As more and more families choose homeschooling, more and more teens are discovering “Dual Enrollment”, the practice of taking discounted college courses that earn high school and college credit at the same time. Called ‘CC’ by some (from its origins at community colleges), dual enrollment is a popular way for academically-ready students to take advanced coursework while in high school, and make a serious dent in future college spending, too.
Though dual enrollment programs are now widely available, states have individual rules about which students may actually qualify, and the specific benefits they’ll receive. For instance, some states allow homeschoolers to attend 100% free, while others require families to cover the cost of tuition, textbooks, and other fees. Always look to the eligibility requirements for each state, and then to the benefits offered in each specific region. The finer details are what usually determine whether to add college courses to the student’s 4-Year High School Plan or not.
Perhaps you’ve been wondering if dual enrollment is right for your student? As with anything homeschooling, just because others do it doesn’t mean it’s right for your child. There are compelling reasons to be made on either side of the debate, and these usually have to do with saving money, advancing or delaying graduation, and exposure to campus life. Only you can decide what’s right for your own situation.
On a personal note, my children have all successfully used dual enrollment programs as a means of advancing their educations and saving us money. It worked enormously well for us, and looking back, we have no specific complaints. But, there are definite drawbacks to sending kids to college at younger ages, and a choice this big takes some serious conversations. Don’t wait until they’re already on campus to sit down and discuss things with your teen.
I have compiled a list of the most common PROs and CONs to using dual enrollment programs for homeschoolers. The list is comes from my own experience, experiences of other parents I meet, and conversations I have had with college counselors and instructors.
You are invited to consider the advantages of dual enrollment, making sure to study all the stickier points, too. Should any of these be deal-breakers for you or your teen, remember there are plenty of other ways to homeschool high school elsewhere on this web site.
Have I forgotten something important, or something you’d like to know as you consider dual enrollment for your student? Have anything about using college for homeschooling you’d like to share? Please, leave a COMMENT so my readers can gain a fuller understanding of dual enrollment in your area, or use the COMMENT to share your own experiences, too!
To your success,
Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau is a college professor who traded in her tenure to become a homeschool mom 20+ years ago. A homeschooling pioneer and the founder of many groups and organizations, she works to advance home education, and is an outspoken supporter of education reform coast to coast. Her book, Suddenly Homeschooling: A Quick Start Guide to Legally Homeschool in Two Weeks, is industry-acclaimed as it illustrates how homeschooling can rescue children and families from the public school system, and how anyone can begin homeschooling within a limited time-frame, with no teaching background whatsoever. A liaison for regional school-to-home organizations, a homeschool leader, and a women’s life coach and trainer, Marie-Claire mentors in a variety of areas that impact health, education and lifestyle. A conference speaker, she has appeared at FPEA, H.E.R.I., Home Education Council of America, Luminous Mind, Vintage Homeschool Moms, iHomeschool, and many other events. Her articles have appeared in and on Holistic Parenting, CONNECT, Homefires, Homemaking Cottage, Kiwi, Circle of Moms, and hundreds of sites and blogs nationwide. Marie-Claire can be reached at email@example.com.