Dual Enrollment: Pros and Cons

Dual enrollment is an opportunity for your child to enroll in college courses while they’re earning their high school diploma. While it can be a great option for students looking to get a jump start on college, the rigorous course load may not make it a suitable option for every child.

With any decision involving your child’s education, it’s up to you as a parent to be as informed as possible and to help them make the best choice for their futures. Here are the biggest benefits and potential deterrents of dual enrollment:

PRO: Dual enrollment can save you and your student time and money

Depending on which university they wish to go to, students can receive college credit for passing a dual enrollment course, giving them a leg up on their college career. Completing college earlier will save your student money on tuition, as well as time spent at college.

Most students change their major in college as they get into their coursework and discover that their interests are different than what they initially thought. This can be costly if it sets the student back to square one in a new study. Dual enrollment courses can save your student time spent in college by giving them a clearer idea of what academic field they want to pursue before they set foot on campus.

PRO: Dual enrollment classes prepare your student for college

Students in dual enrollment classes are taking college-level courses, sometimes at a local community college or directly at their high school. These are more rigorous and demanding, and prepare students for what college will really be like in a safe and familiar environment.

Students who participate in dual enrollment classes are not only more likely to attend college, but more likely to graduate and earn a degree. Having clearer expectations of the academic demands that college courses offer helps students more easily adjust to college life and feel more prepared to overcome its challenges.

CON: Not every university accepts dual enrollment credits

If your student has a specific university in mind that they’d like to attend, it’s important to check if they accept dual enrollment classes before you begin the process. Reach out to your school’s guidance counselor if you’re unsure. If said university doesn’t allow dual enrollment credit, AP classes may be an alternative route to take to receive college credits in high school.

CON: Dual enrollment courses take more time and attention

If you fail a dual enrollment course, it will be reflected on your academic transcripts for both high school and college, so it’s important to seriously consider whether you’re ready for dual enrollment classes. Enrolling in these courses may also take away from your ability to participate in clubs or sports, which can be resume boosters for college applicants.

What’s your next step?

If you are interested in dual enrollment classes, the next step is to find a school that offers the program and what the qualifications are to join. In many cases, students need to maintain a certain grade point average while enrolled in the program.

Students in South Carolina can get a high-quality education and prepare for college through dual enrollment classes by attending the South Carolina Preparatory Academy. SCPA is an online, tuition-free charter school that empowers students to take control of their education and ultimately their futures. Reach out today to get enrolled.

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