If you’re like most students, tuition fees are among the first things that come to mind when considering a college career. Of course, that’s for good reason. The average cost for tuition and fees range from about $10,000 to $35,000 annually, depending upon whether you attend a public or private school. Additionally, that doesn’t include room and board.
That’s why many high school students are pursuing dual credit courses. Not only can students get a head start on earning college credits, they can save on overall college costs. Online school gives students the flexibility to enroll in dual credit courses, no matter where they are located. The convenience and value makes this an increasingly popular option for students thinking about their future.
Here are some other reasons you should consider dual credit courses that allow you to earn college credit while you’re earning a high school diploma.
Gain experience with college-level courses.
In a dual credit program, students are expected to complete post-secondary work with college students of all ages. That type of academic challenge has numerous advantages. It’s a great way to adjust to college academics while having the support and encouragement of your high school teachers, counselors and family. It’s also a great way to make the transition from high school to college.
Get a head start in exploring majors.
As freshmen, many college students are undecided about their majors. For some, that uncertainty sometimes goes well into their sophomore year. With students getting a head start with college courses, they can get more insight about the majors they may want to pursue.
Learn invaluable career and technical skills.
Some dual credit programs can give you the opportunity to gain in-demand job skills through the Career and Technical Education (CTE) umbrella. For example, students planning to study structural engineering can benefit from this type of program. An engineering-prep student might consider taking an engineering survey class and Calculus. Or, perhaps, they can start pursuing a welding certification. There are numerous certification pathways available for high school students at the community college level.
Dual credit as part of the CTE path is not just for technical certifications. University-bound students can benefit as well. Taking foundational courses like English Composition I and II and College Algebra can help you get a head start on college curriculum.
As noted earlier, a major incentive for dual credit courses is the ability to save on college university costs. Some high school students can shave up to an entire year off of their four-year university financing through dual enrollment. For many majors, the first year and part of the second year of college primarily consist of general requirements that also can meet high school graduation requirements.
Lighten the load.
Making the transition from high school to college carries its own level of stress. With dual credit courses, you can lighten the load by getting some general education courses out of the way before you even start college. In most states, for example, English Composition I and II both count for high school senior English credit.
Since states, school districts and higher institutions have different requirements related to dual credits, make sure you meet with a school counselor to make sure you understand how the program can personally work for you.
For many students, a dual credit curriculum is a win-win situation that pays off with the ability to earn high school credits while getting a head start on your career or college courses.