So sad.

library volunteer

May 17th, 2012
8:05 am

I have wondered if 9th-10th graders taking AP classes have the maturity to really understand the material on a college level or if they are still in the memorize-spit back phase of learning. Econ. government, history, all take a depth of learning and understanding to make them worthwhile, something I’m not sure can be gained at 15 years old.

MomsRule

May 17th, 2012
8:33 am

I am very eager to read people’s feedback and personal experiences on today’s topic.

I dropped my sophomore off this AM to take his first AP exam, World History. He is enrolled in four (eek!) AP classes his junior year and we’ve discussed dual enrollment. It is really hard to know the right path to take… He is incredibly focused on doing things that will help get him into college, he works hard and has straight A’s, well, except the 89 in Math he earned in the 8th grade that is on his high school transcript. :(

I find it interesting that dual enrollment is considered to be a newer initiative. I took some dual enrollment courses in the late 80s in Minnesota. Dual enrollment has been around for a very long time, at least in some areas.

MomsRule

May 17th, 2012
8:36 am

@MJG…re kinders and shapes. WHAT!? This is new??

homeschooler

May 17th, 2012
8:40 am

I only know of one girl who did duel enrolment. She started college as a sophmore. Took a few classes, dropped out and had a baby and is now working as a waitress while her mom (my friend) helps raise her kid. What a waste of a very bright mind.

I always loved the idea of duel enrollment. Never really understood how the AP classes-college credit thing worked but I’m all for anythinig that will give the kids a head start and a break from college tuition.

I graduated January of my senior year. It’s pretty easy to do if you work your classes right and pass everything. My neice is doing the same thing next year. She has never been overly academic of what one would call “smart” but she passed everything, was not taking a lot of extra-curriculars so she doubled up on some history and English classes and should earn all of her hs credits by January. She plans to start college in the spring while her friends are finishing HS. This won’t save her any money but is just another option, especially for those kids who are antsy about getting out of school and “starting their lives”. I took a long break between January and starting college in September. I worked a full time job and still kept up with my friends and enjoyed all the senior activities.

There are tons of options out there if you think “outside of the box”. Different things work for different kids. In my experience the really smart kids took the AP classes so the classes were not that hard for them. No more difficult than regular classes were for “regular” kids. I don’t think anything in public HS is “too hard”. Except the IB program. Now THAT takes some extreme hard work and dedication. I think my nephew was close to suicide before finally dropping out. But, again, for the kids it works for, it is amazing.

MomsRule

May 17th, 2012
8:43 am

@homeschooler, What is the IB program?

homeschooler

May 17th, 2012
9:14 am

@ MomsRule. One of the regular moms on here was in in. It is a magnet program offered at some of the high schools. (my nephew went to Campbell in Cobb County). My understanding is that it is an internationally recocognized program that is very academically challenging in all subject areas. My sister-in-law was told that a high percentage of kids in IB (I don’t remember the percentage) are accepted into ivy league colleges. My nephew is one of those very smart, never stays focused enough to reach his potential kinds of kids. He also needs a small social group. The combination of the large group and intense academics left him extrememly depressed. Within 2 months he went from being a social, fun loving kid to being close to tears all the time. He stopped showering and taking care of himself. It was bad. However, he is stil friends with a few of the kids from the program and they have thrived. You have to enter the program in 9th grade. He started applying sometime at the middle of 8th. My sister-in-law strongly believes in the program and plans to have my neice apply. As smart as my nephew is, she blows him away and she has a much more motivated personality. I think she’ll do well.

JOD

May 17th, 2012
9:17 am

@MJG – Right on, nicely said! Most ivy/jr ivy league schools don’t accept dual enrollment, so AP is the better way to go from a ‘resume’ perspective. I was able to exempt out of all english requirements at Tech with AP credit, so it was worth it for me. AP or DE – it should be an individual choice based on what the student wants to pursue and where they want to pursue it.

@mom2… – Absolutely agree with you, too. It seems like kids are pushed from the very beginning with no breather to just be a kid for a while.

Warrior Woman

May 17th, 2012
9:24 am

My older two both entered college as sophomores because of AP credits. They both think the AP courses were generally harder and more comprehensive than their college courses and prepared them well for college. Both were accepted by every college to which they applied, including some top-notch Ivy League schools, and several of the admissions counselors commented favorably on their AP scholar with distinction designations.

jarvis

May 17th, 2012
9:33 am

There is no point in it right now. Finish college in two years to do what? The unemployment rate for post-graduate bachelors is the highest since we’ve been keeping track of it.

