7 months ago
Admissions Advice

Associates degree vs AP classes

I have a 4.0 unweighted GPA and took honors, dual enrollment, and AP classes for my freshman and sophomore years. However, for my junior (current year) and senior years, I decided to enroll as a full-time college student at a community college and will graduate high school with an Associates' degree and 100+ college credits. This put me on a different track than most students nationally, and although I am a successful student who works very hard, I am worried my lack of standardization (in not choosing AP classes instead) will hurt my admissions chances, especially at UC schools. This is not something Collegevine can answer through the "chancing profile" because they do not translate the rigor of my community college classes in their estimations and are also standardized with AP classes. I have high-quality extracurriculars, awards, 5's on the AP tests I took sophomore and freshman year, and good topics to write my essays about. My top schools right now are UC Berkeley and Northeastern as a biology major. Do I have a shot at getting in?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
7 months ago

As people have mentioned below, you chances of admission do depend on whether or not you'll be applying as a freshman applicant or as a transfer. Assuming you'll be applying as a freshman, having completed your associates degree while in high school will look extremely impressive. I am a little curious whether your community college coursework will be counted on your high school transcript as it often is in the case of dual enrollment programs. If it is, then you have really nothing to worry about at all. (Admissions officers really do care about high school transcripts.) If you'll be submitting two separate transcripts, that's probably totally fine as well, especially given that you have taken so many college courses. Given that you were scoring 5s on AP exams already in your first two years of high school, that you have good extracurriculars, and that you have a perfect GPA despite an extremely rigorous course schedule, I assume that you'd have a very good chance of acceptance at UC Berkeley and Northeastern provided they will let you apply as a freshman applicant. If you have to apply as a transfer, you'll still probably have a decent chance, but things might be a little trickier.

As for the chancing engine, I'd log all of your community college courses as AP-level regardless of whether they were dual enrollment or taken as a full-time college student. They are college-level courses after all! You could also include the associates degree as an "award" on your profile (for the chancing engine at least... for the CommonApp you'll find another way to report that).

7 months ago

You definitely do! Having an Associates' degree at such a young age is very impressive! One thing you might want to make sure if that you might be required to apply as a transfer student instead of a new undergraduate -- make sure to check with colleges about that first?

If you're worried about standardization, you could always submit your dual enrollment grades since they are equal or even worth more than an AP class/grade! Colleges know that they were similar levels so you don't have to worry about that. Additionally, you say you have high quality ECs and awards which mean more to most colleges than just another AP exam... so you really have a great chance!


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