Many college bound students and their parents ask about Dual Credit. Here is some information to help you decide if it’s right for you.
What is Dual Credit?
Dual Credit allows a junior or senior high school student to earn college credit AND high school credit at the same time. The student is “dual enrolled” in both high school and college.
Some things to think about regarding dual credit:
- The grade you earn in the dual credit course goes toward your high school GPA. The number of GPA points earned are equivalent to an honors course.
- The grade you earn will also go on your college transcript.
- You must earn a C or better to receive college credit and to remain in the program.
- It is not a high school course. It is a college level class with a faster pace and more rigorous curriculum.
- Some dual credit courses are year long and earn more credits than a semester long course. Check with your local high school counselor on courses offered at your school.
- Your grade may be different on your high school transcript than your college transcript FOR THE SAME CLASS. Yes, you read it correctly. Since your high school may have a different grading scale or may allow test retakes, you may earn a different grade in the same class.
Some advantages of dual credit include:
- Saving money on college tuition. Dual credit courses are substantially cheaper than traditional college courses.
- Starting a college transcript. Many colleges accept dual credit courses. This gets you ahead of the game allowing you to your college course load or possibly graduate college sooner.
- Showing college admissions that you’re ready. Colleges like to see students challenge themselves academically.
How does dual credit differ from Advanced Placement classes (AP)?
AP classes prepare you for an exam to prove you have grasped the college curriculum. You must make a high score on the exam to obtain college credit.
Should I take Dual Credit or AP?
Well… that depends. One of the most important services we provide to our Class 101 students is helping them form a college list. It is important to research different colleges. Make sure the colleges you are interested in will accept dual credit. If not, AP will be a better fit for you. You also want to find out what AP score is required by each college. Some schools accept a 3 or higher, while others demand a 4 on the AP test. It’s a lot of research, but it can save you money in the long run.
Both CyFair ISD and Tomball ISD have agreements with Lone Star College to offer dual credit courses at their respective campuses.
Check out more at the LSC sites below:
CyFair ISD: http://www.lonestar.edu/cyfairDualCredit.htm
Tomball ISD: http://www.lonestar.edu/Tomballdualcredit.htm
It is not easy. It is worth it. Remember to find joy in the journey.
About the Author
Kathy Jones is a certified Class 101 College Advisor. She is a graduate of the Cypress Fairbanks School District and raises her two sons in Cypress. Class 101 guides you and your college-bound student through the complex steps leading to university admission and to do it affordably. Follow Kathy on Instagram @class101cypress and LIKE on Facebook.