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Dual Credit and Advanced Placement

DUAL CREDIT VS. ADVANCED PLACEMENT 

Southwest Christian School has developed a strong Dual Credit program through partnerships with Colorado Christian University, LeTourneau University, and other schools. Through these courses, many SCS students graduate with college credit, some receiving upwards of 30 hours. Additionally, SCS offers several AP courses as another means of achieving college credit. Determining which option is best for an individual student can be challenging. Below is a list of considerations and benefits to each option: 

Dual Credit:

Advanced Placement

Overview

 

Students take college courses at SCS, allowing them to earn credit for both high school and college. 

AP classes prepare students to pass an end of course exam to prove their mastery of college-level curriculum.

 

Cost

 

Classes range from $200-$500 per course plus the cost of a textbook

$100 per end of course exam plus the cost of a  textbook

Transferability

Accepted by most state and private colleges. No guarantees. May not be accepted at more selective private schools. Acceptance can depend on a student’s major and degree plan.

Accepted by most institutions. Exam score to receive credit varies by subject and university.

How is the grade determined?

A Dual Credit grade is based on a full semester of classwork. The same grade is posted on the SCS and college or university transcripts. Students receive honors credit at SCS for the course.

AP credit is solely based on the score earned on the AP exam administered in May.  Scores range from 1-5 with a 3 or higher needed to receive credit (in most cases). Students receive honors credit at SCS for the course.

How is the grade transferred?

Students will have a college transcript indicating all college credits earned, and they will need to submit all dual credit transcripts to their college.

Students request their AP score to be sent to their college.

Additional considerations:

  • Entering college with a large number of credits can be beneficial to students wanting to take fewer hours per semester or students intending to graduate from college early to pursue an advanced degree. 
  • Many schools require students to declare their major at the completion of 30-45 hours. If your child is unsure of his or her future plans, this can unnecessarily accelerate such decisions.
  • Most colleges require all coursework to be taken on campus once a student has completed a designated number of hours. This can result in limited options for taking courses (i.e., summer school/Jan. terms) at another school.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to check each university’s policy on Dual Credit and AP requirements.