Pros & Cons of Dual Enrollment (Attending College while in High School)


I’m not contradicting myself in any way, but I recommend going to college for two very important reasons on The Life Major blog.  Go to college if you want to pursue a career that involves extensive background knowledge; i.e. engineering, nursing. Or, for the reason mentioned in the title above.

Dual enrollment means different things to different schools and students. Here are some of the different types of enrollment (this list is hardly extensive):

  • Charter schools that offer college courses
  • High schools that bus students to college campuses
  • Early graduation programs
  • Online college classes that are handled simultaneously with high school coursework

If I’m missing any let me know. The thing that these programs have in common is the fact that they give students the opportunity to taste college for little to no costs and determine if it’s right for them. This post will discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Pros:

  • Jumpstart on grad school
  • Graduating high school with a college degree
  • Experiencing college life without the hefty price tag
  • An opportunity to explore subjects outside of standard state high school curriculum
  • Opportunity to join clubs, activities, and teams that normal high schools do not provide

The Cons:

  • Age differences between classmates
  • No parental involvement in education
  • Heavy coursework, especially if you do extracurriculars
  • Certain colleges and universities treat freshmen as transfers, not new students.
  • You may not be able to apply for certain scholarships if you have previous years of college
  • You have to rush to choose a major before graduating from high school

The Ugly:

  • Fail a college course and it stays on your transcript for life
  • You may not have enough credits to get an undergrad degree, but need additional credits even after your free trial run ends (depends on college/university rules)
  • You may not graduate with a degree or a certificate at all

The Take Away:

Deciding to go to college while in high school is a big step. As the new year begins, and transcripts, acceptance letters, and scholarship awards are being tossed at you remember that you don’t have to follow the crowd. Do what you can to get the best education possible. And, always talk to a guidance counselor or research your colleges thoroughly before applying. Don’t follow the hype. Do what’s best for you.