Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Tree House Academy

Early Graduation question - Dual Enrollment vs graduating

Recommended Posts

My oldest son is finishing up his Junior year in high school.  He is absolutely beyond me now and ready for college.  Next year, his Senior year, we had planned to do dual enrollment.  However, he only has 2 classes left for high school and he already has a 25 on the ACT and is taking it again in April hoping to raise at least to a 29 or 30.  He is doing an intensive practice to achieve this goal and I am confident that he will.  So, I am wondering now if there is a way for me to graduate him early and go ahead and enroll him in college for Fall 2016.  If anyone has advice on this, I would so greatly appreciate it.  Can he skip those last two credits or does he need to cram them in real quick?  Can he be a Freshman in college and a senior in high school at the same time just to get those last two credits in?  Ugh - can someone who has BTDT help me?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you cannot be a freshman in college and a senior in high school at the same time. Why not just do dual enrollment for his senior year, as planned?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would look into what your state offeres. Our states offers free dual enrollment (free college) to students still in high school. I know of a few parents who delayed graduation just to take advantage and get as many free classes as possible. 

 

I live in GA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In TN, 2 classes (up to 7 credit hours) is free with a grant we have available.  I want him to take around 4 classes per semester and we are looking at paying per credit hour at the rate of $800 per hour for anything over the 7.  Granted, we are choosing a costly school but it is the one he hopes to continue in once he graduates - so this is worth it for us.  I guess you are right and it does make more sense to pay the roughly 10K extra.  I am just hoping for some scholarship money to help with college and dual enrollment doesn't allow for any scholarships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would depend on the student's future plans.  A student capable of a 30 on the ACT might reach for somewhat selective schools (or non-selective schools but with a chance for scholarships).

 

However, a transcript with math finishing at alg 2 is not likely to be competitive for such schools or scholarships.  That would take some research, but I'd be reluctant to graduate a student hoping for scholarships without more math.

Edited by wapiti
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you have identified the college he'll attend, you'd need to investigate what scholarships are available from that institution.

 

Look on the admissions and financial aid sections. See how his scores and grades compare to those of entering freshmen. Does the school have automatic merit aid of $X for ACT of 29/30?

 

Run the Net Price Calculator to make sure you can afford what they think you can pay.

 

What two credits does he still need? Are they from core subjects or electives?

 

Honestly, in this situation I'd have him do dual enrollment next year. He'd be a stronger candidate for scholarship money when applying in fall 2017.

Edited by Luckymama
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you think the college will still have openings and scholarship money available in May when he gets the results from the next ACT exam?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would be beneficial to do the DE for his senior year and just work on beefing up his transcript a bit.  Let him do some independent study in addition to his DE classes.  Incorporate ACT study.  Have him do volunteer work.  Then, starting next August look at your deadlines for applications.  Many schools recommend applying for the college and scholarships the FALL of your senior year.  

The time has really passed for good scholarship apps for Fall 2016.  

 

ETA:  We've really been looking into the best dates and such the past few weeks for my Juniors.  Our plans are to apply ASAP next year so she'll be at the front of the line for scholarship money.

Edited by The Girls' Mom
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would wait then. Take the free classes next year and have him work on increasing his scores and GPA. It might pay off in the end.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the pp and think he stands a better chance to win scholarship money if you dual enroll now and let him finish out his high school. He can take some classes that will count towards his college classes next semester so that might also help. It is better to apply as a strong high school student than to rush things.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well my daughter is graduating early. She's 16 and is finishing her 3rd year as a high school student and will also have 30 credits from dual enrollment. She will be going to college in the Fall. That said, I think you are way too late to try that now. We didn't decide to do this until August and even then it was a rush. She'd already taken the SATs once by then and done well but we still jammed in another SAT and an ACT to make sure she got the best merit aid. All of the schools we applied to are past their application deadline. Even if you have a school whose deadline hasn't passed you would have no time to retake the SAT or take the ACT and get the scores back in time to apply. IMHO he should do dual enrollment next year and take the time he needs to improve his test scores and apply to schools without extreme rush.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a few thoughts from my own experience. Take it as you want to or throw it away. :lol:

You only have so much time with you son. I say do not voluntarily give that up now. You have invested a lot in his training and keeping him at home longer is better in my opinion. When my older two were graduating made huge discovery. I was not worried about all the things I have worried over for 12 years. Most of those things could be impacted by a computer porgram or app.....bad speller? Spell check. writing skills need beefing up? computer programs will check your paper for you. Slow reader? Audio Books for the win.

