Earning College Credits in High School

With the cost of college tuition rising, it is understandable that students are looking for opportunities to earn college credit in high school.  Many colleges, such as the state universities in Florida, will allow students to bring in up to 45 credit hours.  Here are a few ways LCS students can earn college credit in high school:

1.      AP Courses.  Most colleges will allow students to earn college credit for AP courses that they score a “3” or higher on the exam.  Some schools may award credit for two courses for scores of “4” and “5”.  For example, at Florida State University, students that score a “4” or “5” on the AP English Language exam can earn a total of 6 credit hours for ENC 1101 and ENC 1102. 

2.     Dual enrollment courses.  At LCS, we currently offer eight dual enrollment courses on our campus through Southeastern University.  Students also have the option of enrolling at Polk State College or other local colleges to earn college credits.  Students should select their dual enrollment courses carefully.  Colleges will want to see the student’s college transcript when the student applies for admission.  Doing poorly in a dual enrollment course can negatively impact a student’s application.  It tells the college that this student may not be ready to handle challenging college coursework.

3.      CLEP testing.  The College Board offers 33 exams in five subject areas.  These exams can help students receive college credit for what they already know, at a fraction of the cost.  The average cost of a college course is $700.  The cost of a CLEP test is $80.  It is important that students understand their college’s CLEP credit policy.  Not all colleges give credit for the exams and vary on how they apply the credits.

There are a couple of things students and parents do need to remember about earning college credits in high school.  Just because you may be able to CLEP an exam or get credit for a certain class, doesn’t mean you should.  If it is a course that is relevant to your major, you may be better off taking the course.  Some career paths that require professional licensure may require that students have a certain number of credit hours before they take the licensing exam.  Credits earned through CLEP or AP may not count towards this number.  Students do need to check with their college to see what their policy is for AP, dual enrollment, and CLEP testing.  Colleges can vary in their credit policies.  Even if a student does not receive credit for their AP and dual enrollment courses, it is still important that the student takes these courses.  Colleges want to see students that challenge themselves and have a rigorous coursework selection.  After taking all of this into consideration, students should take advantage of these opportunities to earn college credit.  It can reduce college cost, allow students to take higher level courses earlier, and add the rigor to their high schedule colleges want to see.

For more information on CLEP testing visit:   https://clep.collegeboard.org

For more information on AP testing visit:  https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/exploreap


Posted In Viking Views Blog From Guidance, From Secondary, From High School Highlights

Published on by Christy Lee.