Today a student at the College of William and Mary wrote in to comment on our post analyzing the differences between Advanced Placement (AP) courses, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Dual Enrollment (a.k.a. Post Secondary Enrollment Options, or PSEO). She is a student at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and she pursued Dual Enrollment. As she writes below, her decision prepared her for a very selective college AND saved her a bunch of money. Here’s what she said:
As a current college student, I vouch for the dual enrollment option when high school students are looking through their course options. I went to a very small, rural high school in Virginia, and had the opportunity to take DE credit classes through local community colleges. I finished at the top of my class and I am currently an academic junior at the College of William and Mary.
During my freshman year in college, I came to find that a majority of my friends took AP classes, got an A or a high B in the class, but couldn’t get a 4 or 5 on their AP exam (mind you, these students came from great private and public high schools all over the country, each with its own long standing AP track). William and Mary requires a score of 4 or 5 to get the credit from an AP course. I can’t tell you how many of my friends got burned by taking AP. All 39 of my dual enrollment credits transferred and I am graduating in 3 years.
A lot of really great colleges and universities require high AP scores, so it is very important to do your research on the school you wish to attend. Taking an AP class may look good on a transcript, but how good will it look when the student doesn’t pass the exam with the necessary score? I feel like AP is put up on this pedestal as being the best of the best. However, there is nothing wrong with dual enrollment classes, and taking DE doesn’t mean that one could not handle the supposed “harder” AP course load. I can assure you, the classes I took through my governor’s school were more than challenging.
Best of luck,
So you heard it here first: if you want to prepare for a good college and save lots of money, give serious consideration to the dual enrollment options at your local community college. You may thank me later!