Frequently, choosing a college after receiving our acceptance notifications can be a hard-hitting choice we all face at one time. We ask ourselves: Do you want to get a jump start on your college plans? Am I choosing the correct college? If I choose to go to two colleges at once, will it be a right decision?
As the matter of fact, yes you can participate in the Dual Enrollment Program which is a great way to take classes, have the time and money by earning college credits that will put you ahead of your peers who took the conventional route.
WHAT IS DUAL ENROLLMENT?
When you think of Dual enrollment (DE), you think of high school students. But do you know, they also refers to college students who are taking college courses in two colleges; or, those who simultaneously who choose to attend a community college and a four year university. Or, even two four year universities.
Basically, students choose a college for their home degree whatever they take outside must count into their graduation requirements. This program gives exciting opportunities for students to have both access to college at the community college and university level.
Do your homework first. You first ask yourself. Is this right for you? Can you handle the load? It does need a bit of cautious planning. With due diligence, there are many reasons why you should consider doing dual-enrollment.
BENEFITS OF DUAL-ENROLLMENT
REASON #1: AFFORDABILITY
You save money! First thing, do check your college of choice asks if they offer tuition fee waivers and scholarships if you decide to go for the program. It is also cheaper to take your courses in a community college and your major electives in the university.
REASON #2: SCHEDULING OPTIONS
Due to a large number of courses offered on-site or virtually by many schools. Dual-enrollment gives you many scheduling options as per your time frame or preference.
REASON #3: ABILITY TO HAVE MORE COURSE OPTIONS
Dual enroll students have more options to choose from course catalogs at two schools instead of just one. Look for programs that offer many cross-disciplinary courses that are unique in combination that bridges to expand the understanding of education and real world experiences within our society.
REASON #4: TRANSFERABILITY
Make sure to check for appropriate classes that are transferable to other four universities.
REASON #5: GET YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE IN LESS TIME
If you’re trying to cut costs by taking community college classes, but you want to jumpstart at a four-year school rather than transfer later, dual enrollment may solve your problem. You can take classes at both schools while formally attending your four-year university.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE & DUAL-ENROLLMENT AGREEMENTS BETWEEN UNIVERSITIES
There are colleges and universities who are actively promoting dual-enrollment programs as an active, affordable learning experience. Versus the tradition enrollment, students who have access to a four year university right away will find it easy to acclimatize with the culture; and experience fewer gaps when transitioning.
There are some universities who also allow you to take as many lower level courses at the community college, and then, take suggested credit hours as per your major requirement. And on top of that, you are allowed to live in college dorms for the first 2 years to get the familiarization of a campus life.
First thing to consider is to ask your admission counselor, does the University offer dual-enrollment registration deals with other schools?
Do check the transferability policies and criteria’s for evaluation as some universities will not transfer your credits if courses were taken were used to complete your requirements while in high school.
Different schools, different criteria. Know the details.
KNOW WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU START:
If you are smart and diligent about how you strategize your education, taking dual classes in two educational institutions can help you earn your college degree while saving money the same time.
RULES AND EXPECTATIONS IN STUDYING AT TWO COLLEGES AT ONCE
If you’re considering dual enrollment, there are some important things to keep in mind before you enroll. You will need to consult with the Dual Enrollment Specialist first who will guide you to strategize to make sure you are a right fit. And that you can handle and cope with the course load. As the rule of life, always know what you are signing up for. Terms can mean different in two schools and by state such for example “Dual Enrollment” and “Dual Credit.”
When planning, details always matter. Look at the pros and cons. Ask yourself, can you handle the financial cost? Still, after you do your homework, Dual Enrollment is a better deal than going the traditional route.
ALIGN YOUR GOALS WITH THE PROGRAM
Once you familiarized yourself of the program and what to expect. Carefully check your goals as some colleges do not always award your credits for a higher placement classes. Some students are not aware that even if you start college with as many credits does not necessarily mean they are ready for high level coursework. Also, other colleges might not consider the dual enrollment credits to be the same as content they teach on campus.
Ask your Dual Enrollment Specialist if there is a double dip rule. This is when students are not allowed to double dip. College credit earned at another college or university prior to a student’s graduation from high school normally will not be considered for acceptance.
Double-check your course transfers on how does your classes satisfy degree requirements at your home base. Just by knowing this will avoid a costly mistake. It’s critical that your education is aligned to your goals.
Be aware that dual enrollment credits can affect NCAA eligibility. The policies regarding early college credits and eligibility may vary by school and by state so do check whether your courses are listed by their schools in their approved course list for the NCAA.
CAREFULLY PLAN YOUR COURSES
Your Dual Enrollment Specialist will coach you toward which college courses you should take. The usual requirement is to take the higher electives to your major; while lower-division courses will be taken at the community college. Your personal advisor will help you along the way to ensure your success.
NEXT, LETS TALK ABOUT FINANCIAL
It is important to set your financials straight because whatever financial aid you get will be applied directly to your waiver fees applied to one of the schools. But do check if your school offers consortium agreement as this allows your financial aid to be distributed to your schools. Also, find out if you can defer your fees by setting up a payment schedule.
FINAL NOTE: ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE OF DUAL ENROLL?
Let’s face it, it will be challenging to handle such a heavy course load. Think about those crazy late nights of studying, doing all the home works from different classes, remembering all the quiz dates, and even trying to remember the names of your classmates and professors. I salute to those students who are embarking on the journey of dual enrollment as in the end, it is a rewarding journey.