With the cost of college climbing steadily year after year, for many students, it is more crucial than ever to find ways to cut costs well before high school graduation. For some college-bound high school students, dual enrollment is one way to get a head start on college and save money on tuition as well.
In a dual enrollment program, high school students take college courses for credit. The credits are applied to both their high school and college transcripts. Here are some of the things that you need to know if you want to cut college costs by participating in a dual enrollment program.
There can be significant benefits to dual enrollment. Not only can it lower your total college tuition costs and shorten the time it takes you to earn your college degree, but taking college courses in high school can give you a preview of the college experience and help you to improve your study habits, resulting in an easier transition from high school to college. Also, college credits can enhance your high school transcript when you apply to college.
The specifics of dual enrollment programs vary by state. Check with your guidance counselor to find out about the programs available at your school, the requirements to participate in them, and how and when to apply for them. Before applying, talk to other students who are already in the dual enrollment program about the pros and cons of their experience.
In some cases dual enrollment classes may be offered at your high school, while in others they may be held at local colleges or universities (and you will probably be responsible for transportation to and from class). Also, in some states dual enrollment classes are free for high school students, while in others students may have to pay a fee to attend them. Even if your dual enrollment classes are free, you probably will have to purchase textbooks, which can be quite expensive.
Before entering a dual enrollment program, be sure that the credits can be transferred to the colleges you want to attend.
If you are uncertain about whether dual enrollment is for you, consider trying out the college experience by taking a class or two at a local community college during the summer. This will give you a better idea of the demands of college-level courses.
Dual enrollment is not for all students. If you are struggling to achieve good grades in your high school classes, it may be counterproductive for you to take college courses because it could hurt your overall performance. Rather than having college-level courses in which you did poorly on your high school transcript, you may be better off being able to showcase high school courses in which you excelled. Also, your grades from dual enrollment classes will go on your permanent college record.
The demands of dual enrollment will reduce the time you have for other high school activities and for your social life.
www.ecampustours.com, high school dual enrollment – eCampusTours
Grace Fleming, homeworktips.about.com, Dual Enrollment – Joint Enrollment in High School and College
Pauline Diaz, www.eduinreview.com, High School Students: Is Dual Enrollment Right for You?/Edu in Review Blog