When it comes to options for college credit in high school, dual credit and AP courses are endlessly compared and contrasted to find the best option for each student. AP classes, however, have the additional advantage of being weighted for GPAs. Students who take dual credit challenge themselves as much as AP students, so they should be rewarded in the same way. The extra GPA points should apply to dual credit as well as AP classes.

Because dual credit classes are taught at a college level, they should be weighted to separate them from the standard high school courses. The difficulty of a dual credit class exceeds that of anything offered solely for high school credit, so the classes cannot be judged the same way when it comes to GPA. In dual credit, students experience the structure of a college class and think at a higher level, and their weighted grades would reflect the academic challenge they face. Every element of dual credit demands more than a high school class, so it is unrealistic that it should remain unweighted.

Weighting dual credit also widens the options for students who feel they must take certain classes to increase their GPA. Because only AP courses are weighted currently, students who might thrive in dual credit decide on AP because it will help their grades. By giving the additional ten points to dual credit, it levels the playing field between the college credit offering courses and encourages students to pick the class that is truly best for them. However, it has been argued that since AP requires the exam at the end of the year, the exclusiveness of the extra ten GPA points offsets the pressure of the test and adds an incentive for students to take those classes. In reality, this simply deprives dual credit students of the boost they deserve and prevents other students from considering dual credit. A weighted grade must be applied to dual credit for more students to take its classes.

Dual credit must be weighted to reflect the extra work students put into those classes. Because they put so much effort in, students should be rewarded on their transcript. Although some argue that the reward is found in gaining college credit, students deserve to have their hard work recognized while they are still in high school. Weighting dual credit shows students that their effort is not unnoticed and encourages them to challenge themselves in the future. By adding the GPA boost to dual credit, students will feel respected by the administrators because the high quality work they turned in would be properly recognized.

Because dual credit opens many new doors to students, it is crucial that it becomes weighted to show how it challenges and requires hard work. The GPA boost must no longer apply only to AP credit. Students should let the district know the injustice of the current system in order to change how courses are weighted.

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By Timber Creek Talon

The Timber Creek Talon is the student news service for Timber Creek High School in Keller Independent School District.

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