Admissions

Which is Preferable: "College Credit" Classes or AP Classes?

Question: Our high school offers both College Credit and AP classes. Taking college credit classes seems like a smart way to save a semester (or possibly two) from the cost of “real” college. Are college credit classes looked upon less favorably by colleges than AP classes? Thanks for your help.

In order to answer your question completely responsibly, “The Dean” would need to know more about the “college credit” classes at your child’s high school. But, speaking generally (and thus not necessarily accurately), it’s likely that these credits will not be widely accepted. I’m guessing that these classes are sponsored by a specific college or university and that your high school probably has an arrangement with this school that allows the credits to be valid if a student enrolls there. It’s also possible that the credits are valid at all or most public universities in your state and perhaps at both private and public schools beyond it …especially the less selective ones.

However … the more selective colleges and universities typically do notaccept college credits that served as high school credits. But most of these institutions DO accept AP credits (depending on which classes a student took and how well he or she scored on the AP exam).


Admission officials at the very selective colleges usually view AP classes as more rigorous (and thus more desirable) than “college credit classes.” But, again, I’m hesitant to generalize because this may vary from high school to high school and I don’t know the specifics here.

Before deciding which courses your child will take, you should ask the high school guidance counselor where the “college credits” are accepted. And if the counselor says “Everywhere,” be wary.