Are high school and college credits measured similarly?

I read on various websites that some colleges won't allow students to go overboard with their semester credits; such as 18 or more. I want to know how colleges measure their credits. I know colleges have differences in their academic approaches, but is there an average grading scale?

5 Answers

  • drip
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    University classes are with a certain amount of credits each. Usually 1-6 credits. With the majority of classes being worth 3 credits.

    Your full time tuition covers 12-18 credits. To take over 18 you would need permission from your school and pay extra for those credits, that can be very expensive

    Scheduling 18+ classes is difficult. You will classes you want to take overlap. It is hard to make them all fit together

    Rule of thumb is 2-3 hours of study time per credit hour. With 18 credits you are in the classroom 18 hours per week and will have 36-54 hours of study time per week

  • 2 years ago

    No, they are NOT They are done TOTALLY DIFFERENTLY.

    . College credit hours for courses are entirely DIFFERENT from high school credits.. The are NOT calculated the same way.

    College credit hours come in two "different: varieties because there TWO types college academic calendars. Semester and quarter. An Academic hour is %0 minutes long, not 60 minutes, and a semester course ( 12 to 16 weeks) that carries 3 credit hours meets for APPROXIMATELY 150 minutes of class time PER week MORE OR LESS, but the class can meet #, 2, or 1 time a week. Labs and discussion groups may carry 0 credit hours or 0.25 or 0.5 credit hours, but the labs ARE required. SOMETIMES for legitimate reasons, you may be able to take a lab section with the lecture section, but THAT depends ENTIRELY on university AND school or even department policies.

    On a quarter academic calendar course usually carry 4 credit hours. A quarter can be anything from 5 n half weeks , often 8 weeks, sometimes 10 weeks, and 12 weeks. In Online classes you may have only 2 hours of live chat time per week.You still do a LOT of work for those online classes, possibly even MORE work than if you were taking a college class in brick and mortar class rooms.. You do an AWFUL LOT of online research BY YOURSELF.

    High school credits are usually for the entire academic year no matter HOW the academic year is divided up, semesters or 6 week terms. Each STATE and EACH high school has their OWN policies. Credit is NOT calculated the same way in high schools and colleges. and vocational technical schools.There is NOTHING that "standardized' about education in the United states, and not even in the individual states or territories or protectorates of the United States.

  • Laurie
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    First of all, you need to know whether the college/university is on the quarter system, or the semester system.

    A typical "quarter" class (English composition, American history, Algebra) is 4.5 credits; a typical "semester" class is 3 credits.

    From here on, I will refer to semester credits, but be aware that everything is multiplied by 1.5 for schools that are on the quarter system.

    Of course, some classes are fewer credits, and some are more. In general a credit refers to how many hours per week the class meets ("hour" = roughly 50 minutes). So, a 3 hour class may meet MWF for 50 minutes each, or TR (Tuesday,Thursday) for 100 minutes each, not counting breaks, or once a week for 150 minutes, not including breaks. These semester hours are based on butt-in-the-chair classes; of course, it is different for online classes...

    A full-time load is a minimum of 12 credits (usually, 4 classes) per semester. Many, many people take 12-15 credits. A few die-hards take 16-18 credits, but normally you have to get special permission from the dean of your college. (I took 18 hours once, and it almost killed me, but I was also working full-time).

    Half-time is considered at least 6 credit hours. This is important because, for some financial aid, you must attend at least half time (and, if so, you receive HALF the aid you were offered) and, if you attend fewer than half-time, you lose the aid. This can become REALLY important if you are taking the minimum number of hours and then you drop a class.

    Science and/or foreign language classes are often 4 credit hours, and they often require a 1 or 2 hour lab in addition to the class. So, you may see biology or chemistry or Spanish classes listed as 4-6 credit hours; sometimes the lab is "credited" separately, and sometimes it is included in the class credits.

    Sometimes, "independent study" classes are TBA (to be arranged); that means you get together with the teacher and decide together how many hours/credits you want to devote/earn regarding that topic.

    Most degree plans require a minimum of 120 credit hours, which works out to 30 credits per academic year. So, if you take 15 credit hours per semester, pass all of them, and never drop a class... you're on target. Some people, however, find that a too-heavy load, so they take 12 hours each semester, and 6 hours in the summer.

    By the way, during summer classes, SIX hours is considered full-time, because the classes are accelerated.

    It's important when you complete your FAFSA that you tell them whether or not you plan to take classes in the summer. If you don't declare this on the FAFSA, you can still take summer classes... but you won't receive any financial aid in the summer.

    The financial aid package you receive is for the ACADEMIC YEAR, based on the attendance you plan. So, if you receive $6000 in aid, and told them you are attending only the fall and spring semesters, they will disburse $3000 each semester. However, if you declared that you will attend fall, spring, and summer, they will disburse, $1200 fall, $1200 spring, and $600 summer -- or something similar.

    Good luck.

  • 2 years ago

    What Joe said. The average college course load is 15 credits (five three-credit classes) per semester; you need to take at least 12 credits to be considered a full-time student.

    The most common exception are science laboratory classes, which may meet for three hours or so per week, but only be worth one credit.

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  • Joe
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    For the most part, one college credit corresponds to one "contact hour" (class time) per week. A typical three credit course would meet in class for three hours per week. But you should plan for two hours study, either on your own, or with a study group, per contact hour, as well.

    So, for example, an 18 credit semester might mean six classes, three hours classroom time per week, plus 36 hours study time, for a total workweek of 54 hours. That's a heavy load, but doable, if you're living on campus.

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