AP, honors, and dual enrollment are all slightly different. AP are nationally recognized and depending on your score you can transfer them into your college degree. Dual enrollment is a different option for taking college-credit classes in high school. I am beginning dual enrollment in a few weeks with my local community college. I am homeschooled, so AP is really expensive and there are only a few honors classes I can take. Also, the college I want to go to has direct agreements with my local community college, so I was able to look at the required gen ed classes for my major and choose classes at the cc that will transfer in. By the time I graduate high school, I will have completed at least a full year of my bachelors degree just by getting the gen eds out of the way.
Even if you won't be able to transfer the dual enrollment credits into your degree, it proves to the admissions officers that you can handle college level work and are willing to challenge yourself to do your best. If you can't take AP or honors, then DE is a great route to take!
Hope this helps and if you have any more questions, lmk!
It's not exactly equivalent, it's the next best option you could also try taking classes at a local community college.
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