By: Katelyn Fahrenbruck Weston
Thanks to advances in online learning, earning a college degree has become more accessible than ever. Online platforms and the widespread adaptation of video calls have made the necessity of a being in a classroom for many college degree programs obsolete. No matter where you are, you can start earning a college degree today from home. But did you know that college-age students aren't the only ones who can take advantage of online college courses?
Today, teenagers can start going to college while in high school, giving them a head start on their future college and career paths. Choosing to enroll in online college courses for high school students can accelerate your path to a college degree and save you a lot of money.
While some of the more ambitious high school students may wonder, "Can I take online classes while still in high school?" others may not realize that it's even an option, and most are unaware of how to go to college in high school. Not only is earning college credits while in high school a realistic possibility, but it also provides far more opportunity.
The majority of online college programs for high school students are known as dual-credit programs. This means that students taking part in the program are earning both high school and college credits at the same time. It's important to note that the student is not officially registered at the college when taking online courses, but the credits they earn can be applied toward a college degree. You may be able to take courses in business, health care, law, or other topics of interest and earn college credit. No matter your educational interests, there are likely to be online college courses that appeal to you.
The first and most obvious benefit of enrolling in online college classes for high school students is the head start it gives you on your education. Taking online courses for college credit for high school students means you'll be able to graduate with a college degree sooner than most. Maybe you want to sample some health or business classes to find out if it's the right major, or maybe you just want to get some of your general education requirements done so you can spend more time focusing on your major once you graduate. Whatever the reason, getting some college credits under your belt before leaving high school is a good idea.
In addition to giving you an early start on your post-high-school education, online college courses can also help you lower the cost of a college education. Some programs allow students to earn both high school and college credits at the same time for free, while others allow you to take courses through a community college, which usually cost less than those at a four-year school. Either way, you'll be able to reduce the number of courses that you have to pay for once you're in college.
While earning college credits before graduating from high school can save you time and money later on, there's one more benefit that's often undervalued: preparation. College education is far more mentally demanding than high school coursework, and many students don't find this out until they're already sitting in class. Taking online college courses while still in high school will help you feel more confident and prepared before setting foot on campus. This can help to reduce the amount of stress many new college students feel and can lead to a more fulfilling educational experience.
Sources: https://www.collegeinhighschool.org/evidence-of-success https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/ptn/2014/08/college-freshmen