The Pros and Cons of Getting AP College Credit


Hi this is Scott Weingold over at, and what I wanted to talk about today was the pros and cons of getting AP credit.  In many instances it can save you a lot of money and also increase your chances of getting into some elite colleges.  So without further ado, we came up with three pros of AP credit and three cons.

Pro #1 is it could improve your chances of getting in at elite colleges.  Sometimes they look at the fact that you’re willing to challenge yourself and go above and beyond and take harder courses even if your grades may suffer a little bit, and often times they’ll weigh that more heavily than if you got better grades in easier classes.  So often times it could improve your chances of getting in from a full picture when they look at that.

Pro #2 is at many colleges you’ll receive college credit for those advanced placement courses that you take.  If you take four AP tests and you pass, they’re typically worth about three credits each, which would be about 12 college credits in this example, which strolls down to #3, which could potentially reduce your college costs.

A typical semester has 15 college credits at a two semester school.  So if you’re looking at an elite $50,000 a year school, 12 credits is almost one full semester that is almost, call it $25,000, so it’s a significant savings.  So there are definitely some pros involved in taking those AP classes, but obviously there are cons as well.

The first con is that not all colleges will accept those AP credits.  Some feel that their courses are harder, and they’re not going to weigh them the same, so you have to check that out to see if a college will accept AP credit before you go down that road for the colleges you’re considering.

Con #2 is the stress involved.  Many of these AP courses have homework that could be two to three hours a night, and that definitely takes a toll on the students.  You have to weigh that out and see is it worth it?

The third con, which is the opportunity cost, which kind of relates back to that is that if you’re spending two to three hours a night doing homework just for these classes and you’re missing out on other things; sports, other activities, extra curricular activities, charity work, other things that you could be doing to also boost your resume; you have to weigh that in.  So more often than not, they’re worth taking.  The pros outweigh the cons but just something you need to consider and just know that there are pros and cons to it.

If you’d like to find out more information on taking AP courses and also just anything about how to make paying for college more easily affordable, definitely check us out at

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1 Comment

Sandy StenoffFebruary 28th, 2011 at 8:52 am

Thank you. I was surprised to find information here that I was not already aware of.

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.