Many homeschool student enroll in college courses as dual enrolled students, receiving both high school and college credit for the same courses. There are some common myths circulating in the homeschool community about dual enrollment. In this two part series we look at some of these common misconceptions about dual enrollment.
Myth: Dual enrollment courses look bad in college admissions. Admissions officers prefer to see AP test or SAT subject tests.
Reality: Dual enrollment is a great way to demonstrate your student can handle college level work. Outside validation is important for homeschoolers particularly those who are seeking admission to selective colleges. Strong grades in college courses help support other aspects of the student’s homeschooled transcript. They show it isn’t just Mom who says the kid is performing well academically. Dual enrollment doesn’t preclude students from taking AP or SAT subject tests and in fact many students combine these approaches.
Research suggests that many college admissions officers still have some degree of concern over socialization for homeschooled students. Success in college courses is one way to demonstrate students have experience in a classroom environment. Good grades suggest students understand how to behave in the classroom and what they need to do to get along with professors and other students.
Myth: Dual enrollment guarantees students will save money in college
Reality: Some students will save a lot of money and some will save nothing. The situation varies a great deal based on the types of courses the student completes and the type of college the student ultimately enrolls in. Some students pursuing high selective college admissions will find they receive no credit for work they’ve completed as a dual enrolled student. This doesn’t mean the courses served no purpose, as they may help students with developing their study skills and they may make the student a more competitive candidate for admissions and scholarships.
Students who intend to enroll in their state university, may find that community college credits transfer very easily and save them a great deal of money. Some homeschoolers who complete a lot of credit during high school find they are able to graduate early or take on a double major during college.
Myth: Dual enrollment is a low risk way of trying out college.
Reality: College grades are forever. Students are typically required to send all transcripts from college courses when they apply for undergraduate and graduate school. Don’t count on poor grades shocking your unmotivated student to try harder or care more about school.
The time to enroll a student in a college course is when you are fairly confident your student is prepared to do well. Homeschool co-op or online courses can be a good step to try before committing to college courses.
Continue reading to learn more about dual enrollment in Part two of the series.