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Is Dual Enrollment or AP the best choice?

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I’m currently a sophomore and I'm facing the dilemma of whether I should take Dual Credit English/History or APUSH and AP English. I took WHAP this year and had a bit of a struggle since history isn’t my strong suit. I am aiming to get into UT, which has a small acceptance rate and I’m trying to see which will benefit me best. AP will give me a higher boost, but maintaining an A+ in dual classes will give me a great advantage. I don’t want to risk not doing good in the AP classes but I really want to get into UT. Any help? I’m already planning on taking AP Environmental Science so that should help, along with Pre-Cal College Algebra.

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answered on
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Strictly speaking about how it looks to the college, AP is better. DE usually is seen as being easier than AP to do well it and colleges are well aware of that. If you're taking a lot of DE classes, it could look like you're manipulating the system to get as many credits as possible with the least effort. AP classes taken in school that you do well in are usually better received than DE classes at a local university. Now, there's always some exceptions to this because there are some special DE programs that are known to be extremely difficult and look excellent on your transcript. Where I live, GaTech offers a Distance Learning program for their linear algebra and multivariable calc course, which is known to be both difficult to get accepted into and pass. But unless the DE are something like that level, AP usually looks better.

There's other things to consider too when choosing. DE sometimes means you'll be spending a lot of time at the university you take the class at (unless it's an online course). Do you have the transportation and means to drive there several days a week, and are you willing to do that? You'll have less time to spend with friends at school ad you might also miss some opportunities for extracurriculars that way. But with DE you'll be able to experience many more unique classes that you won't have the chance to take in normal AP.

Talk to people at your school if you decide to go with AP- you can figure out which AP classes are easier to get an A in at your school so you can get the credit with less effort and choose the classes that best suit you. In my school, APUSH and AP Lang are significantly easier than WHAP, and APES is usually an easier AP course. You can build a balanced schedule by picking and choosing what AP classes you take.

Whatever you pick, don't stress out too much. Both programs are great and look good on applications. It's more personal preference than anything else on what kind of experience you want to have. Good luck!!

Followup: If you are pursuing A.S. degree concurrent to hgih school diploma (same time), then does it look like all my college classes are effort to "manipulate the system"?
Not really. I say "manipulate the system" because there's a lot of people that take online AP classes or DE classes for almost guaranteed As for the credit and end up with 20-30 APs and an inflated GPA. Colleges are aware of that and that does factor in, but if you're pursuing an A.S. degree because you want to and it includes classes/opportunities you wouldn't have without taking the program, do it! Your case is more taking full advantage of your resources, which looks really good.
Only reason I'm asking is because I was able to get dual enrollment credit for some classes that count towards my Associates... like US History, Economics, Political Science...
answered on
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I personally would choose AP. One thing about AP is it doesn't go on your college transcript so if you screw up it's much better that it just affects your high school GPA than your college GPA. If you slip up and earn a C, you now have a 2.0 in college (this happened to my friend and it messed her up). They both hold prestige but I don't see the advantage of Dual Enrollment outweighing that of AP, especially since you earn a higher boost. Obviously do what's best for you, both programs are great. Both programs should earn you college credit so it's up to you. You can get into UT with whichever you choose.