COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

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How to earn college credit without ever setting foot on campus
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/how-to-earn-college-credit-without-ever-setting-foot-on-campus-979

Posted: 2016-09-14

by Lulu Curiel, Ivy Advisors

Even before enrolling in a four-year university, high school students can get a head start on earning college credit. Gaining college credit early can save you money, help you graduate on time (or sooner), and will academically prepare you for what’s to come.

Here are the various ways you can gain college credit as a high school student:

AP and IB courses and exams

Advanced Placement (AP) courses have been the main option for those who seek a more challenging course load than what’s offered in their school’s standard curriculum. Most high schools start to offer AP options during the sophomore year of high school, though freshman AP classes are becoming more common. In addition to AP courses, an increasing number of high schools are also offering International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, which also encompass a rigorous curriculum.

Both AP and IB programs give students an extra advantage that regular high school courses do not – they offer exams that give high school students the opportunity to earn college credit. Another benefit to taking AP and IB courses is they show admissions officers that students can handle college-level curriculum and are academically prepared for the higher education environment.

RELATED: AP vs. IB: Which program is best for you?

College-level examination program (CLEP)

Over 2,900 colleges and universities accept the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). This program allows you to earn college credit for the knowledge that you already have. By passing any of the 33 CLEP exams, you can earn from three to 12 credits toward your college degree. Be aware that each college has its own set of rules about which CLEP exams count as credit, so it is wise to check with the individual school before you commit.

Dual enrollment courses

Students can also receive college credit by enrolling in dual enrollment courses, which are taught either in high school or on a community college campus. These courses could also save students a significant amount of time and money. By partaking in dual enrollment courses, a student could complete two years of general education requirements for less than regular in-state tuition. However, some universities do not accept dual enrollment credits, therefore we recommend researching if your school of choice will accept dual enrollment credits before enrolling in these courses.

Excelsior College Examinations (ECEs)

Similar to the CLEPs, Excelsior College Examinations (ECEs) are proficiency examinations without classroom instruction. For this program, students have six months to prepare and take the ECE in order to receive class credit at academic institutions.

College Programs

Many universities offer summer and even winter programs for high school students. These programs are offered on nearly every subject of study and provide students with an inside look into the university’s curriculum and culture. Unfortunately, these programs can be expensive, but both high schools and the universities themselves often have funding programs in place that students can take advantage of.

From offering college credit, to becoming better equipped for a university’s workload; advanced course programs, dual enrollment courses, and proficiency examinations provide a number of benefits to students prior to enrolling in a four-year university. Regardless of the program you take, be sure you can find a healthy balance between managing college-level courses and your other special interests.

RELATED: 10 things to know before you take an online course


About the author:

Lulu Curiel is the Founder and CEO of Ivy Advisors, a leading Admissions Consulting company that helps people with their application process for college and graduate school. Lulu has helped over hundreds of people construct their application strategies and gain admissions to their respective dream schools. Prior to Ivy Advisors, Lulu worked at Apple and Deloitte Consulting. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University.

Even before enrolling in a four-year university, high school students can get a head start on earning college credit. Gaining college credit early can save you money, help you graduate on time (or sooner), and will academically prepare you for what’s to come.

Here are the various ways you can gain college credit as a high school student:

AP and IB courses and exams

Advanced Placement (AP) courses have been the main option for those who seek a more challenging course load than what’s offered in their school’s standard curriculum. Most high schools start to offer AP options during the sophomore year of high school, though freshman AP classes are becoming more common. In addition to AP courses, an increasing number of high schools are also offering International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, which also encompass a rigorous curriculum.

Both AP and IB programs give students an extra advantage that regular high school courses do not – they offer exams that give high school students the opportunity to earn college credit. Another benefit to taking AP and IB courses is they show admissions officers that students can handle college-level curriculum and are academically prepared for the higher education environment.

RELATED: AP vs. IB: Which program is best for you?

College-level examination program (CLEP)

Over 2,900 colleges and universities accept the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). This program allows you to earn college credit for the knowledge that you already have. By passing any of the 33 CLEP exams, you can earn from three to 12 credits toward your college degree. Be aware that each college has its own set of rules about which CLEP exams count as credit, so it is wise to check with the individual school before you commit.

Dual enrollment courses

Students can also receive college credit by enrolling in dual enrollment courses, which are taught either in high school or on a community college campus. These courses could also save students a significant amount of time and money. By partaking in dual enrollment courses, a student could complete two years of general education requirements for less than regular in-state tuition. However, some universities do not accept dual enrollment credits, therefore we recommend researching if your school of choice will accept dual enrollment credits before enrolling in these courses.

Excelsior College Examinations (ECEs)

Similar to the CLEPs, Excelsior College Examinations (ECEs) are proficiency examinations without classroom instruction. For this program, students have six months to prepare and take the ECE in order to receive class credit at academic institutions.

College Programs

Many universities offer summer and even winter programs for high school students. These programs are offered on nearly every subject of study and provide students with an inside look into the university’s curriculum and culture. Unfortunately, these programs can be expensive, but both high schools and the universities themselves often have funding programs in place that students can take advantage of.

From offering college credit, to becoming better equipped for a university’s workload; advanced course programs, dual enrollment courses, and proficiency examinations provide a number of benefits to students prior to enrolling in a four-year university. Regardless of the program you take, be sure you can find a healthy balance between managing college-level courses and your other special interests.

RELATED: 10 things to know before you take an online course


About the author:

Lulu Curiel is the Founder and CEO of Ivy Advisors, a leading Admissions Consulting company that helps people with their application process for college and graduate school. Lulu has helped over hundreds of people construct their application strategies and gain admissions to their respective dream schools. Prior to Ivy Advisors, Lulu worked at Apple and Deloitte Consulting. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University.

 

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