High School Students: Is Dual Enrollment Right for You?

myusearchToday’s guest post comes from Pauline Diaz, a student at Seattle University. She chronicles her college experience as a student blogger for myUsearch.com, an unbiased college matching web site that helps students find the right college.

With Dual Enrollment programs, high school students can take college classes and earn college credit for free or reduced fees. Unlike AP or International Baccalaureate, classes are taken through an actual college. These programs are a great a way to prepare for the years ahead and save on tuition bills. But how will dual enrollment impact you while you’re in high school? Here are three things to consider:

The work load – College classes move at a faster pace and take on different teaching styles. Instead of daily assignments, you’ll probably have lots of reading and a few major long-term projects. You might have longer lectures or more intense discussions than you’re used to, but you’ll be expected to follow the same pace as everyone else.girl studying

The people – Many of your classmates will be much older–not just by a few years, but some working adults, too. This can add interesting perspectives, but you might prefer to be around people your age. Students might also invite you to join clubs or the Greek scene. You’ll have to decide what kind of social life to develop in the college setting, how much you will maintain at your high school, and how to balance them with your schedule and weightier work load.

The responsibility – Don’t underestimate how much responsibility it takes to adjust to the work and environment in college. You’ll also be in charge of staying on top of high school graduation requirements while determining the best courses for your college goals. Plus, you’ll need to start paying for textbooks and other fees.

Though challenging, dual enrollment can be a great learning experience, dress up a college application, and save you tons of money. If you’re unsure whether it fits you, try summer community college classes before enrolling during the school year. Look at your own situation and needs, discuss with your parents and counselor, and ultimately, see whether college classes are the right fit right now.

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