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Dual Enrollment

An Alternative Path Through Dual Enrollment

5 min readaugust 24, 2021

user_brett6915


What is Dual Enrollment?

The financial and systemic barriers that currently exist in higher education lead to a smaller percentage of students graduating from college on time, while student debt skyrockets. To learn more, check out this article if college is the right choice for you.
We fervently believe in the value of a liberal arts education for personal and professional growth, but the current cost is out of control and often saddles young adults with insurmountable debt. Employers consistently say they want to hire people who have a broad knowledge base and can work together to solve problems, debate, communicate, and think critically, all skills that liberal arts programs teach (Coalition for College). While students and families desire the traditional, four-year liberal arts experience, the financial cost of attendance will deny the opportunity to many.
 
What can you do right now to maximize your access to liberal arts college courses without taking on a mortgage-sized pile of debt? Many high school students explore the numerous alternative pathways available to them to earn college credit prior to high school graduation. Fortunately, there are more options available to you today than ever before! By being proactive, you can enter college with credits toward your degrees, ultimately saving you time and money while preparing you for the rigors of college-level coursework.  
To learn more about the expenses of college check out everything you need to know about financial aid and information on college debt.
 
Just like when you begin searching for a best-fit college, determine which alternative pathways to earning college credits are right for you. Factors considered in this identification include current high school course load, extracurricular activities, employment status, and any other personal obligations. Below are just a few of the most common college credit options available. Best of all, you can choose just one or a combination of these choices depending on what works best for you. We encourage you to speak with your high school counselor or college and career advisor for specific options or discounts available to you at your school or in your local community.  
Check out these 7 additional alternative college pathways to give you more ideas!

Resources:

Outlier.org (online dual-enrollment courses)

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Image from Giphy.

What: Online dual-enrollment classes are a rapidly growing choice for high school students to earn high school AND college credits from online programs such as Outlier.org.  

Why: Students and families are choosing Outlier.org for:

  • The flexibility of 100% online college courses, 
  • Earning college credits from the University of Pittsburgh, a Top 60 university, 
  • A higher credit acceptance success rate than AP courses.  

Outlier.org Dual Enrollment courses:

  • Feature top instructors from schools like Harvard, Yale, NYU, and Columbia, 
  • Utilize cinema-quality video and fun, interactive learning materials built by game designers,   
  • Allow students to take either 7 or 14-week courses that start every two weeks.  
Outlier.org is a terrific option for students with busy extracurricular schedules who want to stand out from the crowd and work at their own pace. Best of all, students who do the work but don’t pass get a full refund!
How? Go to Outlier for High School and use Promo Code FIVEABLE for 10% off!

College courses offered at your local community college

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Image from Giphy.

Dual Enrollment Meaning

  • Attending college courses in person at a local community college is a well-established and often underutilized option for college credits by high schoolers. 

Why Dual Enrollment is helpful?

  • typically offer high school students the opportunity to attend introductory college courses after school or on weekends,
  • may offer these courses at a reduced cost of tuition, and are drastically less expensive than similar college credits at a private, four-year university.

Lots of Opportunities and Experiences:

  • Learn to understand what it feels like to be part of a college community, 
  • Cover an introductory level course in a subject you may want to major in or have always been interested in, 
  • Experience actual college professors teaching with a college textbook in a college classroom can help to prepare you for future studies,
  • Learn how to navigate a college campus and utilize their amenities like the library, fitness center, and cafeteria!

How does Dual Enrollment Work? 

  • Discuss with your school counselor local college partnerships that may already exist at your high school,
  • Map out the transportation options and the courses schedules to find the best fit for you,
  • Check out college websites and search for “courses for high school students” to find out which courses are offered and any costs.

College-level courses within your school day

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Image from Giphy. 

College Classes in High School

  • High school students should capitalize on dual-enrollment college-level courses offered by their high schools during their school day.  

Why Complete Dual Enrollment?

  • Courses take place during your school day and can replace other high school requirements or electives.
  • Enhancing your course load makes you stand out from your high school peers.
  • Instructors are part of your learning community and have familiarity with teaching college-level coursework to high school students.

Resources:

How to Sign Up for Dual Enrollment?

  • Review your high school’s course catalog and learn if there are any course requirements or pre-requisites needed to enroll
  • Email your high school guidance counselor if you are ever unsure—advocate for your seat in a course!
Brett Roer serves as Outlier.org’s High School Strategic Partnerships Lead after 16 years empowering high school students in Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx.
Throughout his career, Brett’s mission has been to equip high school students with the foundational academic skills needed to graduate from their best-fit colleges and feel both academically & financially supported along the way.
Brett has inspired students and families as a high school principal, college & career advisor, and teacher and is fiercely passionate about providing students access to high-quality education. Brett’s proudest professional achievements have been ensuring students earn full scholarships to their dream colleges and universities.
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