Earning College Credits in High School Enhances the Value of Online Education

Online education, when paired with courses for college credit, helps students get a head start, academically and financially, as they prepare for college and their careers.

With dual enrollment, K12 high school students can be earning college credits in high school. Learning at their own pace, it’s a way for high achieving students to get the jump on college, their careers, and the competition. Exceptional students have the ability to graduate high school early or earn university credits—sometimes enough to complete an associate’s degree before graduation.

College constitutes a major investment in both class time and tuition dollars—two reasons why earning credits in advance makes sense.

There’s no way around the fact that college is expensive. College Board reports that the average cost per year for tuition and fees in 2014–2015 is $31,231 at private colleges and $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. That doesn’t account for room and board, books, supplies, or transportation. A recent Yahoo! Finance survey indicated that Americans spent 16 percent more on college in 2014–2015 than they did the previous year, with families earning $100,000 or more spending an average of $33,260 on college expenses.

President Barack Obama has made dual enrollment a centerpiece of his college affordability plan while discussing “innovative new ways to prepare our students for a 21st-century economy and maintain a high level of quality without breaking the bank.”

“More than 90 percent of K12’s managed schools that serve 11th and 12th graders have early college programs and more are planned for the future,” says Patrick Keeney, director of college and career planning at K12. “Those choices can vary in name: dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, post-secondary education options (PSEO), but involve the same basic idea: rigorous courses that can be taken for credit on a high school transcript as well as college.”

Reasons to Consider Dual Enrollment

  • Get the jump on the competition: College is a competitive environment and students can enter with earned credits—often the equivalent of a full college semester. Additionally, students can more readily target career-specific programs.
  • Get noticed: Successful completion of college classes will improve a student’s admission profile for prospective colleges and universities. It’s proof that a student not only applies himself but is ready for success in a college environment.
  • Save money: Reduce the costs at a post-secondary institution by avoiding payments for required, general education courses.
  • Save time: By saving a semester or two of taking required courses in college, students will have more time to explore subjects in which you have a keen interest.
  • Learn the ropes: Early college classes familiarize students with the demands of college courses and ease the transition at a time when the rigors of increased responsibility can take a toll.

Some of the students featured in Learning Liftoff’s Class Acts series provide glittering examples of students who utilized dual credit courses to their advantage and, in some cases, even graduated early from high school to pursue their dreams. As the school year approaches, this is a great time to speak with a K12 enrollment consultant about courses that can benefit students now and in the future.

Featred Image – Michael Coghlan / CC by 2.0


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