Should I take an AP class? I could easily get an A in a regular course.  Don't colleges want to see good grades? 

Will colleges look at what classes I take, or do they only care about what grades I earn? 


Colleges are not necessarily looking for perfect students, but they do want to see that you have challenged yourself. Colleges want to see improvement throughout your high school career and they want to see that you are ready to push yourself further. 


A strong academic foundation is the key to truly being able to choose what your final career destination will be.

Challenge Yourself Academically

Consider taking the most challenging courses that your school has to offer, particularly in subjects closely related to your academic and career interests. 

Don't be afraid to challenge yourself for fear of getting a lower grade in a more difficult class. When calculating your GPA, City Schools gives more weight to Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate courses.

Earning a B in an AP course carriers more weight than an A in a standard course.

Colleges look at your weighted GPA and consider the academic rigor of the courses you have taken. 

Baltimore City Schools Grading Scale

You can earn college credit by attending a nearby two- or four-year college or university while you are still in high school, sometimes as early as your 9th grade year. Here are three ways to make it happen!

Dual Enrollment

  • Through agreements with various colleges - including Baltimore City Community College, University of Baltimore, and Coppin State University - City Schools offers you the opportunity to earn college credit while attending high school.

  • To be eligible to participate, you must meet minimum GPA requirements, have really good attendance, and be on track for high school graduation.

  • Connect with your school counselor and/or college advisor to see if you are eligible to participate and to learn about scheduling opportunities, upcoming testing and registration dates, and deadlines.


Find out more about City Schools Dual Enrollment Programs. 

Advanced Placement (AP)

  • Advanced Placement courses, also known as “AP” courses, follow a college-level curriculum with a typical college workload.

  • The number of AP courses and range of subjects available varies by high school.

  • Many colleges award credit or higher course placement if you obtain a certain score on an AP exam.

  • Set up a visit with your school counselor to learn more about the specific AP courses being offered at your school and to get additional information.

Read more about how AP courses can help you get ahead in college.  

  • Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) Baltimore is a public high school that allows students to take a two-year, tuition-free college course of study in liberal arts and sciences in their junior and senior years. BHSEC students graduate with a high school diploma, up to 60 Bard College credits, and an associate's degree.

  • Honors Classes often cover the same content as regular classes but are tailored for students who are able to take on the more challenging classwork, homework, and projects.  In many schools, students may be recognized for their academic achievement on lists published periodically throughout the school year, known as honor rolls. In addition, students may become members of the National Honor Society. 

  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years and Diploma Programs provide students the opportunity to participate in a challenging framework that encourages them to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. Currently, an IB Middle Years and Diploma Program is offered at Baltimore City College High School.