What is the difference in AP and DE?

College Admissions Vocabulary-lCollege preparation has turned into alphabet soup! Over the course of following my blog, hopefully you will be able to make sense and decipher all the letters in the soup. First we’ll look at AP vs. DE . . . Advanced Placement versus Dual Enrollment.

Advanced Placement is a program owned by College Board. Advanced Placement classes consist of a rigorous, nationally standardized curriculum that is academically on a university level. In short, an AP Class is a university level course on the high school campus, taught by a high school teacher. Advanced Placement classes prepare students for AP Exams in May of the school year. These rigorous exams can earn university credit. Each university in the nation decides which AP credit they will accept and how high the AP Exam score must be to earn that credit.

DE stands for Dual Enrollment, or it could be called Concurrent Enrollment, meaning enrollment at the high school and with a Community College or certain entrance level courses at the local University. In short, Dual Enrollment classes are lower/entry level college classes on the high school campus and taught by the College certified staff. Dual Enrolled classes do not require an exam at the end to earn the credit, but actually the grade in the class goes both on the high school transcript and a college transcript. These grades are usually transferable to the university.

When helping your student make a good choice of type of class, consider the long term goal. If they will be attending the local college or university, then the dual enrollment may be the most practical and easy way to go. However, if their hope is attending a selective university, then probably Advanced Placement would be the best option. Always check the schools that your student is interested in prior to making your decisions. See what their credit transfer procedure is for dual enrollment classes and see what credits they accept through Advanced Placement. Don’t stress the student or family life for credit that will not be transferred or accepted. Life’s too short!

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