5 Ways High School Students Can Earn College Credits

With the rising cost of college education, gaining some college-level credits while still in high school is becoming ever more attractive for budget-conscious students. EDsmart outlined five kinds of college credits high school students can earn before starting college.The average cost of an undergraduate degree—including tuition, fees, and room and board—rose 169% between 1980 and 2020, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Tuition and fees, however, have stabilized since just before the coronavirus pandemic began. To save on tuition, students can earn credits in a variety of ways—from Advanced Placement classes to summer school programs that allow high school students to take college-level courses. Other schools might limit how many credits you can earn through a dual enrollment class, in which you earn high school and college credits at the same time. There is also the question of whether the credits will count toward requirements, and which ones.Besides the cost savings, students who earn postsecondary education credits early may be able to take a semester off or have lighter course loads once they reach college or university.

Many universities and colleges will award college credit if you score well enough on an AP exam. That qualifying score depends on the school.

Advanced Placement Classes

High scores may allow some students to earn a spot in a more advanced class or skip an introductory class; some universities and colleges will allow high-scorers to do both. Students can check the College Board website for policies at individual schools and for public schools in each state.

The International Baccalaureate program was registered in Switzerland in the 1960s on a recommendation from teachers affiliated with the International Schools Association. The first official diploma program exams were taken by students at 12 schools from 10 countries in 1970.

International Baccalaureate program

Colleges and universities in the United States offer credit for the IB diploma and for individual classes. How much credit students can receive depends on their scores and individual schools. Some schools accept only the IB’s higher level exams; others consider standard level exams as well.

Dual enrollment typically involves a partnership between a high school or school district and a community college or university. High school students are given the chance to take college-level classes and earn credit before graduating. Oftentimes, credit for a course counts at both levels.

Dual enrollment

Classes may be taught at a college campus, in a high school classroom by a visiting college professor, or by a high-school teacher teaching a college-level class. Students may also enroll in online instruction. How many credits a student can earn also varies.

Swipe Up To Read More