Dual Enrollment Explained – College and High School Credits

Dual-enrollment programs can help students cut down the time they need to spend in college, and this benefits parents as well by helping them save money.

Dual-enrollment programs are becoming increasingly popular among high school students. They are typical partnerships between high schools and neighbouring colleges or universities that offer students the opportunity to complete college credits (typically tuition-free!) while they are still in high school. 

As more students and parents become aware that such a program exists, they are exploring their options and benefits of this type of program in their own academic careers. Below, you will find some benefits of dual-enrollment programs, as well as if it would be the right choice for you.

What Is Dual-enrollment?

Dual-enrollment is a program that allows qualifying high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses while still in high school. Typically, there is no tuition fee for high school students participating in this program. If there are fees, they are usually deeply discounted. High schools are responsible for running the dual-enrollment program.

Benefits Of The Program

There are several potential benefits for participating in a dual-enrollment program, these include:

  • Less time to complete a college or university degree after high school
  • Gives high school students a head start on college
  • Can save money on tuition
  • Students are able to access college/university libraries and resources
  • The grades earned are included permanently on their transcript
  • Students might be able to transfer their credits earned to a four-year school
  • These classes might offer a lower ratio of students to instructors
  • Students can explore fields of study that will help them in choosing their major
  • Students can choose from classes not currently available at their high school

Dual-enrollment programs allow students to try out college coursework while they are still in a familiar high school environment. And, at the same time, they can earn credits that can go towards a four-year degree, if those credits are transferable.

Who Can Enjoy These Benefits?

In previous years only those students who were highest performing were chosen to be included in these programs but in recent years, studies have shown that even those who are not high-performing students can enjoy benefits as well. Those enrolled in these programs had a higher rate of graduation, and increased the chances of students going on to higher education.

Additionally, students completing these dual-enrollment programs were prone to having a higher GPA during their first few years in college. The program benefits not only those who are high-achieving, but also those who are not so inclined or who are from lower income areas, and other subsets of students who typically struggle academically.

Dual-enrolment might not be for you if…

  • AP courses are available and are more rigorous than the college equivalent
  • If students are enrolled in extracurricular activities that might be interrupted
  • If a student is unsure they can keep up with college-level courses, as these marks are permanent

If you have any questions, contact us at Canstem Education today.


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