Home Podcast About Me Subscribe to stay in touch Login

Episode 60- AP, Dual and Dept Credit. What's the deal?

Mar 22, 2021

This is for those with juniors or seniors in high school considering dual credit or AP credit and for those with college students thinking about departmental credit.




What is AP credit?


Advance Placement test administered by College Board.
It can:

  • earn you credit in college based on your score
  • Allow you to skip some prereqs and jump right into a higher level course
  • Save some money as it’s cheaper than most college classes
  • Demonstrate your higher level ability to colleges when applying
  • Earn you a higher classification (sophomore or higher) allowing you earlier access to some things than other freshmen
  • AP fees

Helpful AP FAQ page.

What is Dual credit?

Dual credit programs allow secondary students to earn college credit for courses taken while they are in high school. These courses are used to meet their high school requirements as well as to be transcripted on a college transcript to get them a head start.  Dual or concurrent credit may not be offered at every high school. In Indiana dual credit offerings has a bit of oversight coming from the ICHE. As such students (or their parents) pay only $25 per credit hour compared to 

$329.05 at Purdue main campus
$307.67 at IU Bloomington
$149.55 at Ivy Tech

What is departmental credit?

This is when the college offers exams that upon completion and grade will award credit for the course without the student having to sit through the entire course and paying the credit hour tuition.

Reasons to take advantage:

  • These could check a box on a plan of study allowing your student to move ahead a class or two or sometimes an entire semester.
  • Allow your student to enroll in a lower number of credits for the first semester or two allowing for a smoother transition to college. Or they could save this reduced credit load for a semester that traditionally includes larger time commitments like two labs or a subject that they know they will struggle in.
  • Money savings for sure.
  • Potential to graduate early.
  • Potential to free up time for an internship or co-op experience and still stay on track for graduation.
  • Ability to test drive the rigor of a college level course. 
  • Demonstrate their higher achievement level on a college app making them more competitive.
  • Early credits could move them to an earlier place in line for future registration, athletic tickets, housing, parking, etc.

Things to keep in mind before taking action.

  • Student should review the plan of study in their planned major to see if these credits/courses even check a box on the plan of study. Credits completed but not used in plan of study could impact the 150%....mostly a concern when students change their majors or wish to double major/minor/certificate.
  • Your student should research the score required for their university or planned university that will earn them credit.
  • Ask financial aid and admissions that there is no limit to keep in mind that could change their classification from a new beginner that could forego some financial benefits in scholarships/grants/loans.
  • If they don’t do well they may be at risk of academic drop after ‘true’ first term in college.
  • Calendar now to have a transcript sent from each university that your student took a dual credit course from.
  • I would have your student evaluate how their AP credit will apply to X, Y, Z university before adding as recipient. In some cases students earn a borderline score that earns them credit but students going before them caution taking the credit and enrolling in the next level course due to the rigor. Do homework. Check Reddit threads, parent groups, other social threads to help inform this decision as some colleges require your student to take the credit if it was earned instead of retaking the same course for a GPA booster.


Other tests for credit:
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) 


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.