As you navigate through high school, it’s no secret that college prep is at the forefront of your mind (probably due to your parents and teachers stressing its importance). While you’re deciding where to apply, studying for the ACT and SAT, and taking on more extracurriculars to enhance your application, there’s another factor you should consider: earning college credit.
That sounds crazy, right? Earning college credit in high school? Truth be told, it’s actually one of the best ways to prepare for college. Here’s why:
You’ll develop time management skills
College is all about being able to balance your schedule so you can get everything done in a timely fashion—and still have time to have fun! Additionally, college classes are more rigorous and require more of your time, whether it’s writing papers, completing assignments, or studying for exams. Taking a college course in high school will not only teach you how to manage your time effectively, but also how to handle college-level workloads without getting too overwhelmed.
You can explore different interests
Do you have a hobby that feels like it could be a potential career someday? There are so many subjects you can major in, whether you love to write, play video games, build things, or draw. A huge benefit of taking college courses in high school is that you get to explore different career pathways by taking classes that pique your interest and align with your passions. Check out this blog post that outlines four interests you can easily turn into a major once you get to college.
You’ll have less classes to take in college
Your first two years of college are filled with required general education classes. These consist of things like composition, college algebra and language courses, which you need in order to graduate. Many of these are available for you to take in high school, which means you can free up time in your freshman and sophomore years to enhance and personalize your college experience. It also means that you’ll be able to accelerate your path through college. This could lead to taking classes in your major sooner or even graduating early!
You’ll save money in the long run
When you get to college, you’ll find the costs add up quickly when you account for classes, room and board, textbooks, food, and other miscellaneous items. It still costs money to take college classes in high school, but it’s significantly cheaper. Even if you only earn a handful of college credits before you graduate high school, it has the potential to save you thousands of dollars down the line.
Going into college with several credits means taking less classes and potentially graduating early. Not only will you save money on not taking as many classes, but graduating early would also save you money on things like room and board and textbooks!
Now that you know some of the many benefits of earning college credit in high school, you’re probably wondering how you can enroll in college classes. In our next blog post we’ll explore how dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment are different. You can read a few of our related blog posts on this subject to familiarize yourself with both terms:
- Four Ways High School Students Can Cut Future College Tuition Costs in Half
- What’s the Difference Between Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment?
- The Concurrent Enrollment Experience
In the meantime, if you’re looking for more information on the benefits of earning college credit, check out these resources:
- Getting College Credit Before College
- Taking College Classes in High School
- Is Your High School Student Ready to Take College Classes?