Member question from Texas: “If you “do college for high school,” is there anything “high school” that you need to include? I’m still trying to wrap my head around the dual enrollment stuff. If a college lists their high school requirements for admission and your kid is working on an AS instead of high school and they get their degree by HS graduation, do the admissions requirements apply? Does the college really even look at high school at that point or do they look at your college transcript and go forward?”
That’s a big question and one that touches on a lot of important issues for dual enrollment families.
“do college for high school”
When you Homeschool for College Credit, you don’t necessarily do college instead of high school, rather you bring college credit into your high school. You STILL are running a high school for your teen, you’re just using college-level learning and earning college credit where it makes sense.
The majority of families here will bring in college credit opportunities through dual enrollment, but many also use credit by exam opportunities like Advanced Placement (AP) or CLEP. How you bring college credit into your program will depend primarily on your teen’s learning style, your access to programs in your state, and whether or not there is a cost to participate. In states with free dual enrollment, parents employ those classes much more aggressively than in states where you have to pay full price. If your state does not have free dual enrollment, using credit by exam is an excellent alternative.
“is there anything ‘high school’ that you need to include?”
First things first, if your state has high school graduation requirements, you’ll want to be sure you meet all of those- and you can do that with high school level or college level options.
Not all classes yield college credit, but they still have a valuable place in a high school program. Courses like Driver’s Ed, PE, Health are obvious ones, but also courses that the parent thinks are important- Bible, CPR, Personal Finance, Home Economics, etc. and even vocational or work experiences like work-based-learning.
In addition, bringing college credit in for a class doesn’t mean to suggest all your teen’s schedule should be college level. A 9th-grader might try to learn United States History at a level that prepares them for the CLEP exam, but simultaneously is several years away from being able to try College Algebra. The #1 goal is ALWAYS to provide the best high school education since you’re still going to issue a high school diploma!
“If a college lists their high school requirements for admission and your kid is working on an AS instead of high school and they get their degree by HS graduation, do the admissions requirements apply? “
Yes always. EVEN WITH A DEGREE, your teen remains an incoming first-time freshman as long as the college credit they earned happened in high school. Once they graduate high school, things change- but high school level credits can be replaced with college-level credits to meet admissions requirements if you want, but they don’t have to- you can use a combination.
Earning a degree is a different thing. Planning / earning a college degree means you have to meet as many as three sets of requirements. (1) High school graduation requirements if your state has them, (2) college admissions requirements if your target college has them, and (3) degree requirements for the degree you’re trying to earn. Since many students aim for an Associate Degree in high school, parents must use caution to assure that their high school doesn’t suffer in the process.
“Does the college really even look at high school at that point or do they look at your college transcript and go forward?”
Yes! A high school transcript will forever and always be your teen’s official record of high school completion, so it is very important that it is accurate and complete. Freshman applicants with a degree are in a very unique category, and though it feels pretty common around here, it’s still very rare among college applicants to have earned a full degree in high school. Most of the time (99%) your teen will still have to check every freshman applicant box- that means SAT scores, GPA requirements, etc. As soon as you have a target college in mind, you should dive in and see if earning a degree in high school changes the application process for your student. It may- and the sooner you know, the better you can prepare.
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