Taking dual credit or Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school can help you get a head start on college and save time and money as you work toward a degree. Earning college credit before graduating from high school can also put you on track to graduate in less time and with less debt.

Dual credit

Many high schools offer dual credit classes that count for both high school and college credit. Courses are usually taught by a certified high school instructor or are offered online.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement or AP courses are designed to give you the experience of an introductory-level college class while you’re still in high school. They are usually taught by a certified high school instructor. You can earn college credit for the class if you pass the AP exam given at the end of the course.

It is a good idea to check with the colleges you are interested in attending to see if they will accept credit from dual credit and AP classes.

In most cases, payment is required to enroll in dual credit classes.  Payment is also required to take AP exams to receive college credit. However, credit earned through dual credit and AP classes is often less expensive than completing the same courses in college.

To learn more about dual credit and AP classes offered at your high school, check with your high school counselor.