Dual Credit? Dual Pain

Dual Credit May Be More Trouble Than It's Worth

Is dual credit more trouble than it's worth?

If you attend high school in Texas, you’ve probably heard of dual credit. If you’re smart, you probably have teachers falling over their own feet trying to convince you that you should be doing all the dual credit you can. You probably will learn pretty fast that it’s a huge pain.

In case you haven’t heard of it, dual credit is a program that gives college credit to high school students. You don’t even have to take a hard test at the end! Instead, you take a hard test at the beginning. How wonderful, logical, and abundantly useful. To be admitted to dual credit, you have to earn certain scores on a bunch of tests, attend a thousand meetings, and spend hours of meaningless paperwork.

The thing they don’t tell you is that dual credit is only accepted at a relatively small number of state schools. If you plan to go to a state school, that’s fine. It doesn’t much matter who else accepts dual credit as long as your school does. The problem arises when you want to go anywhere else. Then, your hard work is erased forever and becomes utterly worthless.

Online classes are worth it. They help you get the credits you need while taking the classes you want during school. AP classes are worth it, assuming you can handle the class without epic failure, since they offer honors credit for GPA and can give college credit that’s accepted nearly everywhere. Dual credit classes? Not so much. They’re the same as regular classes, but with more weird tests and endless falling behind in paperwork and payment submissions.

My personal experience with dual credit has been taking three hour tests after a full school day, running around confused at the local community college and desperately trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing, and spending long hours on the phone with dual credit counselors attempting to make payment and turn in forms. Honestly, the whole thing has been a basket of stress and annoyance.

If you’re making these decisions yourself, I have to put in a good word for hard classes, weird classes (I’m taking music theory and online history. These classes have fourteen and two people, respectively, and are very interesting), and elective classes. Extra classes for “enrichment purposes” are great.

But please, unless you think there’s a good chance that the school you will go to is accepting dual credit, spare yourself the horror that is dual credit (and Spanish III, but that’s another story). Spare yourself the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into dual credit testing and forms. It’s not worth it. Trust me.

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2 Responses to Dual Credit? Dual Pain

  1. Vy Hoang says:

    I very likely agree. All the counselor at my school wanted me to take Dual Credit; actually, let me rephrase it: they want most of my classmate to take Dual Credit including me. They said that “I should take the opportunity to earn college credit” as early as I can because it would benefit my stressful college life, and reduce my college tuition. Of course this is true. But like this article stated, to register for the class is already a bunch of paper work ( these include supply fees and an official transcript fees). When you take the class, it is more paper work. There are no classroom engagement beside reading a long, wordy chapter book, and more paperwork assignment overload, therefore, make the course boring. Sometimes, when you have questions, the professors take at least 3 days to reply (depend on some professor). They can even update assignment’s due date unexpectedly, when you haven’t go on the webpage to check. Because the class is online, and you are busy with all your other classes, it is less likely for you to keep your due date on track in an appropriate manners like how you would with your normal school assignment. Furthermore, the most important thing is, if you missed a test, and the machine said that the test is now closed, there about 10 percent that the teacher will reopen it for you. This mean that, you will get a 0 for the test without even give your first try. A 0 can bring your grade down A LOT. Moreover, these score are counted in your high school GPA, and your college GPA. If you don’t do well in the class, the score would decrease your high school GPA, and a bad starting points for your college as well. Therefore, in my personal experience, it would be better if you take regular classes or AP classes at your school rather than taking a Dual Credit classes (unless you are ready to face all the challenge above, and when I meant challenge, I’m not saying how knowledgeable you are on the specific topic, but I meant to be ready for any unexpected circumstances and the overload of keep track of due dates). In short, taking classes at your own school are free (unless you goes to private school), it have fun studying environment, and the teacher are there, ready to answer any of your question. If you want some more challenging studying, then just take AP. “Everybody are not born to be smart, but they built their smartness everyday”. It is part of the human nature to like taking challenges, thereby it’s good that you want to challenge yourself, but try not to overwhelm yourself. In fact, Dual Credit is is just another overwhelming subject that is full with stressful paperwork like stated in this article.

  2. Cem Ayhan says:

    I only understand from this article and that comment, that, you two weren’t a college student when you were writing those down. Those feelings exactly how a new high-school graduated senior feels, when s/he gets to college. Dual Credit application, yes just like your counselor did, for almost every possible students, but taking dual-credit is not so easy. First, you need to prove that you are college ready. In paperwork, you can prove it by having college ready scores on SAT, ACT or taking a TSI test and passing it. But, in reality, in real life, you need to prove yourself by, first of all, not complaining when you see a problem on your pathway. So, you had those paperworks, and fees and other stuff. So what? aren’t those are the things you will be dealing with in college? Do you think your parents will be handling those items for you when you get college? if you say yes, let me tell you the truth. You are still a baby. You are still waiting to be grown up. That’s sad, my friend, but true. Even, you said if you missed a date of exam ….. , well what kind of a smart student misses a date of exam? I mean, if there is a student who misses because of on his/her own fault, well it was a mistake for that student to put him/her on dual-credit. Most probably, he/she should be put on credit recovery courses to fix his “missed” and failed exams in his/her past years. I can keep writing here, but, I guess those should be enough for both of you. It is a state-law that state funded universities have to accept dual-credit courses. if you are planning to apply Harvard, then let me tell you one thing, they will not accept your AP scores, even if you have 5. They will ask you re-take those courses. But, dual-credits or AP scores will help you to get acceptance. Because, admission counselor will see that you took rigorous courses, you passed college level courses when you were in high-school. That’s always a plus point for your admission to colleges. Do not judge anything in your life unless you really know about it. 🙂 enjoy the life

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