Dual Credit Offers Cost-Saving Options to Rising Tuition Costs

Published on: April 09, 2009

Father of four Kerry Woodson knew that paying the rising cost of college tuition for his family would be a challenge. Fortunately, he had heard about Lone Star College's exceptional admissions program, where high school age students can earn both high school and college credit by completing college-level courses through the school's dual credit agreement.

"So far, I have saved about $15,000 in tuition," said Woodson, whose two oldest daughters earned more than 70 college credit hours in the program. Amber, the first to graduate, acquired enough hours to enter Southwestern University as a sophomore. The extra time she saved gave her a chance to travel abroad before committing to a masters' program at Yale.

Lone Star College has been offering college credit to high school juniors and seniors ready for college-level instruction for nearly a decade. The success stories are many. Here are just a few:

Briana Woodson, a home school student, followed her older sister's example and earned 26 hours in dual credit, taking many of her core requirement classes early. She is currently working and taking classes at the Kingwood Lone Star campus with plans to transfer to Southwestern in the fall. Her sister, Kayla, is now enrolled in dual credit with the college and yet another sibling will soon be following suit.

Amanda Mitchell, now a 22-year-old law school student and high school teacher, earned 73 hours of dual college credit, graduating with honors with an Associate of Arts degree from Lone Star College, Kingwood three weeks before graduating as valedictorian from Splendora High School. She went on to attend Baylor College, entering as a junior.

Brittany Trice's experience with dual credit was motivational and a perfect way for her to save money. She is completing her degree sooner and with a better understanding of the college experience. 

Bethany Pollack saved a year's worth of tuition, room and board with dual credit and is now at the University of Texas at Austin. Dual credit from her advanced placement and foreign language classes gave her a head start in completing the UT requirements for her journalism degree.

Students who qualify for the dual credit program may also elect to earn college credit only. Other benefits include access to college services including library, free tutoring, campus events, free e-mail account and more; increased self-confidence from college success; ease of transition to college and development of good study habits; opportunity for career exploration; and additional savings in transportation, living, and textbook costs.

Transferability
Most four-year colleges and universities accept dual credit courses and "sophomore standing" may be granted. For specific course transfer information, contact your high school counselor, visit the Lone Star College Web site or consult the 4-year institution where you would like to transfer.

Costs
Fifty percent of in-district tuition costs will be waived for dual credit students. Students are responsible for the balance of the tuition and all the books and fees associated with their courses. As a high school student, you may qualify for financial aid for college courses beyond the tuition reduction. Please contact the financial aid office at the campus you plan to attend for more information and required forms.

Requirements
To enroll, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Currently attending high school (public, private or home school) classified as a junior or senior.
  • Have college placement scores on the THEA, ASSET or COMPASS test, or earn exemption with SAT/ACT and TAKS scores (English Language and Arts & Written Composition Rating).
  • Have approval from parent or guardian and a high school counselor.
  • High school students in the Dual Credit program must complete each college course attempted with a grade of "C" or better in or order to continue enrollment in current and future courses.
  • Students enrolled in Dual Credit may be ineligible for UIL competition. Consult your high school counselor for specific UIL requirements.
  • Meet with your high school counselor to determine your eligibility and the courses you should take.
  • Complete assessment testing - those ineligible on one or more sections of the test may retest.
  • Complete an admission application and the dual credit student orientation.

For more information about the Lone Star College Dual Credit Program, contact your high school counselor or visit http://kingwood.lonestar.edu/27687/.

Register today for May Mini-term (May 11-29), Summer Term I (June 1-July 7), Summer Term II (July 9-Aug. 13) and Fall (Aug. 24-Dec. 13). Students can register in one of three ways: phone, online or on campus.  Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. Current students can register by telephone at 281-519-6625. Former and current students can register online at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu/registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281-312-1600 or visit our Web site at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu.

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and the Lone Star College-University Center. With over 50,000 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas.