Before we explain in detail what exactly dual enrollment is and how you would go about securing it. We must first understand why an individual would choose to opt for dual enrollment. As a college-bound student, it would be beneficial for you to take a few AP classes so you can secure some credit for college. You can even opt for advanced IB classes or apply to a few classes at your nearest community college although you might have to pay for these. Or you could gain college credit without any of the aforementioned hassles. The best way would be to consider dual-enrollment.
What is Dual Enrollment?
Dual enrollment, also called dual credit, is a program wherein you are able to take college-level classes whilst still being in high school. This would mean you would have to simultaneously balance both your normal high school classes along with classes you have taken in order to receive college credit. These classes are usually a part of a program in collaboration with another community college or via a special program. Usually, these classes take place at your high school or even online, but sometimes you could be required to go to your local community college or even another secondary location wherein you must make time outside of your high school hours. All dual enrollment courses are ideally introductory courses that you will be required to take in college. Although colleges mostly offer a waiver for individuals who have taken dual enrollment courses.
What Do You Require?
What do you require in order to be eligible for a dual enrollment course? Before you are permitted to enroll in such courses you must meet and live up to certain standards like a minimum GPA requirement. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 or higher, but besides that, you must check with your state dual enrollment course guidelines because these requirements vary from state to state.
Where Can You Take These Courses?
The answer is subjective. This answer is dependent on what your state allows and what kind of courses are being offered at our high school. Some schools allow dual enrollment courses to be taught at the high school itself. This way, a dual enrollment course could become part of your normal school schedule. However, some courses require you to commute daily to the local community college, usually before or after normal high school hours.
Why Should You Enroll In These Classes?
Dual Credit Courses are real college classes, so students get a sense of what real college classwork is like
Some unique classes may only be available through the dual enrollment program
Most in-state colleges will likely accept your dual credit courses as college credit, provided that you meet a certain grade standard
These courses are a way to show colleges that you are capable of handling college-level coursework.
Downsides To Dual Enrollment Courses
As with every college course, there is always a downside. In this case, some colleges might not accept dual enrollment college courses as a source of credit thereby causing you to lose time, energy and money. Dual credit courses are real college classes, which means that they have the rigor and intensity of real college classes as well. It may be too much to handle dual enrollment courses plus your regular high school course load and extracurricular activities.
So in conclusion, if you are looking for the cheapest and most efficient way to receive college credit dual enrollment courses would be the way to go. Be careful though: the dual enrollment program is not embraced by colleges as widely as the AP and IB program is. The colleges you may be hoping to apply to may not give college credit for dual enrollment courses, in which case AP/IB classes would be your best bet.