Want Your Home Schooler to Get a Head Start on College? Dual Credit Could be the Answer

February 24, 2012

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In a nutshell, dual credit is offered to juniors and seniors who are interested in earning college credit while still in high school. The credit earned simultaneously counts towards a high school diploma as well as a college degree if the student decides to enroll in a community college or university later on—hence the word dual. Dual credit courses are only offered through community colleges. While dual credit programs are highly publicized in public schools, many homeschoolers are unaware that they too have access to this opportunity that can give them a boost in their academic career. That said, to see if dual credit might be ideal for your homeschooler, continue reading below.

Saves Time: While traditionally it takes bachelor degree seekers four years to earn their degree, more commonly students are now taking five years to complete their programs. While the reasons vary (students decide to change majors or only enroll part-time for example) one thing is certain: an extra year means students have to spend more money on tuition, textbooks, and housing. Dual credit, however, allows students to get most of the basic college coursework out of the way (like Spanish I, Biology I and lower-division mathematics and science) so they can move at a much quicker rate. Some students earn so much credit that they enter college as a sophomore, and earn their diploma in three short years.

Saves Money: Students typically don’t have to pay to enroll in dual credit programs (although they are required to pay for textbooks and other class materials). But even the programs that do require students to pay give access to college courses at a huge discount—some a whopping 50%. This means that students can earn credit for the exact same course they could’ve earned in a pricey college for a fraction of the original cost.

Relieves Parents of Harder Subjects:  The beauty of dual credit courses is that if can give a homeschooler access  to harder subjects that may be difficult to complete at home, like chemistry with extensive labs, as well as give parents a way to escape teaching classes that they don’t favor teaching, like pre-calculus or biology.

Gives Students Peek into the Future: Lastly, dual credit courses give students some insight to what college coursework is going to be like so that they can better prepare themselves for the real thing. The best part? If a student doesn’t want to engage with a live professor just yet, there are tons on dual credit courses that can be completed online as well so he or she can take the courses in the comfort of his or her home.

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Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at accredited online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.

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