April 9, 2009

Take Advanced Placement classes to Save on College

Advanced Placement (AP) classes are courses that you can take in high school which may gain you college credit. Most colleges recognize AP courses for additional credit and/or advanced placement. When I went to school I had taken 3 AP courses and scored high enough to get credit. I had a total of a full quarter worth of credits so thats 1/3 of a school year. Its possible that helped me graduate a quarter earlier than I would have otherwise. The AP courses definitely helped prepare me better for college and helped make graduating in 4 years easier.

There are some great benefits to AP classes:

  • AP coursework and the AP exams help better prepare you for college. - AP classes are harder than typical high school classes and much closer to the difficulty level of a college course. The AP exam is very similar in nature and difficulty to a college final exam.
  • AP classes help you get ahead in your college courses so you can manage your course schedule easier. - If you are a few courses ahead in your schedule then it will be that much easier to shuffle around the other courses that you need to take.
  • The extra credit in college can help you graduate earlier and save you money. - This is a big one. AP classes will put you ahead in your credit and course totals. This can help you graduate faster than without them.

Say for example that taking the AP courses that I took helped me graduate one quarter earlier (three months). In today's prices that quarter would equate to potential of over $6,000 in savings for tuition and room and board. Plus I'd be in the work force 3 months sooner and potentially gain 3 months additional wages.

AP classes do require more work and you have to do well. If a student normally gets high grades then AP classes can be a good option to challenge a student further and give them a leg up on college and its costs.

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