By Carly Guise
Many students know the all-too-familiar call of Advanced Placement classes. These classes entice students with their 1.3 weight and high credit value, as well as with the possibility for college credit if they do well on their AP test.
What many students do not know, however, is that there is another option that also offers a 1.3 weight and college credit.
This second option is called dual enrollment, and it is when a high school student attends both classes at their high school and classes on a local college campus.
“Dual enrollment is an agreement between high schools and local colleges or universities,” Mrs. Pamela Scott, head of the guidance department, said. “Here at Red Lion, we have agreements with Penn State York, York College, HACC, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, and Consolidated School of Business.”
The credits earned from the classes taken at these colleges are transferable, which means that they can be applied to any college or university that the student chooses to pursue after high school. This differs from AP exams, where college credit is dependent upon the score the student earned on the exam as well as what the college accepts.
“The school or university that you’re applying to may require a higher score than you earned, which means that you would not be able to use that score as a class exemption at that school,” Mrs. Scott said. “Or maybe if you take AP Biology and score very well, but if you go into college as a biology major, the college would likely still require you to take those classes.”
Still, many students choose to take AP exams because it shows their schools both a mastery of skills within the subject as well as mastery of the subject itself.
Red Lion offers 13 AP subjects, from AP Calculus to Government and Politics, and Psychology to English Literature. Out of all of these classes, there are usually around 80 students who end up taking at least one AP exam in the beginning of May.
This year, seven Red Lion students are enrolled in dual enrollment for the fall semester.
“These numbers fluctuate from year to year,” Mrs. Scott said, “but seven is pretty average. We don’t usually have a large amount.”
When one is considering dual enrollment, transportation is often one of the largest factors. It is not school-provided, so it is up to the student to get to their college classes. Another factor is cost.
There is no cost for students to take an AP class - instead there is only a cost for the exam, which is usually around $85, Mrs. Scott said.
“Some students may be able to afford the cost of the [AP] test, but not the cost of the [college] class,” Mrs. Scott said. “In the end, it really just depends on what’s right for the student.”
Both AP and dual enrollment offer students the opportunity to challenge themselves in their upperclassmen years of high school.