What Is Concurrent Enrollment?

Summary: Concurrent enrollment helps you get an early start on your college career. 

Want a jumpstart on college? There is a way to begin college early. Concurrent enrollment is dual enrollment in accredited college courses while you’re still in high school or while attending a career tech center. High school juniors and seniors, who qualify academically, have the opportunity to take college courses for free or at a reduced rate. 63% of colleges report that completing dual enrollment courses increases the likelihood of being accepted to college, according to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). 

How to Qualify for Concurrent Enrollment 

Each state determines how students will become eligible to enroll in concurrent enrollment. Requirements may include:

  • Minimum grade requirement 
  • Minimum ACT or SAT score 
  • Entrance exam 
  • Recommendation by a school administrator 
  • Participation in certain high school courses (i.e., prerequisites) 

You’ll want to check with the school counselor or a school administrator for eligibility requirements at your school site. 

How Does Concurrent Enrollment Work? 

Once eligibility requirements are met, the delivery of college instruction varies according to the school district and the cooperating college. The NACEP reports students may travel to the college site to take classes, college faculty may travel to the high school (or tech center) for classes, or students may take college classes online. In some instances, high school faculty may teach college courses. Successfully completed college courses receive a transcript issued from the cooperating college.  

Benefits of Concurrent Enrollment 

Concurrent enrollment offers multiple advantages for higher education pathways, including:

  • Lowered cost: Students may even receive a tuition fee waiver to make the tuition costs free.
  • College credits: Students can complete required entry college classes.
  • Level up: Students have a better understanding of college-level expectations.

Research also suggests that concurrent enrollment has a positive impact on course completion later during the college years.  

Check Out the Fine Print 

There are a few challenges to students completing college credits obtained through dual enrollment. A report by collegiate academic advisors stated that some high school students have completed college credits through concurrent or dual enrollment that do not apply to their degree program. They may also have taken college courses from one cooperating college that are non-transferable to another college.

You can anticipate these potential hurdles by consulting with your high school counselor and a collegiate academic advisor from the cooperating college to make sure that the courses taken are right for your future college ambitions. If there is any question about the applicability of a college course, it’s best to contact the college admissions office or the undergraduate advisement office for information. 

Take Your Future Goals Into Consideration

Concurrent enrollment can help transition and prepare you early for college, and it gives you a preview of what to expect in a college course. If you are enrolled in college classes while in high school, check out which classes you need for a degree program or are transferable to another college of your choice. Concurrent enrollment is an affordable way to jumpstart your college education.

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