Dual Enrollment: A Way to Save Money on College Tuition
If your state offers a dual enrollment program for your high school student, you may want to seriously consider this cost-saving option. Dual enrollment allows your child to earn college credits at the local community college while simultaneously fulfilling high school requirements. Some students can even acquire associates degrees when they graduate from high school.
Dual enrollment programs require that your son be a junior or a senior to participate. His grades have to be in good standing at the high school. It does take a certain degree of maturity to deal with the stresses of college life, and this program is not for everyone.
An obvious advantage to dual enrollment programs is the money saved as many community college courses are tuition-free. There are other benefits as well. Besides the financial aspects, another advantage to dual enrollment is that your student will get a window into what it’s like to be in college. The expectations are different than being in high school. If your son is taking online courses, he will have to be self- motivated. No one will be there to remind him to get the work done. Being in college can teach him time management and organization skills. This will also be good preparation if he continues on at a 4-year university. Another advantage is that the college classes can help narrow his focus with regard to his major.
Your child may have a better chance of getting into a 4- year college if he has participated in a dual enrollment program. It is important to check the university’s equivalency guides so that you can discern what courses will transfer to that institution. Many a student have gone on to a university and found that some of their classes did not transfer. Work with the college liaison for dual enrollment programs as well as the high school counselor. Also contact the appropriate department at the university where your child wants to attend. They will know what specific classes he will need for his major.
With states facing more budget cuts, dual enrollment programs will likely have more restrictions placed on them or be shut down permanently. However, as long as states are able to offer dual enrollment programs, it is a great way to save a substantial amount of money on tuition.