Hurry them through college so they can go home to thier parents’ basements while they work nights delivering pizzas?

MomsRule

May 17th, 2012
9:39 am

Thanks homeschooler. I do recall looking into that programs years back but none of the schools are near us. It sounds like a wonderful educational opportunity!

Does anyone know why ivy/jr ivy league schoosl don’t accept dual enrollment? I’ve heard several times that they don’t.

jarvis

May 17th, 2012
9:44 am

@MomsRule, because they don’t respect the community colleges. They won’t accept transfer credits from full-time students that were earned there either.

PHR

May 17th, 2012
9:44 am

@Moms Rule – IB is an International Baccalaureate program. @homeschooler is correct with her synopsis. It is intense, but supposedly well worth it. I live in Forsyth county and South Forsyth High School has an IB program. I would love for my son to do it one day, but he’s still in elementary school so we have a bit.

I took 3 AP classes in high school, but only chose to take one AP test. I scored high enough to exempt 2 classes in college which was nice. I don’t think AP classes or dual enrollment are for everyone.

Techmom

May 17th, 2012
10:00 am

I don’t think it’s that ivy league schools don’t accept dual enrollment, it’s whether they choose to accept transfer credit from certain institutions. My guess is that it’s motivated by money.

All public colleges in GA have an agreement for transfer credits so if your kid is going to go to a public college in Ga and does dual-enrollment at a public college in Ga, then they should be good to go regardless of which college they ultimately attend and graduate from.

FCM

May 17th, 2012
10:02 am

@ library vol….my experience with most HS teachers (and many College Profs) is that route memory reguritation is all they want. Very few care to hear you voice your opinion or ideas on a subject, especially if they disagree with theirs.

fred

May 17th, 2012
10:27 am

@Moms Rule, IB is International Baccalaureate. It is an international program of studies based out of Switzerland i believe. I was in a boarding school in Holland in the early 90s and got my IB diploma then. you take 7 classes for 2 years and your degree is based on one test (in three parts) at teh end of the 2 years. Talk about high stakes testing. Your grades for those 2 years of classwork really did not count at all. it was all or nothing based on the test. Classes are based on 2 levels higher or lower level and you take a mix of the 2. In addition to that you took a theory of knowledge class and public service was stressed. I was accepted into many prestigious colleges and could have graduated in 3 years. Its is a great program if you can handle it.

MomsRule

May 17th, 2012
10:42 am

Thanks everyone!

Jarvis, that was my impression as well, no respect. Thanks

But, if one were to dual enroll at say Kennesaw…then the credits should transfer to other GA programs, right?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 17th, 2012
10:55 am

The high school out here did tell us that a lot of the bigger schools in the east did not take the dual enrollment from the community colleges here. I think most state schools did but not the private ones.

FCM

May 17th, 2012
11:00 am

@ MomsRule…KSU credits usually transfer to the other schools. I have a friend whose child was doing English out of KSU but then transferred back to GT…apparently English at GT was more difficult.

Since I only went to KSU (and graduated) I don’t know first hand how that all works.

Unknown

May 17th, 2012
11:11 am

I would just like to say to people who may be doubting the system that I am taking full-time dual enrollment classes, meaning that I do not have a high school degree nor do I have enough credits to graduate high school (as of now of course) and I only take college courses, and I feel fine about it. I get high school and college credit for only taking college courses and in my opinion it’s the best option to pursue due to the fact that (especially in modern times) kids are being pushed into graduating sooner and with better grades. I am now way ahead of the game and other kids in the program I am in have actually graduated college with a bachelor’s degree before they graduated high school. If you (or your child) are a person who stresses out over every little detail then I would recommend just waiting, however I am currently a junior in high school and a sophomore in college and have maintained a college GPA of 3.963 and a high school GPA of 4.000 (the difference is due to A- grades in college).

jarvis

May 17th, 2012
11:26 am

@Unknown, so you’ll graduate college at 19?
Then what?

catlady

May 17th, 2012
11:41 am

Most states now have articulation agreements among all the public colleges in the state as far as admitting you to the college. However, Georgia was slow to do this and still have some departments that resist giving you credit toward graduation unless you take THEIR version of the basic courses in that department. Changing schools between states or getting private college credit? Forget it, in most places.

gtmom

May 17th, 2012
11:50 am

I think it is a great idea for those kids who plan on going to grad school. Some of my friends did not go to Grad school with me because they wanted to move on with life. Think if a med student was done with their residency at the age 24! Awesome!

