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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


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The Fresh Perspective: dual credit v. AP

Lea Garcia-Salazar
In this weekly blog, The Fresh Perspective, staff reporter Lea Garcia-Salazar talks about school opinions.

Students can earn college credit while still in high school by taking AP (Advanced Placement) and dual credit classes, but the two are different in several ways including course content, transferability, and cost.

AP classes, developed by College Board, are standardized college-level courses. These classes all follow a specific curriculum and are taught by high school teachers who have undergone AP curriculum training. The standardized curriculum of AP courses ensures consistency in content and assessments across the nation, making it easier for students to find study resources. However, standardization could also mean a lack of flexibility in adapting the content to local or individual student needs. 

On the other hand, dual credit courses are typically offered in collaboration with surrounding community colleges and universities. To teach the course, teachers must meet teacher certification requirements set by the regional accrediting association and the community college and university. The content taught in dual credit courses can vary more widely depending on the institution. Since teachers have more autonomy over the curriculum in dual credit courses, the classes are often more flexible in content and scheduling. However, the content or rigor of dual credit classes can vary widely on the institution and the qualifications of the teacher; impacting the quality of instruction. 

Another major difference between the two is transferability. AP credits are generally accepted easily at a wide range of institutions (all around the country), though they vary by institution and the score earned on the AP exam. Dual credit courses have a more limited transferability since they are only transferable to some of a student’s state public colleges and universities, and may apply to a student’s Associate of Arts (AA) Associate of Science (AS), and baccalaureate degrees. 

Finally, the two vary in price. AP courses may require students to pay a fee to take the AP exam ($98 for U.S., U.S. territories, Canada, and all DoDEA schools, $128 per exam at schools everywhere else, and $146 per exam for AP Capstone Exams). Dual enrollment programs frequently cost the student more, as they require paying for tuition, textbooks, and other associated materials. In Frisco ISD, tuition for a three-credit hour course is $188 for Collin County residents and $326 for Denton County residents. 

While both AP and dual credit classes offer high school students opportunities to earn college credit, they differ in course content, transferability, and cost. 


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About the Contributor
Lea Garcia-Salazar
Lea Garcia-Salazar, Staff Reporter
Lea Garcia-Salazar is a Sophomore in her first year with Wingspan. She is a member of DECA and Aid4Need. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family and friends, reading, writing, and volunteering. Lea is excited to be a part of such a fantastic group! Contact Lea:

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