The Pros and Cons of AP and Dual Enrollment US History


Ben Kramer, Reporter

With the next school year emerging on the horizon, students have begun choosing their classes for next year. During this process, one question has emerged above all else: “Should I take AP or Dual Enrollment?” This article is here to answer all the questions that you have about these two types of courses. The most commonly asked question is “which class is harder?” While it’s hard to answer that question exactly, it can be determined on what makes a class hard. “In terms of workload, my estimation is APUSH [AP US History] has more work overall, and more constantly,” said Steve Celio, an AP US History and Dual Enrollment US History teacher. 

In most advanced classes, research papers and essays are assigned. This is no different than in AP and Dual Enrollment. “It is much easier for students to earn A’s in dual enrollment. “The paper grades tend to bump them up, as they are heavily weighted,” said Celio.

A common worry between the different classes is whether colleges favor one over the other. “At Virginia Tech, I got credit for both my AP and Dual Enrollment classes, and they don’t view them differently,” says Sydney Huth, an alumni at Briar Woods, Huth now attends Virginia Tech. 

To take Dual Enrollment over the more traditional AP means there have to be some draws. Some colleges still prefer AP over DE on a college application. “The fact that [DE has] a guaranteed 6 college credits (2 courses), as opposed to a possible 3 credits for AP (some schools give 6 credits if you get a 5, I believe) is a big draw,” said Celio

In the end, it is up to personal preference whether one decides to take an AP class or Dual Enrollment class next year. “I think AP classes prepare you more for college studying and working towards exams,” said Huth. “Ultimately both have their strengths and weaknesses, but all of our teachers are very dedicated and knowledgeable, so students should have a good experience whichever they choose,” said Celio.