Taking a summer course at a community college this summer may be a better option for kids who would rather hit the books than the beach.
And several students may be able to use federal dollars to assist pay for these summer courses. The Department of Education announced last month that 45 universities and colleges will participate in an experimental program that will permit high school students to use Pell Grants – a form of financial aid – to assist pay for dual enrollment courses.
Commonly speaking, students earn both college and high school credit when participating in dual credit programs, says Elisabeth Barnett, a proficient on dual enrollment at Teachers College, Columbia University. Though, she notes, that the language used to explain these types of programs varies.
Several teens will have to follow the steps students typically take to register, such as submitting an application and taking placement tests.
But high scholars do not have to contribute in a dual enrollment program to take classes at a community college, says Barnett. They could just go to a community college and ask to register for a summer course.
Here are some important tips that Parents and Teachers can help kids take the following steps to register in a community college summer courses:
Students and Parents should talk with a high school counselor before kids register in community college for summer courses, says Tim Conway, director of school counseling at Lakeland Regional High School in Wanaque, New Jersey. A high school counselor can assist children plan and choose courses that align with their future aim or goals, he says.
School counselors can also inform families of the essential procedures to register in a community college course in their state, he says, while making sure families get the most reasonable cost.
And High school counselors can make sure students get high school credit if they are contributing in a dual enrollment program, along with advising students on which community college courses are likely to transfer to four-year university students are considering attending, he says.
Parents can aid in the process by researching community college courses online through the course catalog to see what is available, and at what time, price and location, to make sure the summer course fits into families’ budgets and schedules, he says.
Several students will have to follow the steps students usually take to enroll, such as submitting an application and taking placement exam.
High schooler’s will usually have to apply for admission to the community college before they can take a course. The application is typically truly straightforward, says Barnett. Thus, various community colleges have minimum age requirements, she says. And sometimes teens may have to take a placement test before enrolling in summer courses.
Most summer courses community colleges have open admission policies, which means that normally anyone who can benefit from higher education can register, says Julie Leidig, provost of Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun campus. She also coordinates the dual enrollment program.
At her institution, high schooler’s have to meet a standard for college readiness, often through a placement exam, to take a summer course. And if they use to get high school credit, they have to get support from their high school beforehand.
After students receive admission to the community college, they will require registering for courses, says Conway.
Leidig says first-time students are required to go through an orientation before they sign up and go through advising at her institution, thus students should not wait until the last moment. However, there is still time for high schooler’s to register in summer courses at her school this year.
Conway says these summer courses can assist students find their niche, get a jump-start on university or college and potentially permit families to save some money on higher education.
“It is real college, and that transcript will follow you,” she says. “A student shouldn’t be too afraid of doing this if they have the correct preparation, but they should understand that it is not just an experiment with going to college – it is going to college.”