College Courses VS AP Courses

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: College Courses VS AP Courses
By ihkk on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 06:00 pm: Edit

Is it better to take a college course or an AP course offered at your high school? Apparently, most colleges accept AP credit, but not necessarily transfer credit, however an actual college course may be better (content wise, work-load wise). What do you think? Also, if I take a college course over the summer in place of an AP course at my school because I want to take other courses during the school year, what do you think about that?

By ababa on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 11:08 pm: Edit

bahahahhaha bump

By sad on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 11:00 pm: Edit

AP Course = college course

By ihkk on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 11:39 pm: Edit

well you see, that doesn't answer the question at all does it now...?

For example... Given the option to take AP Calculus AB or Calculus I at a University, which would be better?

Anyways, refer to the original post

By j on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 11:44 pm: Edit

Taking a college course may or may not be more expensive than an AP course, depending on how much the course is compared to the $80 AP exam fee. If you take a college course, it's more likely that you will get your credits transferred than the AP exam (depending on how well you do it, of course).

Some high schools use AP courses for the weighted GPA but not the college course. Some high schools use both and some don't use either of them. So it depends on whether you want a higher weighted GPA.

Don't take a college course unless you don't have that class offered at your school. And if you do, you'd better take another AP class in place of the empty period you will have in your schedule.

By Jenniferelaine (Jenniferelaine) on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 11:53 pm: Edit

Not depends where you live and where you take the courses. If you live in Illinois (where I live), for example, there is this thing called the IAI, which essentially guarantees that any course taken at a community college will transfer to an accredited college or university. As for any courses taken at a college or university, you probably don’t want it to count for dual credit, then it will not count as college credit. (But we’re still in Illinois here.) The morals of the story? Take general courses that will transfer anywhere. Once you figure out where you’re going, or think you know where you’re going, have a serious talk with your admissions counselor at your college(s) of choice, and keep them updated every semester to avoid SNAFUs. Trust me, I know this from two years experience.

By incognito on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 11:58 pm: Edit

LOOK! my buddy Jen

By Jenniferelaine (Jenniferelaine) on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 12:35 am: Edit

Extra stuff to consider:

My college courses cost me $150 each, roughly $65 per book per class (can't always buy used)

Though the workload varies with each professor, there was less homework than high school (except for a SH*TLOAD of reading in every course, and my Comp. course)

There's the extra experience of having an actual lecture, being on campus, taking your first college final, hanging out with people after class...

By Dori on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 01:00 am: Edit

in california you can take CC classes for free if you're in high school!! i've taken lots of advantage of that one....

i prefer the CC classes because they're shorter, often easier, cheeper (but you have to buy the book), and there's no AP test to worry about.

By mac on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 01:25 pm: Edit

Take it in a College. The course will transfer and you do not have to worry about the AP exam.

By incognito on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 01:27 pm: Edit

Take it in high school. It's cheaper. You have more time. You dont have to deal w/something you dont want to in college. It looks good when you apply to college. You can actually learn while in high school....

By ihkk on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 03:49 pm: Edit

Ok well I don't have to worry about price. My high school takes care of that. And I don't really care about transferring credits as much as learning the material and being an impressive applicant. In this case, do you think there's a difference? What about a college course over the summer in place of an AP course during the year because I'm taking other courses?

By incognito on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 03:55 pm: Edit

Hmmm...ihkk, dont really know what you meant about that last scentence. You mean, like, you can take a college course over the Summer as a kind or replacement to an AP course??

And if you like learning the material and being an impressive applicant, then the key is not only to take an AP course, but to DO WELL ON the AP exam itself. Some schools REALLY stress this for some f*cked up reason.

By Dori on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 04:35 pm: Edit

ihkk...that's what i did for 2 of my college classes. i took U.S. history at CC instead of the AP class (a large part of that was b/c of the teacher turned out the class i took was 1/2 students from my class at high school) and i took spanish 3 over summer b/c i really didn't want to take in the first place, and it's better to finish in 5 weeks than 40 weeks. this freed me up to take the advanced theatre production class (i live for theatre, it's my passion) and AP psychology

By hey on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 04:50 pm: Edit

I have taken a calculus class at CC that corresponds to the AP Calc BC course. It was far, far more difficult to get an A in the CC class than to get a 5 in the AP exam. (I had to work to get an A in the CC course; I had to work to not get a 5 in the AP Calc BC test (>40% get 5's in that test!)). Granted, I had one of the more difficult (and better) CC math teachers, but still, in terms of math, AP is far easier than any college course.

By ihkk on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 07:01 pm: Edit

nice. thanks for all your answers.

