Dual Enrollment vs. Advanced Placement


Happy March – the month were students are registering for the 2018-19 school year; already! I am weighing in on this question every day this time of year, so I took a survey of colleges in the Southeast and asked this important question of each Admissions Director. AP or Dual Enrollment? Below are the responses I received along with the Pros & Cons. I hope this helps both Parents and Students make an informed decision, and that it’s the one that BEST suits your individual student’s needs. NOTE: If you are one of my Soar 2 Success Students, this was covered in our planning sessions. If you are not a current student and wish to learn more about our programs, please fill out the contact form below.


Dual Enrollment (DE):


  • College Credit awarded upon completion of the course with a grade of “C’ or better
  • DE courses are an indicator of success at the college level
  • DE students have been tested in a real college environment and treated as college students, with most classes mixed with DE and full time college students
  • All State colleges and Universities accept DE credits from “feeder” Dual schools
  • One DE course equals 3 college credit hours
  • DE courses are weighted on a 5.0 scale towards high school weighted GPA
  • DE is 100% FREE for high school students; courses & books
  • High School students can take 1 DE course per semester – per high school period scheduled for dual courses, therefore earning 2 college courses = 6 credit hours in 1 school year
  • Students can take courses that are not offered at their high school


  • DE course grade transfers with you to college as initial college GPA; this can be a PRO or CON!
  • Students taking DE off campus at local Dual college must have own transportation
  • Students taking DE off campus at local Dual college must have a modified high school schedule, which may impact athletics, clubs, etc.
  • Students taking DE off campus at local Dual college may miss out on high school social interaction
  • DE REQUIRES students to take additional ownership of their courses/schoolwork and is NOT for unorganized students

Advanced Placement (AP):


  • College credit is awarded with a 3 or higher on the AP Exam; high school credit is awarded by class grade & is weighted on a 5.0 scale
  • AP tests demonstrate proficiency and competency in subject matter based on a class grade AND on an AP test
  • All State colleges and Universities in Florida accept AP credits. College & Universities in other states are likely to accept all AP credits as well.
  • Depending on scores achieved (3-5), a higher score on an AP exam “could” earn multiple college credits depending on exam and score.
  • Class GPA will not transfer with you to college


  • Many students will not score high enough to earn college credit for AP course; many courses have low “pass” rates
  • AP courses are difficult – year long courses
  • AP courses are full year, so only 1 college course per year, per high school period taken
  • Once an AP course has begun, it cannot be dropped

Florida 4 Year University Admissions Survey Responses:

“Admissions look favorably upon successful completion of Dual Enrollment courses”

“Earning a “C” or lower will negatively impact admissions decisions”

“Admissions counselors look very favorably upon successful completion of AP coursework”

“A grade of a “C” in an AP course is not considered negative when applying to college if the AP course is rigorous in a STEM subject”

“Students planning on applying in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) major, at a top school, should take the most rigorous Math & Science AP courses available”

“Dual and AP mix of coursework Junior and Senior year is the best combination”

“Always take the most rigorous courses in each subject available at your high school for the academic area of interest you will be pursuing”


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