Unknown

May 17th, 2012
11:57 am

I plan on getting my master’s and PhD and go into physics research. Honestly I think the whole lack of jobs thing is a bunch if bs for people who are looking for an easy out. I know plenty of people (my age and older) who have no problem getting a job in their field or just a side job to make some extra pocket money and I don’t mean to offend anybody by saying this and I am well aware of the facts, but if you are truly passionate about getting a job there are always options.

jarvis

May 17th, 2012
12:45 pm

Keep up the hard work and good luck to you!

mom2alex&max

May 17th, 2012
2:48 pm

Someone asked about the IB. I did it in high school. IB stands for International Baccaleurate. It is an internationally recognized high school program that focuses on bilingual education, and college level classes in Math, Social Studies, Science, and Languages. It is VERY grueling and it is a two year program (Junior and Senior years). At the end of it, you will get college credits, but also a high school diploma that is pretty much recognized at every University in the world. It also focuses NOT AT ALL on memorizing and regurgitating but instead on learning how to learn, critical thinking, analytic skills and writing skills. Other requirements include 180 hours of community service over two years and a 20 page research essay.

When I did it about 20 years ago in Atlanta no one knew what it was, but now there are several public schools that offer it. I highly recommend it for motivated, smart, and hard working students ANY day (and twice on Sundays!) over any AP classes. It taught me how to think, how to analyze, how to study.

Laurie

May 17th, 2012
2:59 pm

My high school senior is a dual enrollment student in Gwinnett County. While there are definately pros and cons, and this is not for every kid, overall, it has been a very positive experience. Most dual kids are extremely bright and more responsible than the average high school student. I do not feel like she will miss out on any college experience simply because she is getting that now. It is going to save us a ton of money and she is happy and thriving. What else can you ask for?

Momoffour

May 17th, 2012
4:05 pm

I think AP classes are great. I, personally, started college with 23 hours (30 makes you a sophomore) already completed. After one summer of classes, I was a full year ahead, and graduated in just three years. I was a nose-to-the-grindstone student who married and went to work within a year of finishing … a year I otherwise would have spent still in classes. Students who are in school for four, five, six years are coming out without a clue of what they really want to do, so I don’t think shaving a year off of college is detrimental in that sense. Did I miss some of the “college experience”? Yes. But that just wasn’t “me” anyway.

As far as leaving high school early to attend college full-time … I do think there are some problems with that. I have a family member who left high school after sophomore year, to attend an “advanced academy” so that he started college at 16 and finished at 20. I think there are a lot of social adjustments going on in those years … and a 16-year-old isn’t AS capable of handling those situations, as an 18-year-old who finished four years of high school. Too many opportunities, too little structure, too little oversight … not that every 18-year-old is ready.

K's Mom

May 17th, 2012
4:12 pm

I am glad to hear the info on IB programs. We are looking at moving out of state with my husband’s job and the place we will be has an IB program at its HS. We are a ways a way from HS, but I am pleased to hear such positive feedback on the program since I know little about it and it has been a key selling point for the school system in this area.

Misty

May 17th, 2012
5:33 pm

Well you can check out the online classes- you can do both online and brick schools for some. Your child can work some during college and still take classes. I do online classes because I work some. I am also older than most – didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated and didn’t want my parents wasting money.

If your kid does joint enrollement...

May 17th, 2012
6:03 pm

…just make sure that YOU (or the kid) gets the transcript of the grades to wherever it is they apply to go to college. When my kid was in HS he took 12 hours worth of “joint enrollment” classes his senior year. When applied to colleges we thought the HS would send his “college” grades to the colleges to which he applied – we thought wrong, and it kept him from getting into his college of choice since his application was incomplete and there was no appeal process.

His second choice college ws more lenient when we found out that they, too, did not receive his “college” grades directly from the college (or the HS). The second choice school said he was accepted for enrollment during the winter quarter (sort of “gray shirted like an Alabama football player), and that he should take 12 hours of credits at a college during the Fall semester before the winter semester. Fortunately, they did have an appeal process, and once we provided the transcript of the 12 hours he already had in HS, BEFORE he graduated from HS, he was welcomed with open arms for the Fall semester…

So, be aware, be very aware…

motherjanegoose

May 17th, 2012
7:32 pm

Fortunately, there are many different ways to get through college. I was ready to head to college right after my Senior year in HS and had paid all the fees myself. In August, I realized I did not have enough money. Since my parents did not pay for college, I cancelled my plans and spent another year working at Wal Mart ( also paying room and board to live with said parents). That was 35 years ago. It took me 4 1/2 years to get through college as I was working the entire time. I was 23 when I got my BS. My son should make it to his Doctorate in 8 years but my daughter might take more than four years for her BS, as she has changed her major. As long as my two are pulling good grades I am fine with it, since they have both worked part time jobs since they were 14. This is simply what works for us. Every family is different.

