AICEing Through High School!


Photo by Natali Brito

Rebekah Barrera, Staff Writer

   As course selection time creeps up on the students of PPCHS, we meet again with endless thoughts upon thoughts about what we want our future to look like. Something as simple as a Google form holds the fate of our next school year in its hands: how easy we’ll have it or how busy we’ll be, how much fun awaits us, and so on. No matter what changes in the school, we always find ourselves filling out course cards with anticipation and endless questions running around in our heads. Perhaps the most important one we can ask ourselves, though, is “AICE or AP?” And if you’re searching for the more rewarding pathway, AICE is definitely the way to go!

   Each new year we head into is a step closer to college, and there’s no doubt that amongst the things we can do in high school to prepare for it, AICE and AP classes are at the top of the list. While both give you a good taste of what a college course is like, you’re ultimately killing two birds with one stone by going for the AICE Diploma. For Senior Emily Idiarte, who has stuck with the AICE program and will receive her diploma this year, “it’s definitely worth the time if the person is dedicated and up for the challenge because the benefits add up.” And what exactly are the benefits, you may ask?

   The AICE Diploma is the main requirement to obtain a Bright Futures Scholarship. So if you achieve seven AICE credits in three of your highschool years and decide to attend a Florida college, your entire tuition will be paid for you! In this way, you pay less to ensure your future education. Sophomore Valerie Glen, who chose to take AICE International History this year instead of AP World, explains that “Going for the AICE diploma allows [her] to experience college classes so [she] can start preparing for the future. It also helps [her] reduce potential student debt!” Part of learning to be an adult is saving up as much as possible, plus you can never be too prepared. It’s a win-win situation!
  Of course, it’s really great to aim higher than Florida universities and be set on going out of state, but don’t forget that it comes at a cost. While both AICE and AP courses are around the same level of difficulty, AP is known to be more rigorous and thus, more stressful. Junior Maria Funes, who decided to be in AICE U.S. History this year rather than APUSH, speaks for many people when she says “I’ve heard bad things about the APUSH exam.” Whether you have what it takes to succeed in an AP class or not, keep in mind that it’s better to be safe than sorry. With AICE, at least, you’re given a bit more security and something to fall back on if you don’t get accepted at an out-of-state school. 

   Remember, having both types of college courses on your schedule is impressive, but don’t overwork yourself! If you want to play it safe, stick with AICE!