Guest Post, Online Learning, Sevenstar
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Why it Makes Sense to Encourage Students to Take Online Dual Credit Courses

affordGuest post by: John Pohlman, Partner Coach for Sevenstar

One of the primary objectives for writing this blog article is to help you, as Christian school leaders, educate and inform the families you serve so they can be good stewards of the financial resources that have been entrusted them.

Your online program (CSIonline Academy) provides students with over 200 dual credit course options at regionally accredited Christian colleges and universities that are priced at a fraction of the cost of what a student would pay if they registered for the course directly through the college.

Based on our research, the average higher education tuition for a 3 credit hour course can range between $960 with an in state public institution to $4,200 for a course at a private institution. Most of the 200 online dual credit courses offered through your online program cost $599 for a 3 credit course. As you can see, the savings range between $360-$3,600 per course! If a student took multiple dual credit courses beginning their junior year in high school, the college savings would add up quickly and be significant.

Online dual credits not only save families on the per course tuition but there is also a money savings by enabling students to shorten their time in college. Dual credit courses allow high school students to advance more quickly and graduate from college sooner and enter the workforce.

For example, if a student completed 10 dual credit courses over their junior and senior years, they would save between $3,600 and $36,000 off of their total college tuition! By quantifying the savings, it is our hope that parents will see the significant value and more students will be encouraged to take online dual credit courses.

The cost of higher education has jumped more than 13-fold in records dating to 1978. This is a staggering increase, especially when compared to increases in other areas like medical care, shelter, goods and services (CPI) and food. The graph below illustrates these increases.

Price Increases

Some estimates predict tuition to a 4-year public university in the year 2023 will reach over $145,000 or over $335,000 for a 4-year private university. The graph below illustrates the rate these costs are expected to grow through the year 2027.

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Tuition and required fee charges have risen significantly in many states, and some states have reduced their student financial aid programs. Many experts project an average of 7% increase per year.

The following link is to the College Board’s website: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/college-costs and can be used as a reference tool to estimate future college costs.

As the cost of going to college rises, those who attend will likely be saddled with debt that persists for decades. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York illustrates the grim reality for today’s college students: Outstanding student debt has surpassed credit card debt, and now stands at $870 billion. According to the study, the average student debt is $23,300.

Student loan debt makes college affordability a big issue and the problem affects students across the economic spectrum. Many students are graduating college saddled with debt that takes them years to pay off.

The student loan debt burden threatens to overwhelm younger Americans, who already are finding a tougher labor market compared with their older counterparts.

College affordability is a complex issue for students and their parents and finding realistic solutions can be challenging, however, online dual credit courses provide one solution that parents and students should strongly consider in making college more affordable!

In addition to being able to potentially save bundle of money, students can also save quite a bit of time by taking a number of core college courses that are also required for high school graduation, only once. Some students have acquired enough college credits to shave 2 years off of their time in college.

There are additional benefits to students that take dual credit courses. A recent study by the Community College Research Center shows that once in college, students who had taken dual enrollment courses received higher grade point averages (GPA) and persisted in completing a college credential at a rate greater than their peers. Unlike advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs, dual enrollment classes carry college credit and are not dependent on a particular score on a standardized testing instrument before a college will grant credit for the various courses taken in these programs.

In summary, the benefits to students who participate in the Dual Credit program are many:

  • Participating students and their parents save money by paying less than regular university tuition.
  • Students shorten the amount of time required to complete a college degree.
  • Students also find that online dual credit courses help them develop the skills needed to be successful in college such as following a syllabus, directions/procedures, meeting classroom and course requirements, conducting themselves appropriately, using self-discipline, improving and applying time management, higher-level critical thinking, and study skills.
  • The dual credit experience helps to ease the transition from high school to college by giving students an idea of what full time college coursework will be like. By trying out a few classes while still in high school, students can get used to the academic environment before he or she leaves the comfort and support of home.
  • College courses can give students a closer look at his or her area of academic interest. If a student currently loves AP history, a college course next year on the Civil War or the Great Depression will help him or her explore that period in greater depth and precision.
  • According to collegeboard.com, most students change their majors at least once. Taking a college class as a high school junior or senior can help students find their area of interest before the pressure is on to declare a major.
  • Enables students to get a significant head start on postsecondary core requirements and career goals while developing a college transcript while still in high school.
  • Extends the variety of classes available to high school students.
  • Builds student confidence and self-esteem while providing greater opportunity for coordinated, seamless education that serves as a “controlled” introduction to college life. Dual Credit courses allow students to better transition to the college life while still close to home.
  • Rigorous, challenging, and engaging pedagogy is a good way to keep seniors from taking “easy” electives and losing their academic “edge” (senioritis).

Now is the perfect time for you to encourage your students to take online dual credit courses. Any student that requests and pays for a dual credit course on or before 12/18/2014 will receive a 20% discount. The discount decreases to 10% after 12/18 and is effective until 1/29/2015.

How it Works:

Log into the student information system and order the course as normal. (Not registered to enroll students yet? Contact CSIonlineAcademy@csionline.org and we can register your member school.)

Please email us at winterspecial@sevenstar.org to have your order adjusted before paying. The discount can only be applied to eligible courses before your payment is made.

Please visit the following link for more information on Dual Credit courses: http://sevenstar.org/custom/dualcredit.php

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