Leading college admissions and financial aid strategist Scott Weingold deconstructs the mysteries behind getting into and paying for the right school for your college bound student. Scott has been recognized as the #1 college financial aid expert worth knowing about by CollegeStats.org.

The Pros and Cons of Getting AP College Credit

Hi this is Scott Weingold over at CollegeMadeSimple.com, 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 www.CollegeMadeSimple.com.

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