There are many factors that students take into account when choosing their class schedule. Too many Advanced Placement (AP) classes could result in being overworked; however, going light of the APs won’t make one competitive for elite colleges. But choosing the right AP classes to fit one’s schedule can be hard. Balancing sports, clubs, and schoolwork is difficult even without AP classes to worry about.

          The 2023-2024 school year will see the introduction of a new US History course to Westfield: Dual Enrollment (DE) U.S History. Sophomores at Westfield are now posed with a choice; AP vs DE vs Honors U.S. History. 

          Many Westfield students want to challenge themselves with the right courses that will make them competitive for admission to their dream schools. The choice as to which U.S. History class they take may seem insignificant, but it could set them aside from competitive classmates in the pool of applications at UVA or Virginia Tech. Let’s take a look at what U.S History classes students at Westfield are planning to take next year.


          Bhavya Gurumoorthy:

          Chosen class: Advanced Placement (AP) U.S History

          What are some things that worry you about APUSH?

          “That I won’t pass the AP test.” 


          Niranjana Ezhilarason:

          Chosen class: Dual Enrollment (DE) U.S History

          Why did you choose DE? 

          “Cause I don’t want to take the AP test, and history is too hard.” 

          Are you worried that you are not taking enough APs next year?

          “No, cause I have other APs” 


          Ayisha Asharaf:

          Chosen class: Undecided

          What factors are influencing your decision?

          “I don’t know if I want to get that college credit, or be nicer to myself because I’m taking other APs.”

          Why have you not made a decision?

          “Because it’s too stressful.”


          I emailed the Virginia Tech undergraduate admissions office about which U.S History course looks best on college applications and here’s their response. “To be the most competitive for admission, we would recommend AP or dual enrollment.”

          I asked teachers and counselors at Westfield what course is more competitive, APUSH vs DE US History. A consensus was that APUSH looks better than Dual Enrollment because . . . 

          A) The AP curriculum has been around for more than half a century. It is trusted by colleges, and colleges are familiar with the curriculum. 

          B) The APUSH curriculum is harder than the Dual Enrollment curriculum.


Advantages of Dual Enrollment Disadvantages of Dual Enrollment
  • You get college credit if you pass the class with a C and above
  • Save money because you won’t have to retake the course in college.
  • Dual Enrollment Credits are generally accepted by institutions in Virginia such as UVA, Virginia Tech, and VCU. 
  • 1 point GPA boost
  • The credit will transfer to in-state institutions but it depends on out-of-State institutions
  • Less competitive than the AP curriculum
  • Colleges are unfamiliar with the DE curriculum since it varies from state to state. Thus it is less trusted. 


Advantages of Advance Placement Disadvantages of Advanced Placement
  • More challenging than the Honors and Dual Enrollment curriculum
  • 1 point GPA boost
  • The large workload can be overwhelming
  • Some selective schools don’t take AP credit
  • Cause unnecessary stress if the course is unrelated to the student’s intended major


Advantages of Honors Disadvantages of Honors
  • 0.5 GPA boost
  • Easier than DE and AP but more challenging than Regular
  • Manageable course load
  • Not competitive 
  • Less stressful than AP and DE classes


          There are many things students should consider when selecting a course: Is the course relevant to future pursuits? Will you have enough time to commit to the course? How difficult is this course? With this taken into account, one can choose the right course selection.