Each year high school students excitedly graduate with the hopes of continuing their academic careers. With this excitement comes a great deal of worry as these students and their families struggle to afford the rising cost of college. However, in many school systems across the country, dual enrollment opportunities allow students to take courses at local community colleges, enabling them to earn college credit while still in high school. Whether the goal is a workforce credential or a college degree, high school students and their families can save both money and their time though a well-oiled system of dual enrollment.

Often little known by parents and students, dual enrollment carves a pathway containing or reducing future college debt. In fact, in the state of Maryland, a newly minted Blueprint for Education allows high school students across the state to complete as many as 60 credits at no cost, completing an associate degree at the same time they receive their high school diploma. At CCBC this past June, 22 BCPS students finished with both a diploma and an associates degree.

Students in Baltimore County can tap into CCBC’s Early College Access Partnership with the Baltimore County Public School System. Free tuition, fees and books make it possible for BCPS students to take as many college courses as they can handle. Last year, 4800 students took advantage of this special arrangement with the likelihood that that number will nearly double this year. I am happy to share this Fox 45 news clip, “Students can get ahead and earn their Associates degree while in high school,” describing this wonderful opportunity for talented high school students to get a jump start on a college education!