 

The thing I worried about as it came time to launch them into the big world was character issues. Did they understand the value of working hard for something? The value of money? They were going to be paying big $ for each class....would they just skip classes or realize that each class skipped was $ they wasted? Were they strong in who they were as individuals so that they could stand on their own two feet when presented with pressures from others? Had they learned to balance and manage money? Did they know how to make snacks in the dorm? Wash their clothes? Did they know how to pick out friends?   I did not wait until they were graduating to teach them these, we had worked on many starting in 8th grade. They knew how to cook and clean. I t was just what I worried about when it came time to send my kids away. My big concerns were character and life skills.....not academics.

 

I would say his senior year is your last year to parent really. From then on you will be his coach sitting on the sideline cheering as he calls the plays. Focus on the last year at home in making each moment count. If he finishes school in December have him work a part time job....he will learn about taking orders from someone else. He will see different leadership styles and what makes a good boss or a good comrade in an employee. When he works with someone that does not pull their weight that will challenge him to not be that type of student or employee. He will probably have group projects in college....having worked with others will help him get a head start on what to look for in picking people to group with. The money he makes can be his spending money for the first semester. When W2 come out the next year he will be amazed at how much he made and wonder where it went.....great lesson. My daughter worked full time starting in Jan and was able to pay her own way the first semester with what she earned and scholarships! What pride she had.....and BTW she will not skip a class...she found out each one costs $98.86 and she worked hard  for that $. :hurray:  Her dad and I love it.

 

When our kids learned to walk they wanted to do it on their own all the time. As parents we knew that while they could do it by themselves they still needed us to hold their hands to cross the street. They were physically ready but not ready in wisdom and experience. I think the same is true of many teens. They have so much academic learning but are they ready at 17 to be an adult? I think of them more as being adults in training. I picture a little bird that has come out of the nest  but is sitting under it not quite ready to fly. Mom and dad provide protection and encouragement as they exercise their wings and get stronger. I found my very smart 18 year old son looked like a man (he had a full beard) but in many ways I was amazed at how his common sense was lacking. I had to chuckle when watching an episode of Bones she commented about a 19 year old....oh his judgement is impaired  as his front oxcibital lobe is not fully formed yet. ( I have no idea how to spell that....lol.....but his brain was not fully formed therefor his judgement was impaired.) l called my husband  to say look we are not imagining it.....we are not crazy....he is acting less rational than he should be and its normal. L O L

 

All that to say consider the big picture not just academics when you make your decision.When he is gone....he will be gone and it will never be the same. It is what we have been preparing them for and we rejoice when the time comes just do not hurry it along.

 

Just my humble opinion.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Heather in VA. Applying to colleges should start in early fall. March is really too late in the game to apply and expect large scholarships. He would be far better off to retest and try to make at least a 32. (That is the typical low score for large full-tuition scholarships.

 

It is short sighted to consider only the dual enrollment costs. 4 years of college tuition will be a much larger expense. Applying to colleges with a stronger transcript and higher scores will make him more competitive for scholarship money and will be cheaper in the long run

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he does any classes after high school, as in, you graduate him and he is an official college student, then he will no longer be applying to college as a freshman. He will no longer qualify for a freshman scholarship and his ACT score will not matter. He will have to earn 30 credits at the college level and apply as a transfer student. Some schools will take a freshman, as in, someone with less than 30 credits, so he could still go in as a freshman transfer and will still need the ACT score, but he likely will not be able to earn freshman scholarships. If he plans to go some place other than CC for after he is done with high school, as in, you just want CC for the one year, then he should do it as dual enrolled and apply to colleges as a freshman. There are exceptions to this advice, but this applies to most cases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can he be a Freshman in college and a senior in high school at the same time just to get those last two credits in?  

 

No.

 

 

...Can he skip those last two credits or does he need to cram them in real quick?...

 

If he still needs those last two credits to meet admission requirements to the university, then NO, he can't just skip those last 2 credits.

 

The only way I see cramming them in real quick is either through 2 summer school courses (probably at the community college -- and they may not offer what he needs.  Or, this summer, DS could study and take CLEP tests (if in a subject area that has CLEP). The courses would have to be placed on the transcript that you would submit now and listed as "to be completed in summer".

