The Value of Dual Enrollment Courses–A Student at William and Mary Chimes In

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 tranferred 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 neccessary 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!

Mark Montgomery
Educational Consultant


Published by Mark Montgomery

Mark is a leading educational consultant. His experience as a professor, college administrator, and youth mentor help him guide students from around the country and around the world.

Join the Conversation


  1. This is yet another comment on dual enrollment courses that does not indicate the value of the “accepted” credits. From what I have learned thus far, it appears that almost all dual enrollment credits are accepted by Virginia’s public schools. The question is how the credits count, meaning if and how they meet general education requirements or if they are simply credited as electives. There is little discussion of this subject online; I assume many students do receive AP credit by receiving 4 or 5 test scores and/or that after the college search, many students are simply done discussing the process since no schools give credit of any kind until after a student has accepted an offer of admission to that school.

  2. Dear Margaret,
    The answers to your questions are probably on the websites of the various Virginia public universities. I found this on the UVA website: . The trouble is, as you point out, it is unclear *until you enroll* which credits will be accepted and in what fashion. With regard to AP and IB scores, I find that a lot of universities are very transparent. But dual enrollment is a state-by-state, university-by-university, course-by-course affair. I suggest that you get in touch with the academic advisors of the universities that interest your student in order to get a better fix on how dual enrollment credits are counted at that particular institution.
    Thanks for your excellent–and still unanswered–question!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *