What is Concurrent Enrollment?

For some high school students, it may be possible to take college-level classes while working toward their diploma through a concept known as concurrent enrollment (CE). A primary motivator for doing so is that college credits are earned, leading to reduced time spent pursuing higher education, with lower associated cost. There are a number of factors to consider before committing to such a program, but it can certainly be beneficial for students who are self-directed, dedicated and academically ready. Continue reading to learn whether enrolling in college is a good choice for you and the requirements for students who wish to sign up.


Also known as dual enrollment, these programs are usually free for students. They can be administered in a number of settings such as on the partner institution’s campus, online, through interactive television or at the student’s school. Students attend their college-level class during their regular school day. In addition to earning college credit, it may also be possible to use a CE class to fulfill a high graduation requirement. Participating in such programs gives students the chance to get a feel for what to expect in college, explore career fields of interest and gain valuable job skills. Any CE class you take will be the same one that those enrolled at the institution of higher education are offered, so expect that the material may be challenging. You’ll be expected to complete the same assignments and adhere to the same academic policies for eligibility as any college student. It’s possible to achieve two years worth of college credit, the equivalency of an associate’s degree, through participation in a CE program.


Only high school juniors and seniors are eligible to take part in concurrent enrollment classes. In addition, you must be identified to possess college readiness, or the capability to do well academically at the college level. In addition, you likely must meet certain GPA requirements for eligibility. An application will need to be submitted, and any books or accompanying resources are your responsibility. It’s possible that some high schools may account for these costs in their budgets, however.


There are a number of benefits associated with taking CE classes such as the opportunity to earn college credit for free, job readiness for students interested in career programs like welding or carpentry and help in easing the college transition after high school graduation. Those career-minded students are more likely to be able to enter the workforce at higher wages than if they had they had attempted to do so with no college-level training. College adjustment is often difficult for new freshmen, as the transition can be overwhelming. It’s important that you take CE classes seriously. Any grades earned will be entered into your academic record and considered by college admissions committees in the future. Also, failing a CE class that also counts toward your high school credits could cause you not to be able to graduate with your class.

Enrolling in college classes while attending high school can have a significant impact on your future. Concurrent enrollment is meant to give you an advantage toward pursuing your college degree.

See also: How Do You Decide on a Major?