By Megan Brewer —

Students should aim to earn college credit before stepping on campus.

Earning college credit in high school is a great way to prepare yourself for college courses and save you money.

Students can earn college credit from Advanced Placement testing and dual enrolling while still in high school.

The cost of an AP test is $94, while the cost of dual enrolling is about $280. These don’t seem like the cheapest options until you compare them to the cost of a college course.

According to U of L’s tuition rates for 2017-18, a resident will pay $462 per hour. If you’re a full-time student, taking 12 credit hours or more, you’ll pay $5,534 per semester.

If you do the math, that’s about $1,383 per three hour course, which is about 15 times the amount you’d pay for an AP test.

For non-residents, it’s over double the amount per course; a non-resident pays about $3,261 per three hour course.

AP courses and tests are not the easiest, but if you have the option to take any, you should – it’s the cheapest way to earn credit for a course.

There are over 30 different AP tests available, ranging from Arts, Maths, Sciences, World Languages, History and English.

Dual enrolling is another alternative for earning credit at a much lower rate than the average college student. You would take the course like any other college student, but still as a high school student, which would also allow you to obtain college experience early.

More students should consider taking AP tests or dual enrolling at a local college. Only 57 percent of students walk into U of L’s campus with some college credit.

These options should be presented to more students before they step onto a college campus.

AP courses and dual enrolling are the best way for students to save themselves some debt down the road, as well as gain some college experience while still in high school.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal