Get a Head Start on College While Still in High School With These Tips

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The days of finishing a college career in four years is as modern as a CD Walkman. For the Spotify Generation, six years is increasingly the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree. But just like acid-washed denim can make a comeback (okay, who are we kidding. That’s never coming back), students getting ready for college can take steps to kick it old school, getting a head start on their college credits while still in high school. Doing so can help students get through some of their required college credits and get a jump start on their college career, often shaving semesters off their graduation date.

Your high school may participate in concurrent enrollment, advanced placement, postsecondary enrollment or career
academy opportunities which, in most cases, allow you to earn both high school and college credit. These programs are
typically offered at no cost to students (with a few exceptions). Talk to your counselor or AP coordinator to learn more.

1. Concurrent Enrollment
Community college courses often taught at the high school where students earn both college and high school credit.

2. Advanced Placement
College-level courses taught at the high school. Many colleges grant credit, advanced placement or both to students
who take and earn high AP exam scores. The Iowa Online AP Academy offers AP classes to students whose high schools
don’t offer on-site classes.

3. Postsecondary Enrollment
Courses taken through a college where students earn college credit as well as high school credit for those courses that meet district graduation requirements.

4. Career Academy
Programs in specific technical fields at community colleges that prepare students for entry and advancement in high-skill career fields. Students may earn both college and high school credit.


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