By Janet Dake —

Over half of U of L’s incoming freshmen – the nearly 2,700 of them – are already ahead of game. On the surface, earning college credit in high school may seem like the best route, but access to Advanced Placement classes is an underlying issue.

According to a news release by the university, 57 percent of incoming students have some college credit, which comes in the form of Advance Placement tests or dual enrolling at a local college.

“That early start can make a world of difference because those with college credits save money, have more options for minors and double majors, and have additional opportunities such as internships and study abroad,” said Executive Director of Admissions Jenny Sawyer in a press release.

Freshman Elizabeth Turner is part of the majority at U of L with college credit. The intended Political Science major had earned 45 credit hours before she even stepped foot in her first class.

Turner, who hails from Woodford County High School, partook in both AP classes offered by her school and dual enrollment courses at Georgetown College.

“AP courses do a good job at preparing students for testing, whereas dual-enrollment courses are more hands-on and immerse students in real life college courses,” she said.

The cost of college credits could pose a challenge. An AP test is $94, according to the Advanced Placement website. Dual enrolling at a local college can cost three times that.

A 2015 report by the Kentucky Department of Education presents that Caucasians made up over 82 percent of students taking an AP test. Comparatively, African Americans and Latinos made up 5.5 and 3.5 percent respectively.

U of L reported only 15.5 percent of African American freshmen and 5.6 percent of Hispanic/Latino freshmen coming to the university have college credits.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal