Earning College Credit while You're still in High School

Wouldn’t you just love to get a few steps ahead of the game with your college education before you ever set foot on a campus? There are so many obvious reasons to do so – as well as maybe some you haven’t thought of yet.

The most obvious of all of these is that it shortens the time actually spent in a classroom on a college campus. Ergo, it’s so much less expensive! If you plan to liveon campus, rather than at home, a semester or two less is going to save your family a really big chunk of change. Another reason for the savings is that these courses are usually held at the high school, and costs are covered by the school district; with college credit hours costing what they do, the savings is substantial. A less obvious, but proven, reason is that students taking these courses and starting to earn college credits before high school graduation rarely drop out of school. Because of credits already earned, they require fewer entry level classes or remedial tutoring, AND they tend to make a lot more money over the course of their careers than those students taking the more traditional route.

There are a number of options for earning college credit in high school. Advanced placement classes are one option. Classes for direct credit are another option. Dual enrollment courses count for credit hours in both high school and college; they are generally taught at your high school by college faculty.

And, what if you want to go on to a technical school in a chosen field? By agreement between the school systems and the vocational schools, students can attend these for their Junior and Senior years of high school, completing high school plus two years of tech school at the same time.

Some of these options require prerequisite classes, and there is planning and scheduling connected to all of the options, but, your guidance counselor can steer you in the right direction. Make an appointment and find out if this is for you!

Related Links and Resources

“Earn College Credit In High School” – Easy Chart

This is a fantastic chart that lays out all of the opportunities for credit on one easy page! On line at www.getreadyforcollege.org, click on publications, and go to the article named above. It describes each option, discusses what the benefits are and who is eligible to enroll. Then it goes on to tell where the classes are held, who teaches them, and how to get credit for them. This resource was published by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, but will help you out, no matter which state you live in. Check it out!!!

E-How – Basic Info and Instructions

Go to www.ehow.com and search “earn college credit in high school.” They have a very informative section that includes instructions detailing just how to get started.

National Association for College Admission Counseling

There is an excellent article on the NACAC website that delves into the options you may have in high school to take college courses prior to your graduation. The article discusses AP and IB programs as well as dual enrollment courses. There is also a section warning about not getting course-work overload that is very good. Go to www.nacacnet.org and select ‘publications and resources.”

About.com – Pros and Cons

Here is an article about early college credit that presents the other side of the story --- the disadvantages of taking college credit in high school. Cut and paste this web address to read the other side of the story. http://homeworktips.about.com/od/preparingforcollege/a/jointenrollment.htm

College Board

This is an unusual website because it is designed to help both you and your parents navigate the waters for your voyage to college. In addition to information about earning early credit in high school, you will find details about college entry exams, how to apply for college, and a myriad of other subjects. www.collegeboard.com

Going to College While You’re Still in High School - hechoice.blogs.nytimes.com