HSCounselor

May 17th, 2012
10:37 pm

Some advice:
AP’s are generally more well respected than dual enrollment courses by colleges because the content of AP’s can be regarded as standard across the country. AP was created by The College Board (www.collegeboard.com), the same organization that created the SAT, and there are specific guidelines and standards that must be taught for the course to be considered an AP. Teachers have to be AP certified and audits are completed to verify that the course is being taught appropriately. So, if a student takes an AP in GA, it is relatively easy to compare it with a student who took the same AP in CA, or FL, or OK, etc. Dual enrollment courses vary as much as colleges themselves do. I have had dual enrollment students come back throughout the year to see me and tell me that their AP courses were way harder than their college courses. In these cases, yes, the student received college credit for their dual enrollment courses (well, in some cases they did), but they were not exposed to the same rigor of their peers – and very competitive colleges know this fact very well. Don’t think they don’t keep data on which students are successful and where they came from. The best predictor of college success is good grades in the most rigorous courses a student can take. By the way, this past year the average range of AP’s that UGA saw in admitted students was between 4-8. If your student is hoping to apply to a very competitive college, I would urge them to take AP

Also, be very careful when choosing dual enrollment courses. Just because a college is in the USG doesn’t automatically mean that the course will transfer in the way that you want it to. There are always courses that one college will have that another college will not have. Now, if you take Engl 1101, you can be pretty darn sure that it will count, but sometimes more specific courses like Anthropology, certain Statistics courses, fine arts, etc. may only count for general elective credit. It also depends on the student’s major as there are obviously going to be different requirements for each. It is the STUDENT’S responsibility to check with the college to which he/she will transfer to make sure that a particular course will be accepted as the desired credit (ie math credit versus general elective credit).

Case in point – I had a student a few years ago who wanted to transfer to a school outside of GA, but the college would not accept any dual enrollment course that also counted as one of her high school graduation requirements. She took her remaining grad requirements at the high school (Lit, Math, Gov/Econ) and chose courses like a 4th science, Psychology, and Anthropology. It’s good that she did her homework ahead of time, otherwise she would have been very disappointed later!

In all, however, I think that dual enrollment is right for certain students and I’m glad that it is possible for our students to take advantage of this type of opportunity. But, I definitely don’t think that it is the right fit for everyone and I would strongly urge any student/parent interested to fully explore all the pros and cons. It’s great for that kid who needs to get away from the “rah rah” of high school, but this very “rah rah” could be the same thing that another kid would desperately miss. Speak with a current dual enrollment student and ask it he/she would do it again. Finally, talk to your HS Counselor, who can (hopefully) go through many of the benefits and downfalls of the program.

I could say MUCH more for both sides, but I’ll spare you :-)

motherjanegoose

May 18th, 2012
8:09 am

@ HS counselor…very good info and thanks for sharing.

I am not well versed in the topic but have had 2 in college. Not all HS nor college classes are created equal. We know lots of kids who have taken classes over the summer at various colleges and the course rigor may not be as hard as the classes they have taken during the year. I say this all the time and some here poo poo it…but you need to talk to someone who is farther along on the same sidewalk of life…i.e. your comment of speaking with a dual enrollment student or even a counselor. These are the people who are living what you are considering. My two both went to UGA and we were told that they needed some AP classes to get in. So we went with that suggestion.

I also think it is good to take at least one AP class, so you can get a feel for what will be expected in college. Especially if you are using the HOPE. Students can get so distracted at college and the course rigor hits them smack in the face. Then, they lose their HOPE. Just my opinion.

DB

May 18th, 2012
8:16 am

AP worked very well for my son – he enjoyed the more challenging coursework in high school, and he really enjoyed starting college as a putative sophomore. He could have graduated early, but instead chose, with our encouragement, to stay for four years and double-major, in addition to a fairly rigorous minor. As a technical sophomore, he had preference over early registration, even over “honors” freshmen, which allowed him the flexibility to get into the classes he needed/wanted down the road.

