Your Ultimate Guide to Getting College Credit in High School

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You have your whole life ahead of you in high school. The high school years are when you get the first taste of what the rest of the world has to offer you. It's when you can finally start building the future you want for yourself.

For most people, that involves getting college credit as soon as possible – even as a high school student. It means putting your nose to the grindstone and studying long into the night. While that can work for some people, it's also important to take care of yourself.

You're trying to get college credit in high school because you love yourself enough to want a bright future. But you should also love yourself enough to take a break when you need it. There are a variety of ways to get college credit out there, and while most of them involve putting in extra work, not all of them require you to work yourself to the bone right when you're just getting started. They just require you to be a little more productive. Keep reading below to learn about different ways to get college credit, and to find out which one is right for you.

Take College Classes through Dual Enrollment

There is one absolutely surefire way to get college credit: take college classes. Many high schools have dual enrollment courses that allow students to take college classes. These classes count both towards students' high school credit requirements and give them college credit before graduating.

Instead of taking a high school Spanish class, for example, you can take a college-level class instead. It usually takes up the same timeslot that your regular class would take. That way, you're not sacrificing the few hours you have in your normal day to get college credit.

However, you will also get a college-level workload. Whether the workload is more or less than what you would have gotten in a regular high school class is up to the professor. You can always expect to leave the class having covered more material than your regular class, though.

You can also expect to leave with college credits that are almost guaranteed to transfer to any school you go to. You'll also leave knowing you saved a few tuition dollars since dual enrollment programs usually don't require you to pay for them.

Before you can ever start a dual-enrollment program though, you need to be accepted into it. Keep up a high GPA early in your high school career to make sure you're accepted into the program later.

Advance Your Collegiate Career with Advanced Placement Classes

Advanced placement classes maximize your high school curriculum and avoid the stress associated with taking dual enrollment classes.

Coursework required during the advanced placement classes will be more intense than regular classes. That's because advanced placement classes are structured around an end-of-the-year test. The test is run by the College Board and is scored on a scale between 1-5. For the entire year, you basically study for this test and your teacher works to make sure you enough about the subject to handle whatever is thrown at you.

If you get a 5 on the test, you essentially automatically earn college credit equivalent to the class you took. Most colleges accept AP test scores of a 5. However, the lower your score, the less likely colleges are to accept it for college credit.

Most colleges do take scores or 4, or even 3 for some classes. Even if you don't get a high enough score on the test to get college credit, you'll still benefit from AP classes. They prepare you for college classes better than regular high school classes.

If you end up having to take a college level class after AP classes, you'll recognize most of the material. You'll have a leg up against your classmates, and your transition into college will be that much easier.

Take Online Courses and Earn Alternative Credits

Technology is changing the game for students wanting to earn college credits in high school (and even later). It's now possible to take a huge variety of accredited, transferable online courses at your own pace, from anywhere you have access to the internet.

This an affordable way for you to earn college credits you can transfer to many different universities and colleges.

Online courses are a smart idea for a few different reasons:

  • Study for a fraction of the price of what you'd pay at a school
  • Work in your own time- after work, around your family responsibilities, and on the weekends
  • Enjoy an intuitive user experience, so you can log in, learn, and log out without any drama

Apply to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

An internationally recognized program can essentially get you a degree before ever graduating high school. The International Baccalaureate Diploma program is available for students across the world who show more than just promise. The students who are accepted into the program usually demonstrated a capability to impact the people and community around them.

They're more than just really smart. They're driven, creative, and have already shown the good they can bring into the world.

Don't let that intimidate you, though. You should always apply for every opportunity, and you never know if you may be selected to join the program.

If you're selected, you'll have a choice of 6 different areas of study:

  • Studies in language and literature
  • Language acquisition
  • Individuals and societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The arts

All you need to do is select the area that you want to study. After choosing which one you want to do, you'll spend 2 years in a rigorous and intense program with a cohort of people like you. By the end of it though, you'll have essentially earned a bachelor's degree in your field and will be more than prepared for college. 

Earn College Credits Over Summer

Obviously, your summers are important to you. They are a time when you can relax and avoid the demands of school. During the summer, you have the time to explore what makes you want to go to school in the first place.

However, you can turn your summers into a time to earn college credits. If you've demonstrated an academic acumen in your high school studies, local colleges may accept you for classes. All you need to do is reach out to either your high school guidance counselor or the college itself.

By taking summer classes, you can easily cover your general education requirements. That means that when you start college, you'll be able to immediately take classes in your degree program.

Getting College Credits Early Will Set You Up for Success

High school is stressful already. Getting college credit while juggling high school life can seem more than just daunting. It can seem impossible.

The most important thing you need to do as you try to prepare for your future is to love yourself. Respect that you're trying to give yourself the best possible life, and understand that even if something goes wrong, you still tried. Just by trying, you show that you love yourself enough to believe you can be better.

There are many avenues you can use to accomplish your collegiate goals. If the opportunity to earn alternative credit college course online sounds right for you, contact us here. Our affordable classes can be transferred to most colleges for credit, and the coursework can be done on your own time!

Online courses fit right into your hectic schedule and will help you ensure your life after high school is the best it can be!


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