3 years ago
Admissions Advice

AP vs. dual enrollment on applications

I have heard some people say that it looks better on applications if a student took all 4 AP classes at a school that offers only 4 vs. a student who took 8 at a school that offers 20. I am a rising senior and by the time I graduate, I will have 7-8 APs under my belt (APUSH, psych, stats, APES, gov, econ, bio, and maybe euro). But, my school offers 17 APs total. I tend to lean more towards dual enrollment, when I graduate I will have about 16 DE credits. In this situation, would doing more APs look better than doing dual enrollment? Or are they both good because they are both college classes?


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Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

I think think the better rule of thumb is to ask the question, "have you challenged yourself with the hardest available coursework at your high school?" And the second question would be "do you have evidence that you have mastered that material?" And finally, "are you someone that is intellectually curious and a lifelong learner?". If you can confidently confirm that, you have nothing to worry about.

There is no magic number of APs or DE credits or Online College credits you should take. Nevertheless, you should take as many as it is required to answer those 3 questions.

In my biased opinion, I think colleges hope to admit interesting, clever, kind, generous, risk-taking, brave, charismatic, eccentric humans that are on a path to do something great with their lives and return the favor back to the school that gave them an academic platform to shine on. But that's just me. Other people think it's a cut-throat process to figure out who are the smartest deserving cohorts based on grades, test scores, and other stats. And yet others think it's a rigged system where the only winners are entitled wealthy sons and daughters. Perhaps it's a little of everything.

In the end, you have to package yourself up to appeal to these admissions officers and are the best judge of your strengths and weaknesses, so my advice to you is to take a long objective look in the mirror and ask yourself if there are any gaps in your application or shortcomings that you could be working on. To me, that is more important than worrying about the volumes of coursework you have completed. You don't want to present a narrative with holes in it where and AO can say, "hmmm but they are not ..... or this is weak.... or I'm not sure..." if you know what I mean.

Good luck.

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