Preparing for College

Will Too Many Credits Torpedo Freshman Merit Aid?

Question: I have heard that there is a limit to the number of college credits gained during high school (AP, dual enrollment, community college courses) for an entering college freshman to be considered for freshman scholarships. We were told not to let our daughter accumulate one year of college credit or she could not be eligible for freshman scholarships.Is this true, even if the college considers all entering high school students,even those with more than one year of credit, as freshman?

I have heard of students (primarily home-schoolers) who matriculated in a community college and earned credits doing so. Then when they applied to college, they were told that they had sophomore standing (or other advanced standing). In such cases, it's possible that they were excluded from receiving merit aid earmarked for freshman. (Many colleges will not allow putative transfer students--or anyone with a year or more of college credits--to apply as freshmen, even if the students are willing to forgo all credits earned in order to start from Square One. This, however, rarely applies to students who have earned these credits via AP or IB. And many Dual Enrollment credits won't count ... see below.)

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