By Jenniferelaine (Jenniferelaine) on Thursday, January 30, 2003 - 11:05 pm: Edit

One last thing I just learned today (I swear, I just learned it today, and it's the last thing I'll add to the post): College credit is not factored into the admissions/scholarship process for freshman applicants at most colleges.

By newb on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 02:20 am: Edit

I think it really depends on the teacher. Personally, my ap calc teacher at school was SO MUCH harder than my calc teacher at the j.c. Why? Grading policy.. school teacher=all or nothing in calculus (you can't do that in calculus man!) whereas j.c.=partial credit. I like j.c. classes better cuz for some ap classes at school, the teachers have this thing where they HATE giving out A's (or it seems like it). Bottomline, I prefer j.c. classes. (If you're in cali and plan to attend UC, it's a GREAT way to go cuz most of the classes are transferrable.. at least in my j.c. it is.. ^^)

By ralph on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 08:59 am: Edit

incognito you idiot. YES, you can take CC courses during the summer while in HS and then transfer the credits to a University later. The advantage is that you get both HS credit AND college credit.

By ihkk on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 05:37 pm: Edit

so does taking college courses make me a better applicant? more or less so than if i took AP classes?

By Dori on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 06:35 pm: Edit

i'd say shows u can take on college work, and we all know not all AP classes are really taught at college level

By Jenniferelaine (Jenniferelaine) on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 07:51 pm: Edit

No, during the admissions process, the colleges you apply to will not even look at your college transcripts unless you get dual credit. And if you get dual credit, they can say that it applied as a high school graduation requirement and not take it for college credit. Twisted, but that's how it's been explained to me by several admissions officers.

By Jenniferelaine Jenniferelaine on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 07:56 pm: Edit

...then again, I could be wrong about that. Sometimes I'm not sure what i'm talking about, but I just write it because i THINK its true. I am pretty sure, however, that that is what i heard from most of the admissions people. You should really check another source on it, though.

By newb on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 10:05 pm: Edit

ralph, you're wrong about this: "The advantage is that you get both HS credit AND college credit. "

You have to pick one of the two. You can't get double credit. If you report it to your high school, it'll count for high school credit. If you don't report your grades, you could transfer them (if the college accepts the course). I'm pretty sure you can't get both hs and college credit..

By Dori on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 11:35 pm: Edit

i'm getting both...

By Jenniferelaine (Jenniferelaine) on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 11:43 pm: Edit

aww..looky, I have a troll!

NewB- basically correct. As I understand it, I could earn a certain # of hours for dual credit (6-9 I believe). After that, I had to pick and choose . Again, this can vary by state.

I didn't mean to confuse anyone about the dual credit thing if I did, I was just going on my own experience. It would create fewer tangles to keep your HS and college seperate. This way, if you didn't earn dual credit for a CC course, a college couldn't reject it...etc. It's better to be safe than sorry.

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 03:40 pm: Edit

if you take a course at a CC, I think it would be good to take the AP exam also if you are applying to selective schools. Colleges are not familiar with every course at every cc all over the country, but they all know how a 4 or 5 on the AP exam compares to other applicants.

By Maryland Mom on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 11:16 am: Edit

What admissions committee could not look upon this 'demonstration of initiative'favorably? Especially if you take courses not offered as APs or at your high school - such as sociology, anthropology, higher level math, etc. It shows that you are broadening your horizons and (the admissions cliche) 'taking on academic challenges.'

If you want to obtain advanced standing, college courses are a great way to go. Let's say you take a bunch of APs and get 4 or 5 scores, and also take college classes (in academic transferable subjects) in the summer or evenings. At most state schools you can transfer lots of those college credits in addition to APs. As long as the college courses are not used to satisfy high school graduation requirements, you get the benefit of both. In addition, you can target the college courses to satisfy "core" requirements and thus waltz right into more advanced classes - using your credits as a leg up to graduate early, study abroad, double major, etc.

At the University of Maryland, for instance, they will accept up to 30 credits from college courses in addition to AP exam credits for an entering freshman - above that, you are considered to be a transfer student. At the UMaryland site they have a Transfer Center link - you select a college or CC, and you get an entire list of courses for which credit is accepted, and a categorization of what core or elective it satisfies.

I have been digging into college credit policies on college web sites - the state schools are upfront about it, some of the others are more vague. When my son applies, how many credits a college will accept will be a very important factor in his final selection.

By ihkk on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 12:31 pm: Edit

ok, but what about taking a college course (e.g. General Chemistry) over the summer instead of an AP class (e.g. AP Chemistry) during the year because you want to take other (AP) courses instead?

By asdf on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 05:45 pm: Edit

That would be a wise decision, ihkk.

By Dori on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 01:58 am: Edit

i'd agree with that. if u read my earlier post i took US history at CC so i could take AP psych. during the year (although i later found out it was a 1 semester class, not a full year...)

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