Advantages of Enrolling in Online College Courses While in High School

The advent of technology has significantly transformed the education sector, paving the way for distance learning and online courses. High school students are no longer limited to traditional classroom settings and have the opportunity to take online college courses, reaping numerous benefits.

Online Courses in High School: An Overview

Contrary to popular belief, online college courses aren’t exclusively for high school graduates. Several institutions, such as Liberty University and Oregon State, offer dual enrollment programs that allow high school students to enroll in both secondary and post-secondary institutions. These programs provide high school students the chance to gain college credit before graduating high school.

High school students can take over 40 online classes in a variety of subjects, such as philosophy, calculus, German, art, wildlife conservation, atmospheric sciences, and studies in women, gender, and sexuality. The online classes are primarily delivered through video or the web.

The Perks of Early College Course Enrollment

If you’re unsure about taking online college classes while still in high school, consider the following benefits:

1. Reduction in College Costs

Online college courses can decrease your college expenses in two ways. Firstly, students can participate in dual credit programs, earning both high school and college credit simultaneously, often for free. Secondly, students can save money by taking online courses from a community college. These fees are typically lower than those at state or private institutions. After completing one or several courses at a community college, students can transfer their credits to a four-year school.

2. A Productive Summer Break

Many students work during the summer to save for college. However, these jobs usually don’t align with their desired career path. High school students could convince their parents to cover the cost of online college courses, reducing the out-of-pocket expenses later.

3. Better Preparation for College-Level Work

Taking online college courses while still in high school can better prepare students for college-level work. According to education reporter Devon Haynie, doing so will help students get a sense of what will be expected in a college course. Unfortunately, many students are unprepared for college-level work. Yet, by taking online classes, they can familiarize themselves with college material and gain confidence in their testing abilities.

Examples of Institutions Offering Online College Courses

UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell, an affordable public university, offers online dual enrollment courses in popular subject areas that meet most high school common core requirements. These include Calculus I, College Writing I and II, Introduction to Information Technology, American Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Western Civilization, and Principles of Microeconomics.

UMass Lowell’s dual enrollment courses meet the MassCore requirements for students completing high school in Massachusetts. However, students should consult with their guidance counselor to ensure the courses align with their educational goals. The course tuition and fees range from $1,170 to $1,185, and financial aid is not available for dual enrollment courses.

Cornell University

Cornell University offers a highly regarded Ivy League program where students can earn 3 to 8 credits and a Cornell transcript. The program provides an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in interesting Cornell University courses, work closely with leading faculty members, improve their college study skills, prepare for college applications with one-on-one admissions counseling, and connect with a diverse group of motivated high school students globally.

During the summer, students can select from more than 100 regular undergraduate Cornell courses in various fields. Courses are delivered via the web-based learning system Canvas.

Arizona State University(ASU)

Through Universal Learner Courses (ULCs), high school students can gain college experience, earn credit for a fraction of the cost, and pay only if they pass the course. The courses offer the same rigorous, engaging curriculum designed by leading ASU faculty, and credit is widely transferable. There is a $25 enrollment fee per course and an additional $400 if you pass the course and decide to transcript for credit at ASU.

In Conclusion

If you are a high school student interested in taking online college classes, you should consider doing so. Speak with your local high school counselor or research universities that offer online courses to determine the right program for you. You might also consider courses offered by online universities, ensuring you receive college credit for every course you take to maximize your educational experiences.

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