Students seek rigor, college credit

Alejandra Aguilar, Reporter

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Before Thanksgiving Break, U.S. Senator Todd Young visited Perry Meridian,  answering student questions about the student loan debt crisis and dual credit courses. . 

Young claims Perry Meridian is “overperforming”  in terms of statewide averages, with teachers, support staff and students all playing key roles in the success of the school. 

“I would advise students to earn more credits in high school as a great way to reduce the number of classes needed to pay for in college,” Young said.

Two avenues offered at Perry Meridian– the Early College program and Advanced Placement courses–may alleviate some student debt, but possibly at the expense of personal well-being and well-roundedness. 

The Early College program, for instance, allows students to receive a high school diploma and an Associates Degree– or up to two years of college credits–by taking a combination of high school and college classes.

Students in the program take fewer high school classes, however, because some of their college classes replace them.

Senior Shelby Dilley chose to take Early College courses because they allowed her to earn college credits while working toward her high school diploma. Even though students taking these courses are limited in deciding their high school schedule, Early College students often don’t mind. 

“If I wouldn’t have joined Early College, I would have had no idea what I would do or even what classes to take,” Dilley says. 

Early College will allow her to spend two years in college instead of the normal four. She plans to become a veterinarian and will attend IUPUI.

“I would recommend Early College to underclass students,” Dilley says. “Whether if it’s to reduce the number of college years or just to earn a college degree.” 

Perry also offers numerous Advanced Placement courses, which are regulated by the College Board and offer college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on such examinations. 

Senior Makayla Gomperts has taken five AP classes and, like many students, she has had the opportunity to both challenge and better herself. 

“I was really intentional about picking classes that would help me with what I want to do in the future,” Gomperts stated.

Advanced Placement Programs offer students the ability to choose from a variety of advanced classes. 

“I have learned and benefited so much from them,” Gomperts states. “I wouldn’t be the student I am today without some of these classes.”

There are advantages to taking AP classes, including catching a  glimpse of rigorous college learning. Ultimately, the classes can push students to figure out how to read, write and study better. 

However, other students take more AP classes than they can handle and struggle to keep up with the work. 

“If you want a challenge and want to grow and become a better student, take these classes,” Gomperts urges. “You will be well prepared for whatever you want to do in the future.”