AP Credit and Class Standing
Your class standing in college is determined by the number of credits you have. And, surprise, most schools handle things differently. Class standing is calculated by:
- Incoming credits before matriculation to the college (AP credit, community college, dual-enrollment) may be added and a student can enter with sophomore standing given he has enough accumulated credit.
- Incoming credits do not count toward your college standing, only those earned at the college do. In essence, first-year students will always be considered freshmen regardless of the number of units with which they enter.
Why is this important? Well, class standing in college can dictate a lot. From housing assignments, to class registration, to graduation timeline, a student’s class standing can determine his/her priority in these processes.
Entering with a higher class standing can also save students significant time and money. Simply put, finishing in under four years can cost students less. Entering with even four classes worth of AP credit can be significant. Conversely, coming in without credit can delay graduation past four years and end up costing a student more.
Since the most common way to determine class standing is via AP credits earned, the impact of having access to AP coursework and earning AP credit cannot be overstated.
Your matriculation to a college is unlikely to be determined solely by how AP credit is applied. If you plan on taking AP courses, your decision should be guided by your interest in the material, your capacity to do well in the course, and how that course will prepare you for college admission and beyond. Do not worry about how AP credit will be applied until it makes sense to do so, but do be aware of how it can be used.