Did you know?
Many students are unaware that there is a way to earn college credit while still attending high school. Dual enrollment programs offer high school students the opportunity to take college level courses at an institution of higher education, such as a community college. If you like the idea of getting a head start on your college education, a dual enrollment program may be right for you—but it’s important to weigh your options. Here are a few of the pros and cons you should consider before making your decision:
- The per-credit-hour cost of a dual enrollment program is often far less than what you’ll pay once you’re in college potentially saving you thousands of dollars in tuition.
- You can get a first-hand idea of what’s required of full-time college course work.
- If you participate in a dual enrollment program at a local college, you’ll get to experience what campus life is like, which can help ease your transition from high school to life on your own.
- Participating in a dual enrollment program can show the colleges to which you apply that you’re capable of challenging course work and taking initiative.
- Some dual enrollment courses are available online, eliminating the need for you to drive from your high school to another campus.
- Earning college credit while you’re in high school can help ensure that you’ll graduate from college on time—if not early.
- If you already have a busy, stressful schedule, the additional requirements of a dual enrollment program could cause your grades to suffer and defeat its own purpose.
- The courses you take in a dual enrollment program are real college courses—meaning they’ll go on your transcript and stay there forever—so you need to feel fairly confident that you’ll be able to do well.
- Some schools may not accept all—or any—of the credits you’ve earned through a dual enrollment program. Be sure to contact the college you’ll be attending (or the colleges to which you are applying) and ask about their policies.
- Some basic college courses might actually be less rigorous than AP courses, so it may be best to take the class that your school offers (if it's available). For example, an admission officer may look at your transcript and wonder why you chose to take an introductory biology course at your local community college rather than taking the AP biology course offered at your high school.