For my daughter, however, AP wasn’t quite as helpful. Her highly specialized majordidn’t accept some of her AP classes (that she did well in) as work towards her major, and in retrospect, she may have decided against taking one or two of them in favor of concentrating on specialized extracurricular activities. My daughter was one that knew exactly what she was majoring in when she was applying for college – she was fortunate to find her passion early, and has stuck with it. So if your child is thinkinking about a highly specialized degree, it’s worthwhile to see if the college they have their heart set on even accepts certain classes for AP credit. It might make decisions on whether or not to take certain AP classes in high school truly worthwhile.

DB

May 18th, 2012
10:49 am

Well, we didn’t deal with dual enrollment — my kids’ school didn’t have it, primarily because it was a college prep school and 100% of the class ended up going on to college — the school was structured as college prep, which is a luxury that some public schools don’t have and that causes them to rely on dual enrollment in order to provide sufficiently challenging curriculum. It’s easier for a public school to push a gifted student in a dual enrollment program than it is for them to offer challenging courses in amongst the other classes that the rest of the student population may require.

My son had a great experience with AP classes — he basically entered college as a sophomore and had the freedom to pick and choose classes. We didn’t insist that he finish up as quickly as possible (college is NOT a “trade school”), in fact, we encouraged him to pursue several tracks of interest, resulting in a double major with a demanding minor, and still graduated in four hours. Also, entering with that many hours gave him priority over other freshmen on preregistering for classes — upperclassmen got priority on registration.

HOWEVER — it might prove instructive to compare potential college’s acceptance of various AP credits — we were intrigued at how differently schools handled the credit. In some schools, he would have had up to 57 hours of credit earned. In others, he would have only had 23-25. Some schools didn’t accept any credit for an AP class, even with a 5 on the exam. My daughter ran into this — she knew, from the beginning, that she wanted to pursue a highly specialized degree. NONE of the AP classes she took in high school counted towards her major, even with great scores, and she admits that she probably wouldn’t have stressed over AP Chemistry in high school if she had known that it wouldn’t be counted in her college major. The college even states in their catalog that while AP in this particular subject might prove ‘helpful’, it would NOT exempt the student from taking the class in college, nor would it qualify for college credit.

So — word to the wise: Check out some of your potential colleges and prospective majors to see how they handle AP class credit!

Wow, DB...

May 18th, 2012
11:32 am

…you son is bright ” – you wrote ” resulting in a double major with a demanding minor, and still graduated in four hours.” Now that may be a record…

Out of curiosity, did your daughter go to an Ivy League school or one of their “wannabes” here in the South?

Alecia

May 18th, 2012
3:57 pm

I never took AP classes and was able to skip almost a year with Clep tests. Got 12 credit hours for Spanish, 3 credit hours in English, and 3 credit hours for math.

Justafreshman

May 18th, 2012
5:33 pm

Well I’m a freshman now in high school, in fact I took the AP World History exam yesterday morning, of course I studied all year and the exam is nothing close to easy. I am almost sure I passed that, only because I knew I wanted that college credit so I was motivated to learn and read my big old book and my review book like a bible and destroy my social life. I’ve seen kids that don’t really care and I’ve seen kids like myself, my conclusion is that if the kid wants it, he’ll get it. THE TEST IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Your child can do it, and honestly in any other HS class, honors, gifted or regular, you just fill in some dumb worksheet all class period, in AP, we do what matters. It’s a nice way to NOT waste your time in high school. I don’t think I’m being pushed hard, it’s for my own good and I don’t see what’s not benefiting me from taking the class. High school classes are easy, slackers who don’t even do their class work make the homework look like it bites them every night so they can’t do it when they show up to class, that’s why. -A freshman in high school.

DB

May 18th, 2012
5:48 pm

Haha, that’s what I get for typing on a tablet! Years, obviously :-)

My daughter didn’t go Ivy League — none of them offered the specific degree she was interested in, not even the “Southern Ivy” schools. The good programs are hard to find — there are only 58 schools offering it throughout the country.

RAMZAD

May 21st, 2012
10:59 am

The whole high school curriculum should be AP. This means we would not have politicians jerking around with what graduating high school students should know. In Britain most high school graduates could run rings around American college sophomores- that is why we like Land Rovers, Range Rovers and Jaguars.

mammap

May 22nd, 2012
9:08 am

If your child intends to apply to a top school, they will look at the rigor of your classes in high school. My son took 1 AP classes and received the top score on all of them. He went to a private college prep school. He is now entering Ga Tech with 26 credit hours and is well prepared.