 

And you MUST WAIT and award the high school diploma AFTER completion of those credits so that they are still done as a high school student. ANY classes taken after high school graduation/receipt of the diploma are automatically taken as a college student, which means your son would no longer be considered a freshman, but would be considered a transfer student. Most scholarships, and esp. larger amounts and renewable scholarships, are awarded to freshmen -- there is far less merit aid for transfer students.

 

 

… I am wondering now if there is a way for me to graduate him early and go ahead and enroll him in college for Fall 2016...

 

The admission process itself usually takes you several weeks. And even if you were "lucky" and the university has a later admission deadline of March 1 or March 15, that is not going to leave you enough time to get in everything you need to do. Worse, DS would have to go with the current ACT score of 25, and would not have time to re-take the the ACT to try and bring up that score.

 

Just so you know what is involved in applying to a university in the way of submission of paperwork:

- official copy of every transcript (your homeschool transcript, plus any from any classes taken with a high school, or with dual enrollment at a community college / university)

- the application to the college, with payment of the deposit

- application for student housing, with payment of deposit

- letters of recommendation (if required)

- student essay (if required)

- student immunization records

- student health coverage (if covered under parents' plan), or application for campus health plan and payment of fee

- application for registering student car and parking permit fee (if any car)

- completion of 2015 tax return in order to fill out FAFSA, and possibly the CSS

- register at FAFSA and complete the FAFSA form for applying for financial aid

- register with CSS and complete the more in-depth financial form for applying for financial aid (if required by the school)

 

 

My oldest son is finishing up his Junior year in high school.  He is absolutely beyond me now and ready for college.  Next year, his Senior year, we had planned to do dual enrollment.  However, he only has 2 classes left for high school and he already has a 25 on the ACT and is taking it again in April hoping to raise at least to a 29 or 30.  He is doing an intensive practice to achieve this goal and I am confident that he will...

 

Agreeing with previous posters: March is very late in the game to be applying for Fall college entrance as a freshman and there still be spots open.

 

Even if applying in March is not a problem (i.e., the university has rolling applications), DS would be going in with a very weak transcript -- short 2 credits (or jamming them in during summer) and an average ACT score of 25, rather than a more competitive score of 28-29.

 

Instead, doing all, or mostly all, dual enrollment next year as per your original plan will still lift the burden from you of having to oversee his coursework, and it may help knock off as much as a year off of future university costs, if you choose coursework wisely and go with courses that you know in advance will transfer to the future university.

 

Your DS will have a much stronger transcript and a much better shot at scholarships by doing mostly dual enrollment next year. That will also give him some actual college experience in advance to help smooth his transition into doing full time college later on and give him a much higher success rate with classes, navigating the college website, and campus activities.

 

That also gives your DS a final year to participate in any high school extracurriculars that can help him develop skills in leadership and responsibility, to explore personal interests (life is NOT all about school academics!), to get involved in the community with volunteering as the start of a life-habit, and to help him "stand out" in college admission and scholarship applications. :)

 

As far as raising the ACT score: you might also look into hiring a tutor who specializes in coaching students through the ACT and who *guarantees* a certain amount of rise in test score. A jump of 4 points on the ACT is about the equivalent of a 150 point jump on the SAT, and that is the upper limit of score increase that test prep courses will guarantee; more typically, with practice and prep work students raise their score by about 100 points on the SAT (2-3 points on the ACT). So just to give you a little perspective: DS will likely raise his ACT score to a 27-28 -- maybe a 29. Depending on what university he attends, and how that score compares with other in-coming freshman, a score of 28 will likely land him a partial scholarship. Again, depending on the school and the scores of other incoming freshmen, larger to full tuition scholarships tend to come with scores of 32 and above. While not impossible, a jump from an ACT score of 25 to a 32 would be quite remarkable.

 

 

BEST of luck, whatever your family decides. :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the dual enrollment - even if it only pays for 7 credit hours.  He will fulfill his high school requirements AND gain college credit.  When he enrolls as a freshman he will have the experience and some credits under him already.  

