Early College Programs Net Cost Savings for Students
More than 75 percent of K12’s managed schools that serve 11th and 12th graders offer early college programs. There are more are planned for the future.
These programs offer opportunities for advanced students to get a jump start on college credits while earning their high school diploma, netting thousands of dollars saved on college tuition.
While not all “Early College” programs are tuition-free, students and parents can still realize significant cost savings when pursuing advanced degrees. For instance, a course taken through a local community college may cost a fraction of what it would cost at a private four-year institution. Yet these course credits commonly transfer and represent a cost savings of hundreds of dollars per credit.
Here are some examples of programs within K12’s managed schools:
- Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) is an example of a school with a dual enrollment program. Students take at least one class, if not several, through a post-secondary institution in Georgia. Some students take courses at large, widely-known universities in Georgia, such as the University of Georgia. Some students take courses at post-secondary technical schools, where they ultimately may learn a trade or earn a certificate that is a marketable credential. At GCA, it is estimated that students have saved more $150,000 this calendar year by taking advantage of this program.
- In Utah, students are eligible to take entry level courses at Salt Lake Community College through a partnership between the college and Utah Virtual Academy (UTVA). Students are charged a nominal fee of $5 per credit.
- At the Washington Virtual Academy, students may pursue opportunities through a “Tech Prep” program or a “Running Start” program to earn credit at greatly reduced or no cost.
- At the Ohio Virtual Academy, students who successfully pass courses at Ohio community colleges and universities may earn up to 15 credits at no cost to the student.
Over time, we expect to see even more students accelerate their pursuit of college credit during their high school years as the universe of “Early College” opportunities continues to expand. As this happens, we look forward to helping our schools pursue such opportunities so that you, whether a student, or a parent, can realize all the benefits they provide.
Patrick (Pat) Keeney, Director of College and Career Planning for HS Product Management, is a career educator who has spent time in the classroom, consulting, launching a company, and with K12. Pat has also been a learning coach many years, and has seen the K12 experience from that perspective. Although he is presently in Product Management, Pat served for almost 7 years as part of the K12 Product Development group where he was the lead instructional designer on many high school math and science courses, and helped in designing games like X-germz. Prior to his time with K12, Pat was a consultant at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and founded an online education company. He also spent 17 years teaching in classrooms in Maryland and Pennsylvania, teaching high school mathematics and science, primarily physics. Pat’s interests range from basketball, a sport that he played and coached, to chess. He finds that games are more than time wasting activities but are one of the best ways that people learn about and simulate the world of experiences.