Dual Enrollment

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Dual Enrollment is the term generally used to describe students who are taking college courses while still in high school. Most colleges now allow high school students the opportunity to take courses for college credit, both on campus and online. They share the same classes as traditional college-age students.

Many types of high school students take advantage of this opportunity. Some are traditional students taking courses on a local college campus under the direction and supervision of their high school counselors. Some school districts will even pay for it. Other students take evening courses independently without notifying their high school at all. Dual Enrollment is also very beneficial for homeschoolers. These courses can be used as a natural progression for students needing instruction in advanced courses while earning college credit at the same time.

Most colleges limit Dual Enrollment students to two classes per semester. However, it is not uncommon for ambitious students to enroll at more than one campus. Homeschooled students often work on a combination of Dual Enrollment and Credit by Examination full-time during their high school years. This can be an excellent strategy for earning a significant amount of college credit even before a student reaches traditional college age.

One of the greatest advantages of Dual Enrollment is the lower tuition normally offered to these students. Private colleges, especially, offer greatly reduced tuition rates as a way to recruit students to their campuses, hoping they will stay when they reach college age. Many online colleges also offer discounts for Dual Enrolled students. State schools, and especially Community Colleges, are less likely to offer a significant break on tuition.

Another advantage of this strategy is the opportunity to accumulate a good deal of credit hours while still in high school, getting a significant head start on their college careers. These credits are easily transferred to other colleges because they are normally taken at regionally-accredited institutions. Especially when taken in tandem with some Credit by Examination, students can accumulate enough credits to qualify as college sophomores or juniors when they finish high school. Admissions become very easy at that point because the student has already shown they can perform academically at the college level.

High school students should not be intimidated by taking a college course. Most college General Education courses are similar to courses taught in high school such as History, Science, Math and English. The primary difference is the pace. High school courses cover the material in two semesters while colleges do it in one.

Most of these courses are taken on a traditional college campus, but more and more schools with a significant web presence are also offering Dual Enrollment online. Two particular colleges with online Dual Enrollment classes are Spring Arbor University and Liberty University.




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