 

We will be in the same boat next year.   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lori D. - thank you for all of that great info - especially regarding the ACT.  We are actually working with PrepScholar which guarantees the 4 point increase and we hired a tutor through them that he meets with for 2 hours a week.  I am glad to hear someone recommend that being as that is the course we took.  In our state, the 25 ACT allows him to graduate with Honors through our Category 4 school.  He is also likely to be accepted to the colleges he has chosen with that score; however, what we are looking for is those scholarships (of course).

 

We did decide to just do the dual enrollment option this year and pay per credit hour for the 2 extra classes.

 

Thank you to everyone for your input.

 

Next issue - Trig or Pre-Cal and which program.  LOL  I am searching the plethora of info on that now.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MAIMOM - that was so beautifully written and you are oh so right.  Since he got his driver's license in August, I have really had a slap in the face of reality with regards to him.  He is a wonderful young man and I just can't imagine life once he leaves my nest.  It breaks my heart more each day...in a bitter sweet kind of way.  A week after he turned 16, he got a job and he has managed to work upwards of 28 hours this school year while attending an online Chemistry class along with his regular school day.  He now adds in 12-16 hours of ACT prep each week and time with a tutor as well.  I love watching him become a responsible young man and my heart is so overjoyed to have him here for another year.  Thank you for speaking your heart!  Such true words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh...and that is totally true about the front lobe of the brain not being fully formed - actually until age 25.  It has a lot to do with why kids are slower to respond when driving a car too (well...that and sheer lack of experience).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one in the same boat--she'll have 60 credits by the end of her senior year. Yes, she could graduate early, but then I'd be paying $300 a credit for university courses, plus fees. By not graduating her this spring, I only pay $100 a credit and no fees. She wants to go into engineering, and most engineering schools want to see calc I & II done in high school. And she needs more coding and physics. By not graduating her now, she'll have time to do a senior recital, have another year of high school swimming, and another drama production. All 5 of my kids could have graduated a year early, but I'm glad none of them did. 

 

Cherish this time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A jump of 4 points on the ACT is about the equivalent of a 150 point jump on the SAT, and that is the upper limit of score increase that test prep courses will guarantee; more typically, with practice and prep work students raise their score by about 100 points on the SAT (2-3 points on the ACT). So just to give you a little perspective: DS will likely raise his ACT score to a 27-28 -- maybe a 29. Depending on what university he attends, and how that score compares with other in-coming freshman, a score of 28 will likely land him a partial scholarship. Again, depending on the school and the scores of other incoming freshmen, larger to full tuition scholarships tend to come with scores of 32 and above. While not impossible, a jump from an ACT score of 25 to a 32 would be quite remarkable.

 

I agree that it is highly unlikely that your son will jump from a 25 to a 30. In fact, the ACT gets suspicious if a student's score jumps "too much," especially in a short amount of time. It was something we had to deal with because, in order to reach the rock-bottom minimum of acceptable scores, our dd had to improve her score by 5 points, and we were warned that doing so could trigger a cheating investigation. In the end it didn't, because her score improved gradually over several tests, and in her final test she qualified for IEP-based testing accommodations.

 

Just keep in mind that most students don't jump four (or more) points from one test to the next. Two to thee would be a reasonable expectation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that it is highly unlikely that your son will jump from a 25 to a 30. In fact, the ACT gets suspicious if a student's score jumps "too much," especially in a short amount of time. It was something we had to deal with because, in order to reach the rock-bottom minimum of acceptable scores, our dd had to improve her score by 5 points, and we were warned that doing so could trigger a cheating investigation. In the end it didn't, because her score improved gradually over several tests, and in her final test she qualified for IEP-based testing accommodations.

 

Just keep in mind that most students don't jump four (or more) points from one test to the next. Two to thee would be a reasonable expectation.

 

Interesting to know!  My dd DID jump from 25 to 30 (tested in 10th grade and then again in 11th).  Is that really a concern that they'll investigate for cheating?  

 

FWIW, we spent a LOT of time practicing the test and becoming accustomed to the question format.  I think that was the biggest hold back for her on the prior test, not really understanding what they were looking for in some of the questions.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A jump from sophomore to junior year isn't an issue.  I don't know if a jump in a few months is an issue or not.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that there are a lot of things that the ACT looks at when scores increase a lot. It's not necessarily just that the score increases. If you take it fall semester of junior year and spring semester of senior year, for example, a jump is expected. But yes, when we were looking into ways to help dd boost her score, we encountered several warnings about dramatic score increases, and you can find lots of stories online about people investigated for cheating.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...