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Dual enrollment meaning: Everything you must know

Updated on: Jun 26, 2024
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Dual enrollment meaning: Everything you must know
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Dual enrollment, also known as concurrent enrollment, allows students to take college or university courses while being enrolled in high school. It brings a great opportunity for high school students as they generally have to take fewer classes in college.

So, what does dual enrollment mean? Students, who complete dual enrollment, may earn credits for both high school and college for the same course. This way, they can have a chance to explore multiple options before enrolling in a college post-high school.

Apart from that, dual enrollment also helps a college in evaluating and monitoring students from high schools for admission to the college. Additionally, it allows the high schools to provide various courses for its students without any additional hiring costs.

However, the dual enrollment classes in high school are not for all students. Eligibility requirements may vary from state to state, but students generally must be junior or senior in high school and must score a minimum GPA (Grade Point Average).

Other eligibility requirements may include:

  • Permission of your parent/guardian
  • College course requirements
  • Minimum ACT or SAT scores
  • Entrance requirements as per the college

So, now that you know the answer to ‘what is the dual enrollment meaning?’, let’s explore how it works.

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How does dual enrollment work?

Dual enrollment, also referred to as dual credit, generally works with the collaboration between high school and college. A high school collaborates with a college or university to offer dual credit courses to its students.

Typically, dual credit allows students to take college-level classes while they are enrolled in high school. If a student passes the class, then he/she will earn credit for both high school and college.

Students, who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, or Career and Technical Education certificates, can take dual enrollment classes. These classes include introductory sessions of college courses in subjects, such as English, Science, Social Studies, Maths and Humanities.

Dual enrollment may vary by school. However, its process usually begins when students choose their desired subject. Then, they apply for the dual enrollment program.

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Difference between dual enrollment and Advanced Placement classes

Though dual enrollment and Advanced Placement (AP) classes both offer college-level classes, it’s important to understand the key differences between them.

So, please refer to the table below for understanding dual enrollment vs. Advanced Placement classes.

Dual enrollmentAdvanced Placement
In dual enrollment classes, students can earn credit on the completion of the course. Students who take AP classes must pass a test to decide if they receive a minimum score to earn college credit.
Dual enrollment classes generally take one semester. This means students can earn college-level credit by taking one class in half of a regular school year.AP classes generally take a full school year. This means by the time a single AP class is completed, a student could take two dual enrollment classes.
Dual enrollment classes are taught at high schools by college professors on campus or online.AP classes are taught at high schools by high school teachers. The courses are of college level but organised by the high schools. 

So, the dual enrollment meaning is very simple! It is an excellent way for high school students to complete their high school and college-level courses simultaneously. Besides, this enrollment program also helps students attend classes on a college campus while saving money for the future.

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