AP vs College Courses

Napk1ns

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
51
Hello, me again.

I had a previous post about whether or not USNA would take previous college credits, but now I am wondering if i should even take these courses. I have the opportunity to choose between online college courses or AP courses next year, but i am curious to know if USNA’s admissions office has a preference. On one hand, I would be showing them that I can handle college courses, however, I am not sure if they would even count a course taken off campus as high school credit. Any information would he greatly appreciated. Thank you
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
8,841
Hello, me again.

I had a previous post about whether or not USNA would take previous college credits, but now I am wondering if i should even take these courses. I have the opportunity to choose between online college courses or AP courses next year, but i am curious to know if USNA’s admissions office has a preference. On one hand, I would be showing them that I can handle college courses, however, I am not sure if they would even count a course taken off campus as high school credit. Any information would he greatly appreciated. Thank you
This is a great question for the live chat sessions you can access, see link below for schedule.

I’m sure you have read the USNA Admissions pages about recommended course work grades 9-12, and the recommendations for AP, IB or Honors. Dual HS-college courses are not specifically addressed in that section, so it’s a good question for the primary source to answer.

You’ve already discovered course credits won’t transfer, that you’ll sit validation tests to either place you out of a course or into a higher section.

 

usna1985

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Jun 9, 2006
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6,243
I've never heard USNA say there is any benefit in taking a college or "dual college" course vs. a high school AP course. The one exception would likely be a student who, as a junior, has completed (earning high grades) all of the courses in a particular subject that the h.s. has to offer. For example, the student has completed AB Calc as a junior and the h.s. doesn't offer BC calc, leaving the student with no math to take senior year. Then it would make sense to continue calculus at a local college. Generally, I would stay with h.s. unless as noted, you have already completed at the highest level all of the core courses, such as English, calculus, chemistry, physics, history, advanced language (as applicable) such that there is really nothing at h.s. left to challenge you. This is especially true if your h.s. offers at least some in-person classes and college is all on-line.

Note that the above is for USNA purposes only. Other colleges to which you apply may take a different view.

Agree that this would be a good question to raise directly to USNA Admissions.
 

boatsfordays

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Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
63
Not all dual enrollment is created equal... all college admissions understands this. We attended at least 12 college admissions tours including every single service academy and several IVY options. We asked the same question at every single one and the overwhelming answer was that you can not compare dual enrollment at local tech school to a highly competitive university. For example Georgia Tech has a very competitive dual enrollment type of program and I think it is safe to say that most colleges would consider this above AP standards. However, not every HS student has the opportunity to compete for that type of dual enrollment. In order for colleges to compare apples to apples (you are competing for an appointment against top performing students) they can really only see performance in AP courses as the most challenging rigor due to the universal requirements for course satisfaction. ALWAYS choose AP if it is available if Service Academy or IVY is your goal. For example if your school offers AP Chem and you choose local college Chem this is not considered the most rigorous schedule. Now, if your school offers AP Calc but not AP Chem and you take AP Calc and dual enrollment Chem then that would be considered the most rigorous schedule. Talk to your HS advisor (although it is shocking how many HS advisors do not realize what it takes to get into a service academy), but the advisor will fill out a form from USNA that will literally mark boxes showing if each class you took was the most rigorous option available. Keep in mind... taking the most rigorous classes in HS won't just help you get into USNA it will help keep you there. Because the toughest AP you take in HS is still no comparison to the rigor you'll face when you get there. No short cuts, do the work now and it will only help you once you're there. Rant over... Beat Army!
 

bopper

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
284
In general for colleges, AP/IB courses/tests are known quantities so the college/service academy can tell you up front what credit/validation you will get for a given AP/IB score. https://www.usna.edu/Academics/Candidate-Information/Course-Validation-Policy.php

So if you have a choice between Chem 101 at the Community College and AP Chem, then take AP Chem as you know how it will transfer.

But if you say have taken Calc BC already and have no other math classes to take, then take Multivariable Calculus if you want at the Community College. Keep a copy of the syllabus for each class so the college/SA can use it in determining credit.
 
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