Dual Credit: Should You Take It?

By , Uniontown, OH
“Money cannot buy you happiness, it can however, rent it” – Unknown Author. My sister is one of the brightest crayons in the box, and always has been. She has book smarts and street smarts both, and she has everything going for her except one of the most important necessities. Money. What can you expect from a college student, attempting to earn above average grades, working on weekends, and doing the best she can? My sister plans to become a high school teacher, but the issue of money for college is always the defining issue. In today’s society, high schools offer the concept of “dual credit,” in which high school students can take college classes while they are still in high school. Although taking college courses in high school is challenging, students are more successful, students are more involved in extra-curricular activities, and (which my sister could have used to her advantage,) students are saving money.


Schools in the United States have begun offering dual-credit, and students enrolled in this program are showing to be more successful in the college experience. In 2007, a report by the Community College Research Center confirmed that high school students taking dual credits became more likely to enroll in a four-year college. Furthermore, dual-credit students in Florida were 7.7% more likely to graduate college with a bachelor’s degree than the rest of their peers. New York had a 9.7% result of students receiving their bachelor’s more often if they took dual-credit. (Kids on Campus) The state of Texas had 68% inflation in the past five years of more than 60,000 students earning dual-credit. Many students believe that acquiring high school credit along with college credit will help them to be a step up from the rest of the population of looming college students. (U.S. News)

Every high school in the United States offers activities, clubs, sports, and much more outside of school. Involving themselves in hobbies outside of school, students learn the meaning of responsibility, teamwork, effort, and pride; consequently, removing themselves from bad influences, (Lamborn and Finn.) A 1992 National Educational Study showed that students occupied in extracurricular activities would increase students pride in their school, lead to more success in students academics, and make students more united as a school. Students having become involved in dual-credit have proved to be more successful because of their involvement in extracurricular activities. Because most students do not LIVE for schoolwork, participating in an activity outside of school keeps the student focused on their grades, in order to remain eligible for their activity. Not only that, but studies have shown that students are less likely of school failure and or dropping out of school if they have something to motivate them. (Finn) Lastly, the study proves that attendance on a regular basis has been on a steady rise for students that play a sport or are involved in a club; therefore, being motivated, knowing the meaning of responsibility, and having strong attendance all set the student, who is involved in extracurricular activities, up for success in taking dual-credits. Keeping yourself busy in high school has many positive impacts on your life, and many on your future.

As college tuitions continue to soar, students in high school could use dual-credit to their advantage. High school students in Miami-Dade County, FL, who are enrolling in the dual-credit program, will have racked up two full years of college credit by the time they walk for their high school diploma. (Monteagudo) This program entails spending the morning on college campus, then returning in the afternoon to finish out the day in college-level A.P. classes. Getting ahead academically and having more money left in the bank, students will be set for college. What could be better? You would not be paying two year’s worth of books or tuition. Many students are exhausting every possibility, searching for ways to pay tuition to the top colleges; students in the dual-credit program can save up to two full years of college, thus only having to pay twenty dollars a credit. My cousin is a student at Lake High School, and she is enrolling in the dual-credit program. By the time she graduates, she will have two complete semesters of college credit earned, and let me tell you, her hard work will pay off. Money may not be everything, but it can be a positive aspect for taking college classes in high school.
Now is the time to give the dual-credit program serious consideration for your steps following high school. Just as my sister says, it does not matter if you are neon yellow; the crayon with the total package will be used to color. Receiving college credit while you are a high school student is one way to help you follow your dreams without having to worry about paying for your education after high school. Choosing to be one of these over-achieving high school students is the best choice for you!





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