Exploring the Possibilities
Dual-enrollment at a high school and a college is becoming a more popular trend. The global economy, limited courses available at high schools, and students looking to get ahead are all reasons to start taking on collegiate-level work early. Community colleges may make this the most affordable and flexible option for many current high school students. That said, however, one must first follow these important tips to make this successful.
First, talk with your high school's guidance counselor to see if you are allowed to leave your high school for college courses. If the answer is "yes," find out which schools in your area allow dual-enrollment. If not, as the Department of Education notes, do realize there may be on-campus college courses offered (where the professor comes and teaches at your high school's campus) or online courses that you could complete outside school hours.
Ask for help in finding registration forms and college website addresses. A guidance counselor can talk to you about the cost. See if your counselor has had any students take classes at the community college and whether you can contact them to talk about their experiences.
If you have not done so already, talk your plans over with your parents or guardians. Show them how it could help long-term, why you believe it would benefit you. See if you have someone willing to drive you to the college and pick you up if you do not drive, or see if public transportation would be a useful option. Professors often will not accept the excuse of not having transportation for missing class. Maybe an adult could contact your high school to see if the school district offers transportation or what other students have done.
One last thing you may want to venture into is finding out how payments will be made. Some school districts have money available if it is not for courses the school offers at the high school level, while other high schools may have arrangements with the regional junior colleges to waive a portion of tuition or make other scholarships available. As the Office of Vocational and Adult Education mentions, this varies by state.