Should Your Child Enroll in AP Classes?

As your high school student is considering their future options, you may wonder what they can do to better prepare for further education.

If you have a child who is planning on attending college, whether it be a community college or a four-year university, I would strongly suggest that your student enrolls in some Advanced Placement courses, or AP classes. Not only is there the possibility of saving time and money with AP classes, but it will look wonderful on a college application and prepare your child for demanding college courses.

Building an Impressive College Application

With college admission becoming increasingly competitive, it’s important that your student has something that sets them apart from the other applicants. A college application is like a resume, it’s an opportunity for your student to brag about their achievements in hopes of getting a coveted acceptance letter. For that reason, it’s important that your child takes on challenges to prove that they have what it takes for rigorous college courses.

One of my AP teachers in high school said, “It’s better to have received a ‘C’ in an AP class than to have received an ‘A’ in a remedial class”. Why? It shows that the student put effort into something that has challenged them, and shows they can succeed in future classes. 

Preparation for College Courses

Not only do AP classes look excellent on an application, but they will prepare your student for college in a way that regular classes never could. While taking AP classes, your student will learn study skills, time management, and how to obtain information on their own. All of these skills are essential to being successful in college, because much of the learning that your child will do will be independent learning.

Studies show that if a student doesn’t take any AP courses before going to college, they only have a 33% chance of earning a Bachelor’s degree. If students take two or more AP classes during high school, they have a 76% chance of earning a degree. The odds are your child will have monumentally better chances of getting through school.

Saving Time and Money

At the end of every AP course, your child will have the opportunity to take an AP exam in order to earn college credit. The tests cost $86.00 each, but if your child can pass with a 3 or higher then they can bypass some classes in college, allowing them to focus on classes they really want to take as well as giving them a better chance to graduate on time. 

I was actually able to start college as a sophomore because of all of my AP credit, and this is something that is attainable for your child as well!

Is it Really For Your Child?

Although there are a lot of benefits to taking AP classes, they can also be very stressful and time consuming. Unless your child can handle the responsibility and extra work, it may not be the best choice. Especially if they have a lot of other interests like sports or a part-time job. 

AP classes are not the only way for high school students to earn college credit. See if your school offers any dual credit options or if you are a good candidate for programs such as Running Start.

Think about your child's time in high school as building a resume for their college entrance or their first job. Encourage them to think about their future and determine what interests are ideal for them to pursue at this time. 

Good luck!


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