College admissions and the job market seem to only become more competitive with time. High school students look to their futures and wonder what the best way for them is to get ahead of the curve. How can they set themselves apart from their other classmates? What do they need to do to ensure that they’ve positioned themselves best for their future?

At OnlineCollegWiz, we recognize the immense pressure put upon high school students today – but we also like to manage expectations. Your college choice and your GPAares going to have less of an effect on your future than you might think. One way high school students can get a leg up on the competition is by taking online college courses while enrolled in high school.

While it may not seem possible, high school students have various options when it comes to beginning their college journey while still wrapping up their high school one.

Online College Course for High School Students

High school students can enroll in online college courses. Some restrictions surround eligibility, and some online colleges don’t accommodate this at all. However, overall, there are options and ways for high school students to begin their college career while still working through their high school careers.

Restrictions and Considerations for Enrolling in Online College Courses While in High School

High school students should be aware of some restrictions in place that may get in the way of their ability to enroll in online colleges. First and foremost, some online colleges require students to have already earned a high school diploma. This naturally can be a significant impediment to enrolling in an online college while in high school.

Another restriction to look out for is age minimums. This is only an issue when it comes to private online colleges as public online colleges are not allowed to discriminate based on age. 

It is essential not to that the admissions office can waive most admission restrictions. It just requires that a student reach out to the admissions office to make a case for why they believe they are academically ready and capable of enrolling in online college courses.

Dual Enrollment in Online College for High School Students

The best option for high school students to enroll in college courses is to seek out a dual enrollment problem. A dual enrollment program allows high school students to enroll in a college course and count towards their college credits and high school graduation. This is the easiest and most common way high school students can enroll in college courses while still in high school.

Dual enrollment programs are primarily dependent on a student’s high school. Some high schools offer a more comprehensive array of dual enrollment programs than others. If you are a high school For students considering earning online college credits, it is best to reach out to your school’s guidance counselor to find out which dual enrollment programs are available.

Students should also be wary of restrictions placed on dual enrollment programs at their high school. Some high schools require that dual enrollment courses are in-person. This requirement has become less common in recent years, but it is something to note if you are seeking a dual enrollment course from an online college.

High schools tend to limit the dual enrollment options to core subject matter like mathematics, language classes, social sciences, and science courses. Students should understand going into dual enrollment that they won’t necessarily have free reign over which online college courses they’ll be able to select.

The Benefits of Online College Courses for High School Students

Enrolling in an online college course as a high school student has several significant benefits. For starters, it allows students who are not challenged enough by the typical high school curriculum to engage in more challenging course work. 

Probably the biggest draw of online college courses while still in high school is the opportunity to get a jump on your college education. An undergraduate degree can take three to four years to complete. Many students are excited to complete their college degrees and move onto the next part of their lives. By enrolling in an online college while in high school, students can begin to expedite the process of their college graduation.

Another upside to enrolling in an online college course is that it can be a great cost-saving measure for high school students. Many high school students who immediately move onto college after graduation tend to seek a traditional college instead of an online college. Traditional on-campus colleges tend to be more expensive than online colleges. By earning some credits at an online college before enrolling in a traditional college, students can achieve some of their credits at a much cheaper tuition-per-credit rate. 

Finally, taking online college courses in high school helps students acclimate to the academic rigor and demand that a college can place on a student. Giving yourself an opportunity to take one or two college courses at a time while still in high school allows students to dip their toes in the water of higher education. They can find out if online college is for them, and they can also work to develop the habits needed to succeed in a college program. 

Can I Take Online College Courses in High School?

Students can enroll in online college courses in high school. While some online colleges may have restrictions regarding age or high school completion status, these restrictions can often be waived if students reach the college’s admissions office.

Many high schools already participate in dual enrollment programs with colleges that offer online courses. High school students are encouraged to reach out to their guidance counselors to find out which dual enrollment programs are available.  Enrolling in online college courses while still in high school is a great way to get a jump on your college education and set yourself up for an even brighter future.

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