What is Concurrent Enrollment?

Featured Stories

Filter By Categories

 

Concurrent enrollment, more commonly known as dual enrollment, refers to programs where students are enrolled in two schools simultaneously. Many dual enrollment programs involve high school students simultaneously taking college classes, most often at a local community college. Others are specially developed programs where students take classes to receive both high school and college credit from the same class at the same time.

Many high schools advertise and offer dual enrollment programs. According to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Programs (NACEP), they can be a low-cost way for students to gain college credit, allowing them to enroll in college with sophomore or junior status.

Will Concurrent Enrollment Guarantee College Acceptance? 

It’s inconclusive as to whether dual enrollment will help students get into college. NBC News says that it can go either way: The litmus test should be whether the student is gaining something valuable from the class and what the actual class is like. Just because a class says that it’s college level doesn’t necessarily mean it will be more challenging.


However, what’s important to consider is whether concurrent enrollment will help save families money and improve overall accessibility to colleges.


In the 2013 State of the Union, President Obama announced that he hoped dual enrollment would help more students receive a college degree, along with his plan to make more colleges free.


A few years later, how has concurrent enrollment helped in increasing accessibility to college? According to NACEP, the theory is that if your child enters college already having earned college credit, then they will take less time to graduate—and thus they pay for less college.


According to Knowledge @ Wharton High School, this holds true for student Abby Parnell. When her private high school got rid of AP credits, Parnell switched to an online school that would offer her college credit. While the program cost her $5,000, the credits she earned granted her sophomore status, which will allow her to save up to $40,000 in tuition fees.


However, while there is potential for future savings with concurrent enrollment, not all classes will put you in a better position when entering college. It can be difficult to compare dual enrollment programs, and it can be incredibly hard to tell whether the courses are actually as difficult as college courses.


According to the St. Louis Post, their program has a potential solution: At St. Louis University, their concurrent enrollment program is overseen and vetted directly by the university, meaning that students are guaranteed to be taking high-quality classes.

How Do I Find a Concurrent Enrollment Program?

The key to saving money with  concurrent enrollment is doing comprehensive research on the specific programs your child is considering. As concurrent enrollment programs are generally attached to universities, the credits you receive from these programs are not necessarily redeemable at all universities.


Start your research with the Department of Education’s comprehensive list of specific state policies on concurrent enrollment. Understanding these policies can help families understand whether public universities have concurrent enrollment programs that are worth looking into.


Next, research concurrent enrollment programs in your own community. For example, the College of San Mateo offers free enrollment in classes for high school students, provided they are taking fewer than 11 units.


Overall, concurrent enrollment is a great way to save money in college, but only if the program you chose is well vetted by a university.


Kenia French is a rising junior at Tufts University majoring in International Relations and Environmental Studies. She became interested in education through writing an investigative article on college affordability for the Tufts Daily.

Edmit's advice helps you to be better off after graduation.

Merit and financial aid estimates based on your student profile

Earnings estimates and financial scores for your college and major

Recommendations to save thousands on college

I'm ready

Sign up for updates

Popular Tags

Financial Aid and Scholarships* Cost of College* paying for college financial aid FAFSA grants and scholarships Student Loans* Saving for College* federal student loans college tuition 529 plan cost of attendance expected family contribution financial aid award Salary and Career* college financial planning private student loans taxes college savings plan room and board on-campus housing merit scholarships college expenses federal financial aid merit-based financial aid private universities public universities budgeting for college edmit hidden gems parent PLUS loan college costs edmit team college applications living expenses CSS profile education expenses financial need income application fees financial aid appeal off-campus housing career loan forgiveness affordable college choosing a major college majors loan repayment student loan assistance work-study application fee waivers degree programs edmit scholarship institutional aid net price SAT choosing a college in-state tuition prepaid tuition plans private scholarships repayment plans ACT budget college search college visits free tuition international students internships need-based financial aid need-blind colleges qualified higher education expenses retirement savings southern colleges standardized testing student loan debt tuition discount tuition guarantee tuition payment plans 401k UGMA UTMA applying to college college ranking systems college spending credit score discretionary income education savings accounts fees financial literacy full ride scholarship grants health insurance options investment ivy league schools liberal arts degree meal plans midwestern colleges need-aware colleges out-of-state tuition saving school-based scholarships state aid western colleges 568 presidents group Inversant MEFA asset protection allowance best price campus life college advisor college credits college deposit college transfers concurrent enrollment cost by region cost by state crowdfunding dorms early decision educational expenses esports fee waivers financial wellness for-profit universities fraternities and sororities full tuition gap year graduate school home equity loan income share agreements line of credit lists medical expenses medical school military benefits net price calculators new england colleges non-profit universities out-of-state students percent need met private college consultant small business state schools student bank accounts student organizations title IV schools travel expenses tuition decreases tuition increases tuition insurance tuition reciprocity undocumented students