AP vs dual enrolling

RunManCallaghan

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Nov 21, 2020
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I'm a Sophomore in high school taking all honors classes (except the cursed algebra II) and AP US History. I'm doing great in all of my classes and I plan on taking mostly AP classes next year. The thing is, is I'm at an ultimatum; I don't know if I want to go full dual enrollment in senior year or if I want to take all AP courses. If I were to dual enroll it would be at either a community college or Florida State University. Would AP or dual enrollment look better to the academies and why?
 

Devil Doc

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Well hello there new member.

Far be it from me to tell you to search the numerous threads on this topic so I will offer this which is to not only take challenging courses, but if you know duel enrollment classes only articulate to FSU or Florida State College at wherever, why would you want to take duel enrollment if you aspire to the Naval Academy?
 

AramcoDad

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Also, be careful not to receive too many college credits from Dual Enrollment courses. The Service Academies have restrictions on the number of college credits you can have.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner
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Also, be careful not to receive too many college credits from Dual Enrollment courses. The Service Academies have restrictions on the number of college credits you can have.
Respectfully, I do not believe this is accurate.

Though rare, there have been applicants with full BS/BA degrees who get into SAs, if they meet all the requirements. Each year, there are also successful college re-applicants with 1, 2 or 3 years of college. HS grads with dual enrollment college credits are not uncommon. It is true that none of those credits will transfer. Plebes take validation exams which allow them to place out of classes or place into higher sections, but they still take a full course load over 4 years. The SA wants the HS student to take the most rigorous classes available during HS, whether AP, IB, Honors or dual enrollment. The recommended HS course areas are laid out on the USNA website.

I believe there are some restrictions on college credits obtained while a college student - but not dual enrollment college credits while still in HS - when applying for ROTC scholarships, which is explained on service ROTC websites.

There are many threads on this, as it comes up every year. Here’s one from last year:
Thread 'Dual Enrollment Question'
https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/dual-enrollment-question.65625/

Of course, I always recommend going to the official source for the best answers, Admissions. If you have a specific question, such as should I take AP Chem or college DE Chem, ask!

You can call or email Admissions, and they also have scheduled live chat periods where you can pop up and ask online.

These are also helpful:

The Live Chat and brief:
 
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AramcoDad

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You are 100% correct. The restriction on credits obtained from Dual enrollment courses pertains to the 4 year ROTC scholarships, not service academies. Apologies...
 

justme

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Nov 7, 2019
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I don't know if I want to go full dual enrollment in senior year or if I want to take all AP courses. If I were to dual enroll it would be at either a community college or Florida State University. Would AP or dual enrollment look better to the academies and why?

Going by your user name... if you hope to run in college, you need to be careful of dual enrollment specifics. Especially, if you are taking it AT a college. There is a gray area as to whether it is a HS course that gets college credit or an actual college course. If the NCAA rules that you were a college student for that semester, it starts your 5 year clock. For the academies, that isn't a big deal as you should only have 4 years there anyway.

My personal recommendation (fwiw) would be to base it on which courses you could take. STEM/core courses of one would likely be better than non STEM/core of the other. USNA will validate a few classes based on AP scores (see site for specific courses) if those were ones you might be taking.
 

TheRightStuff

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Going by your user name... if you hope to run in college, you need to be careful of dual enrollment specifics. Especially, if you are taking it AT a college. There is a gray area as to whether it is a HS course that gets college credit or an actual college course. If the NCAA rules that you were a college student for that semester, it starts your 5 year clock. For the academies, that isn't a big deal as you should only have 4 years there anyway.

My personal recommendation (fwiw) would be to base it on which courses you could take. STEM/core courses of one would likely be better than non STEM/core of the other. USNA will validate a few classes based on AP scores (see site for specific courses) if those were ones you might be taking.


Dual-enrollment classes and taking classes "at" a college are usually two very different animals. Dual-enrollment classes are almost always taught at the high school, by high school teachers and receive both HS and college credit. College classes at the college are just that and may or may not show on a HS transcript or give HS credit.

The NCAA "clock" starts when you are enrolled at a college full time. It would be rare that dual enrollment classes at a HS would count as "full time, college enrollment." If you have questions about this, PLEASE contact the NCAA yourself.
 

justme

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Dual-enrollment classes and taking classes "at" a college are usually two very different animals. Dual-enrollment classes are almost always taught at the high school, by high school teachers and receive both HS and college credit. College classes at the college are just that and may or may not show on a HS transcript or give HS credit.

The NCAA "clock" starts when you are enrolled at a college full time. It would be rare that dual enrollment classes at a HS would count as "full time, college enrollment." If you have questions about this, PLEASE contact the NCAA yourself.
Thanks for the update. That sounds like they finally cleared up some stuff, and to the benefit of the students.


This article was from 4 years ago, but I think reflected "current" guidelines/recommendation as of a couple years ago when we were helping DS with his 12th grade classes.
 

TheRightStuff

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Thanks for the update. That sounds like they finally cleared up some stuff, and to the benefit of the students.


This article was from 4 years ago, but I think reflected "current" guidelines/recommendation as of a couple years ago when we were helping DS with his 12th grade classes.

I think you were right on the money, that was just the latest I could find from the NCAA. Think anybody in that situation should always check with the NCAA although I understand that often their "guidance" can be a bit vague anyway!
 

Heatherg21

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For our DS, he didn't have AP as an option. He did have dual enrollment which he took full advantage of. Luckily our district partners with the local college and the cost was nominal. Had he not gotten into an academy, the classes would have transferred to the college he attended and saved considerable time and money (27 credits).

Bear in mind, the Academies will not take transfer credits, but it shows on your transcript and resume for interviews. It shows an ability to take college level courses. It should also be said that if you cannot do extremely well in those classes, it could hurt you.

I do believe AP courses are accepted depending on a case by case basis and the score of the AP test.
 
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