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Credit clarification brings up questions among students

AP and College in the High School credits no longer can both be listed on transcripts, and many seniors are worried it might affect their admissions.

Sophie Grieser, Editor-in-Chief

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Registration is right around the corner, and for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, there are many different choices from which to choose. For many students who sign up for certain AP classes, there is another choice to make once you start the class – choose to list the class as an AP credit, or to take it through College in the High School? Not all AP classes double with College in the High School, but it can be a difficult decision to make.

What’s the difference between AP and College in the High School? Not much, actually. In an AP class, you can earn college credits towards the class by taking the AP test at the end of the year. However, when you choose to count the class as College in the High School, you are still taking the same class, with the same teacher, at LSHS, but on your high school transcript it shows up as the name of the college equivalent for that class.

In the past, students have been able to list the class on their transcript as both AP and College in the High School, which means that a student has the option to both the AP test at the end of the year and can receive college credits through EvCC – a sort of “double-dipping,” if you will.

However, this year, AP and CITHS students were alerted that from now on, you can only choose one of these names to post on your transcript. This makes the choice of choosing AP or CITHS more difficult for students, present and future. For seniors, will this change (which was made in the middle of the year) affect how colleges look at transcripts? And, for future students, which one is the right choice? Which one is better?

Fortunately, we have counselor Mr. Jim Willie, along with other AP/CITHS teachers, to help make registration a little less stressful.

Seniors get some good news to alleviate some of the stress about college. “The more I’ve researched and looked into it, I don’t think it’s as big of a concern as I thought it was originally going to be as far as admissions go,” Willie said.  “Because the college admissions people…they understand that if it’s a college-level course, whether it’s AP or college, it’s the same.”

Basically, if a student is showing a college that they are challenging themselves by taking an advanced class, colleges will notice.

“I would have [seniors] contact the admissions people at the colleges,” Willie mentioned. This will clear up any confusion that they may have about the change on the transcript. However, since it isn’t as catastrophic as some may thought it would be, don’t sweat about not getting into college.

So now comes the tougher questions: which option would be better take? Unfortunately, there is no one solid answer.

Mr. Kaleb Allinson, who teaches AP Calculus AB (that has the option to be CITHS), recommends that students look into what their dream schools want – do they want AP, or CITHS?

“Personally, I think College in the High School is usually the better option,” said Allinson. In his class, taking CITHS means not having to take an AP math exam, which appeals to a number of students. But because the amount of credits you earn varies between CITHS and AP, and even varies between the classes you take, there is no set number of credits for either choice.

This is why Allinson suggested to double-check with college requirements. “It could depend on the school. So, you need to search what school you’re going to and see what they take…see what schools are going to take the test versus the College in the High School,” Allinson said.

In summary, the change made regarding AP and College in the High School credits is not one that student’s should worry about. Make sure to notify schools to make sure everything works out. For registering students concerned about whether AP or CITHS will be better for them, they should thoroughly search through what their future colleges want and make a decision based on what will benefit them the most.


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The student news site of Lake Stevens High School
Credit clarification brings up questions among students