Earning College Credits as a High Schooler: Advanced Placement (AP) Vs. Dual Enrollment

If you’re a high schooler planning to attend college, you may be considering earning some college credits before graduating. After all, it’s a great way to save time and money. There are a few options to earn college credits during your high school career and you may be wondering what the difference is between them all. In this blog, we’ll review the difference between AP courses and dual enrollment to help you determine which is best for you.

Advanced Placement

AP classes are often taken alongside regular high school classes and use a college-level curriculum. The class prepares you for the College Board‘s AP exam, which is offered once a year in May. The exam is scored on a 1-5 scale, 5 being the highest. Each college or university has its own requirements for AP exam scores. If you earn an acceptable score on the exam, it can count as credits to your chosen college.

Meredith awards credits for acceptable AP test scores. For example, if you take English Language and Composition, you will need to earn a score of 3, 4, or 5 for it to count as credits. If you earn a 3, you will be granted 3 credit hours, which will count as an elective. If you earn a 4 or 5, it will count as 3 credit hours and ENG 111.

You can download the Credit Opportunities for High School Advanced Placement Courses to view the list of minimum scores you must obtain and the course it satisfies at Meredith.

As AP classes are offered through your high school, your grade in the class will count toward your high school GPA but will not count toward your college GPA.

Dual Enrollment

Through dual enrollment, students take college-level courses at an Early College High School (ECHS), Middle College High School (MCHS), community college, or a local college or university.

Meredith accepts college credits that you earn as a high school student, whether you attend an ECHS, MCHS, or are dual enrolled. When applying to Meredith, apply as a first-year student. You may be transferring significant credit to Meredith, but you are not a transfer student. Transfer students have previously graduated from high school and enrolled in college after high school graduation.

If you’re a North Carolinian and you’ve earned your associate degree at a North Carolina community college, you’ll enter Meredith under our articulation agreement with North Carolina community colleges. You will enter Meredith as a first-year student but with junior standing.

We’re here to support you and answer any questions you may have during your college search. This can be an exciting and sometimes challenging time, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Learn more about how your credits will transfer by contacting or visiting

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