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What is Concurrent Enrollment?

A high school student or their family may want to know the answer to, “What is concurrent enrollment?” This concept refers to taking middle or high school and college classes at the same time in order to complete the diploma requirements for both programs. These programs are available to high-achieving students who need more advanced classes and who are looking to shorten the amount of time that it takes to earn a two-year or four-year college degree.

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Scheduling of Courses

Concurrent enrollment programs offer a variety of scheduling options. Some students will take the college courses during the summertime when middle or high school is out of session. Others will take high school or middle school classes for part of the day and their college courses for the other part of the school day.

Types of Dual Enrollment Programs

Most dual enrollment programs cover students in grades seven to 12 who qualify to take college classes. In order to qualify to take the college classes, the student should be a high-achieving learner with at least a 3.0-grade point average. Some programs do not have the grades requirement, but they might have other minimum academic requirements. The programs allow the student to take one or more college classes while they are still in middle or high school. The programs may be set up to help the students get their basic college classes out of the way or to complete a two-year degree at the same time as their high school diploma.

How Students Get Credit Through Dual Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment students earn the college credit when they successfully complete the course. These programs do not involve retroactive credits based on prior learning. Their grade is based on multiple assignments and a final exam. This is in contrast to an advanced placement test or another type of college credit or placement exam. The course is an actual college class that offers credit toward a student’s required basic classes or toward a major in a specific subject.

What is Concurrent Enrollment

Benefits of Concurrent Enrollment

According to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, there are many benefits of concurrent enrollment programs, including a 63 percent higher chance of being accepted into the student’s college or university of choice. Another benefit is that the student may be able to complete their degree in less time. This can save costs on tuition, room and board and other fees associated with earning a bachelor’s degree. Concurrent enrollment students who use a public program and attend public schools may have their tuition and fees paid for, so they may not need to borrow money. Some of those programs also pay for the required textbooks, laboratory supplies and other materials required for the course. Concurrent enrollment programs may also help students pay for transportation to and from the college campus. For example, Ohio’s College Credit Plus pays for the cost of a Central Ohio Transit Authority bus pass.

Concurrent enrollment programs have many benefits, but they are not for everyone. A student might want to try taking one college-level class at a time before committing to a full schedule. Understanding the answer to, “What is concurrent enrollment?” could help a student and their family make scheduling plans and save money on the cost of higher education.