Beth & Tim Manners
Are HS College Credits a Good Investment?
Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Market Watch: “With college costs and student debt rising, policy makers and education leaders have touted the potential of giving high-school students the opportunity to take college courses to curb the amount of time and money they spend on their journey to a degree. But even as the programs have exploded — in some cases explicitly advertised as an antidote to our nation’s college-affordability problem — there’s limited evidence on how the college credits students earn in high school are applied toward their college degrees and whether they wind up saving the students money.”
“The bulk of colleges — 92% of public and 80% of private schools — say they have a policy of accepting college credits that students earn in high school, according to a 2016 survey from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. But in practice, whether an individual course is accepted depends on a number of factors, the survey found. Those include the type of institution where the credits were earned, whether the receiving college offered an equivalent course and the location where the student took the course (in a high school or college classroom).”
“In other words, even in states where public colleges are required to accept the college credits students earn in high school, those credits don’t necessarily save a student from taking the required courses to complete their college degree. In order for a student to maximize college credits earned in high school, the credits need to apply to their specific degree program, but it’s often the case that these credits transfer, but don’t actually apply towards a student’s degree. The variation in credit-transfer policies often means that the onus is on families to figure out how to best maximize the college-credit students earn in high school.”