With the rise of college tuition and the absurd amount of debt that many students acquire by the time they graduate from college, it seems that getting a head start on your credits while in high school is more than beneficial. Many high schools have begun partnering with local community colleges to start dual enrollment classes in hopes that students can save money and kick-start their college career.
Dual enrollment classes occur in a high school classroom setting, and the student is able to obtain both high school and college credits. The dual enrollment classes are generally placed at $81 a credit, according to Scottsdale Community College’s webpage.
It states, “This is approximately one-third the tuition cost of in-state universities and is significantly less than private and out-of-state universities. Students will also save on book costs and lab fees.”
With the end of the school year arriving, many college students hoping to graduate find themselves having to stretch their stay to a fifth year. With dual enrollment credits, many high school seniors can have security knowing that they are entering college ahead of the game.
Fortunately, I attended Arcadia High School, which offered a partnership for dual enrollment through SCC, and I was able to graduate high school with 33 credits toward my college career. It gave me an opportunity to start college by skipping a lot of the pre-requisites and taking classes applicable to my major.
While earning college credit in high school normally comes from taking AP classes, dual enrollment seems to be an even more effective choice. Dual enrollment classes can guarantee you the college credit as long as you graduate from the class with at least a C. AP classes will only give you the credit if you pass the AP exams for the class, and even then colleges normally only accept a four on the exam to earn credit.
Dual enrollment classes have benefits beyond just saving money. Teachers are trained through the community college so they have the knowledge of what it should be like to teach a college course. The Huffington Post reports, “High school students who take college courses are more likely to attend and graduate from college than those who do not.”
Dual enrollment classes are a new necessity in our society where going to college is almost impossibly expensive. It will help high school kids feel more prepared for college and those already in college on track to graduate in time with credits already under their belt. In an effort to help college become a more affordable option, high schools should keep urging students to take as many dual enrollment credits as they can.
Reach the columnist at Kassidy.McDonald@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @kassmcdonald