Have you ever wondered how some of those students in the news, that have graduated early, actually did it? You probably think “they must be a genius”, “they probably skipped grades”, or even “they must know people.”
Well, it may not be as complicated as you think. Take a look!
Dual enrollment is a national program that allows a student to be enrolled in two institutions simultaneously. Two common scenarios are to be enrolled in middle school and college or high school and college. In addition to taking advanced classes, the credit earned in college may count as credit towards the second institution as long as the curriculum aligns.
Most students, parents, and educators ask the same six questions below.
Why should I consider dual enrollment?
A student should consider dual enrollment if they find that they are doing well in their primary institution or homeschooling and possibly seeking a boost or challenge.
The program is encouraged if...
1. A student has the opportunity to dedicate some time towards college level work. This can be identified by reviewing their schedule to see what classes can be replaced, reviewing the college equivalent class description to see if the work is feasible and working with the school counselors to match the two.
2. A student has an interest or desire to graduate early as a personal goals.
3. A student is seeking an alternative to proceeding with college and utilizing financial assistance.
4. A student is interested in standing out to colleges and future careers.
Am I eligible for dual enrollment?
Eligibility guidelines vastly depends on the state in which a student resides. It is highly recommended to research “dual enrollment in …,” as well as the Department of Higher Education website. The dual enrollment program names may vary. For example, in Ohio the program is called College Credit Plus.
Below is an example of qualifications for dual enrollment.
- Enrolled in at least 7th grade
- At least a 3.0 G.P.A. unless providing a letter from the school counselor suggesting the student to join the program.
- Complete the process of applying for College Credit Plus admission
There is no reason to be discouraged about these guidelines. Speak with the high school counselor for details on how to proceed. One condition across the board is that a student can be home-schooled, enrolled in a public or a private school and continue to be a part of the program. Be aware, the dual enrollment terms for the varying primary schools listed above may differ.
How is dual enrollment financed?
Financing also depends on location. States may allow students to take college classes and provide the student books for free. Ohio now asks students to pay for the books. Factors to consider are if the student is taking more than the credits allotted for both in the primary (middle school or high school) and college credits, the student must pay for the additional credits and pay for books. Also, if enrolled in college classes at a more expensive institution such as a private university, the university may only offer a discounted cost for tuition.
The last cost to consider is transportation. If a student’s high school is near a college and the high school provides a bridge program, transportation may be provided. If transportation is not provided, the student will be required to provide their own transportation and find an academic schedule that fits their transportation needs to and from each school. Participating colleges may offer classes at a high school, have available classes on weekends, or classes offered online. There are a good number of options to pursue academic success.
How does dual enrollment benefit me?
The value benefits a student can receive:
- Free or reduced college tuition.
- Begin and finish college early.
- The ability to join college sports as technically a college student!
- Alternative education options to advance on a per semester rather than annual basis.
- And so much more.
Are college classes difficult?
This question comes from parents and students alike. This reason alone is why students are hesitant to try college classes. In high school, some teachers may express that the college learning experience is more difficult. In reality, it can be very similar to what students are currently experiencing or less difficult considering the class and study times, social aspects and program assistance offered to help students succeed. Other successful dual enrollment students have shared their experiences and found it to be less stressful.
If work is completed timely, study sufficiently and seek a tutor assistance when struggling, it is very achievable to do well and pass classes with flying colors. Joining the dual enrollment effort is a journey, but every student leaves the program more prepared for life than when they entered. As a student, if you are ever having trouble, please speak to a tutor, college counselor, or your guardian.
How do I get started with dual enrollment?
Below are a few actionable tips to get started with pursuing the dual enrollment program.
1. Research dual enrollment within residing state to find out the general eligibility requirements.
2. Contact the school counselor to verify the paperwork needed to apply.
3. Apply to the higher education institution desired (ie: community college (recommended) or a private four-year college.
4. Proceed by taking a college placement exam and meet with counselors at both schools to find out more about what courses students can take and receive dual credit.
In addition, you can grab a free guide to graduate high school and college early.
So Young Legends, are you ready to be a part of dual enrollment and fast track your education? Your time is now to advance your education and be legendary on your own terms.