Upper Level Options

Emma Mackey , Staff Writer

As the year comes to a close, students are, again, looking to register for next year’s classes. Many students are faced with the decision about whether or not they should enroll in advanced placement classes (AP). Sometimes the difference between AP and concurrent classes is almost nonexistent.


AP classes present students with more of a challenge, offering a more in depth look at the subjects and material. Many students chose to take AP classes as a way to push themselves further in the subjects that they enjoy.


As well as providing students with a more detailed look at some subjects, AP classes also include an opportunity to earn college credits. After taking an AP class, students sign up for the AP test that exists for each subject. These tests cost $98 and students only receive credit for high scores.


Students who take the AP tests will take the tests during the spring, which can provide complications for classes that end at winter break. Students may find it challenging to recall information that they haven’t covered in a semester. Many teachers do offer review sessions closer to the test days, but students should consider this when signing up for these classes.


If a student wishes to take an AP Test, Ms. Takahashi advises a look at the specific colleges that person is interested in. Each college has its own set of requirements and preferences regarding scores that they accept as college credit.


Another way that students are able to earn college credits while taking AP classes is through the CU Succeed program. This program allows students to simultaneously earn credits for the college equivalent of the course without the testing. The grade and course credit simply show up on transcripts. Ms. Takahashi also suggests that a student takes into consideration where they succeed most. If a student isn’t as confident in test taking, CU Succeed allows an alternate way to earn the credit.


When signing up for CU Succeed classes a student will end up registering as a student at Colorado University and pays per course hour. The number or course hours included in the classes do vary and the prices per hour are around $75. When looking comparatively these prices are much lower than they would be if the courses were actually being taken in college. On the surface though the $98 price tag is lower,causing many students to opt for the AP classes as a way to cut costs in college.


AP classes also have a positive impact on the high school GPA. If students do well in an AP class, it adds an extra boost to their GPA, which can help get into programs such as NHS (National Honors Society), where they require a GPA of 3.75 or higher, and can help with college acceptance.


AP classes aren’t for every student, which is why they’re optional. But there are many benefits that can come from the extra work and time if a student has it. Consider taking an AP class or CU Succeed class in the next year just to push just a little bit harder and further high school educational opportunities.