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The College Helper: Dual Credit

posted Dec 6, 2010, 10:30 PM by Glenda Durano
One of the most important things universities consider in the admissions process is how much a student challenges himself. If ten AP classes are offered at the student's high school and he hasn't even taken one, this tells admissions officers that the student is unwilling to challenge himself.  He's a "coaster."  (Not good!)  When you're planning your schedule for next semester, keep those classes strong.  Generally speaking, admissions officers would rather see a 'B' in an honors class than an 'A' in a regular class.  That being said, an 'A' in any class is always preferred, but don't take an easy class just so you can make an 'A.'  Instead, challenge yourself.  One great way to demonstrate that you're up for an academic challenge is to enroll in a community college course.  Many times, high schools allow students to take a class for dual credit--the credit goes on both your high school record AND it can be tranferred to your incoming college transcript.  What a deal!  Another great thing is that the grade in the dual credit class only goes on the high school transcript, not the college one.  Credit only is transferred, so if you make a grade that's lower than you want, taking a dual credit class proves you're ready for a challenge, BUT it doesn't hurt your college GPA.  On the contrary, it gives you credit hours that you don't have to take later.  A word to the wise:  Dual credit policies vary widely among universities.  See what your college choices say with regard to bringing in the credit.  Don't take so many dual credit hours that you enter as a transfer student instead of a freshman. (That would knock out quite afew scholarships.)