Dual enrollment involves high school students completing college courses while they are still in high school. It offers tremendous benefits for high school students who feel comfortable taking on the additional responsibility, including:
- Taking college-level classes looks good on college applications.
- Dual enrollment helps high school students determine the academic rigor needed for high-school classes and college courses.
- Students get a jump start in earning college credit toward an academic program.
Tuition for dual enrollment varies among states. However, Public School Review says that dual enrollment is often free for high school juniors and seniors who complete courses at a college or university prior to their graduation. Dual enrollment can also help high school students lower their overall college expenses by saving them money on tuition.
Why Is Dual Enrollment Important?
According to Public School Review, academic credit earned during dual enrollment can often be transferred to a four-year college. However, high schools are typically responsible for managing dual enrollment programs for their students.
This responsibility is important because a student’s high school advisor oversees the student’s schedule. The advisor can also provide assistance in setting up a manageable schedule to set up the student in a dual enrollment program for academic success. Concurrent enrollment opportunities are growing, and four out of five high schools now offer dual credit courses for students, according to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).
Determining If This Type of Program Is a Good Fit for a Student
Before entering a dual enrollment program, high school students should work with an academic advisor. It’s essential to determine if dual enrollment is a good fit for a high school student based on current grades and extracurricular activities such as school sports.
Sometimes, college classes are held on a high school campus for the convenience of those students. In other situations, those classes are held at a nearby school – such as a community college – that has an agreement with the high school. Students determining if enrolling in college-level courses is good for them may wish to visit their local college and discuss academic expectations with university staff.
Dual enrollment can also help high school students build more confidence in their academic abilities. As they progress to a four-year school or take more advanced courses, that increased confidence will be useful in encouraging high school students to persist through their academic program at a college or university.
Online Education Is a Useful Method of Dual Enrollment
One great option for high school students who want to take college-level classes is to enter a dual enrollment program at an online university. It is a convenient way to earn college credit and reduces the need to drive to a separate campus.
For high school students, our University offers a dual enrollment program. However, there are certain requirements:
- Students must be at least 14 years old.
- Students under the age of 17 must have an Enrollment Waiver Form that is signed by a parent or legal guardian.
- Students must supply an “official high school transcript or official letter from the principal or guidance counselor verifying junior or senior standing and high school GPA of 3.0 or better or its equivalent. A class standing lower than junior or a GPA of 2.0-3.0 also may be accepted in certain circumstances and subject to the…Provost’s approval.”
- High school students filling out the admissions application should register as “undergraduate non-degree seeking.”
Ideally, higher students and parents should explore all the educational opportunities that are available. Dual enrollment is a useful method of earning college credit and prepares high school students for the academic rigors of a college education.