Is it a good idea for teens to take college classes in 11th grade?
Increasingly, school staff at both public and private high schools are saying yes, and are working to create new and better ways for students to do so — often at state expense, which can save parents thousands on eventual college costs.
Private education, especially, is benefitting.
Private high schools have the flexibility to create innovative in-school programs where students as young as 11th grade are able to take real college classes for real college credit during the school day, while still having the full, enriching private high school experience.
Innovation like this works out well for parents, schools, and students. Parents find it easier to pay private school tuition when they know their future college costs are going to be lower, schools are able to brag that many of their students are graduating high school with as much as two years of college credit already completed, and students who are ready to achieve can dive into real college work as soon as soon as they’re ready for it, efficiently earning college credit and high school credit at the same time.
AP classes declining in popularity
For years, high schools offered Advanced Placement (AP) classes in an effort to help high achieving students earn some college credit before age 18, but in recent years, concern about the AP program has caused its popularity to plummet. Fewer than 50% of students who take AP courses actually receive the promised college credit, and that makes AP the least dependable way to earn college credit in high school. (This Atlantic article goes so far as to tell parents bluntly, “AP classes are a scam” and “AP students are being suckered.”)
Students who take real college courses in high school enjoy 7 significant advantages:
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