Earning college credit in high school helps students learn time management skills, earn scholarships for college, explore specific fields of study in depth, make room for diverse experiences and save money.
In high school, students should begin thinking about their future college goals. College credit can be earned through advanced placement courses, dual-credit programs, and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exams.
St. Lawrence Seminary High School believes that this is one of the most resourceful things a student can do — and here’s why.
1. Learn Time-Management Skills
Time management is one of the most versatile skills students entering college will need to learn. Although you are not in classes all day long, balancing studying, a social life, and going to class can be a challenge. Taking college courses in high school can help teach students time management before they enter college full time. Taking advanced courses, while balancing extracurriculars, academics, home responsibilities and a social life is not an easy skill. With the guidance of parents, relatives and teachers, students are able to learn time management skills at a more manageable pace.
Taking a college course in high school gives students the freedom to figure out how to effectively manage their workload in a way that best fits them. Entering college will be a lot less intimidating if you already have a few classes in the bag and know what to expect from the workload!
2. Earn Scholarships for College
Not only will college-level courses in high school prepare you academically, they will also improve your college application. Colleges take note of those students who have already completed some college-level courses because it shows initiative, ability, and intellect. College-level courses taken in high school often have more weight on a student’s overall GPA, which helps boost a student’s GPA. Similarly, seeing those courses will show college admissions professionals your motivation and will distinguish you from the other applicants.
Maintaining good grades throughout high school, specifically in advanced classes, will increase your chance of obtaining scholarships based on academic merit. Colleges give out academic scholarships based on a student’s GPA. Many colleges look at applicants as a whole, considering athletic performance, extracurricular activity, volunteerism, and academic performance. So, keep in mind that academic performance and advanced coursework are only one spoke in the wheel of college applications. However, academics can be a leg up over other students who have not completed college work in high school.
3. Explore Specific Fields of Study in Depth
Advanced Placement and other college-level courses give students the opportunity to learn about the different fields of study that are available to them. Here at St. Lawrence Seminary High School, there are college-level courses available in Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, Literary Genres, World Literature and Theology.
Many other schools, both public and private, boarding and non-boarding, offer a wide variety of college-level courses. From statistics to psychology, students can pick the courses they feel most enthusiastic about or those they believe will help advance them in their future college endeavors. After completing a course, a student will have a better understanding of the topic and an ability to develop their own thoughts and opinions. They can then decide whether they want to delve deeper into the subject once they enter college full time or if they want to try something different.
4. Make Room for Diverse Experiences
Entering college already having a few credits under your belt will make a difference in your schedule and will allow you the freedom to try things you otherwise would not be able to. Take this opportunity to consider what else you can do to make your college experience even more exciting and diverse.
Having a more open schedule allows students to consider experiences like studying abroad, taking up a second major, having an internship earlier on or even taking additional courses that may not relate to your major but that do interest you. While all these things can be done without any additional college-level credits earned in high school, they can come with much less stress with even a class or two already complete. Having those extra credits while studying abroad will allow you to spend more time traveling and experiencing the culture of your host country. If you are considering a double major, those extra credits may allow you to complete a double major within four years.
5. Save Money
Start early and save more! While earning college credits in high school does cost money, it is much more cost-effective in the long run. Taking several college-level classes ahead of time can save you thousands of dollars in college credits.
College, as you know, is expensive, so going in with a few classes — even a semester of classes already completed — will save you money!
St. Lawrence strongly believes in the concept of college preparation and our academic curriculum strongly reflects that fact. St. Lawrence has partnered with Marian University of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and Cardinal Stritch University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in order to provide students with the option to take college-level courses while in high school. The courses are taken on the SLS campus and are taught by St. Lawrence staff. Our staff have worked with the administrators of Marian University and Cardinal Stritch University to create curricula that strongly resembles the courses offered on their campuses.
While students do not pay an additional cost for the class to St. Lawrence Seminary High School, they are subject to pay a discounted per-credit fee directly to Marian University or Cardinal Stritch University. After successful completion of a course, the university issues a college transcript for the course.
Taking college credit in high school provides students with advantages they can use throughout their college experience.
For more information about St. Lawrence Seminary and the benefits of a Catholic education, download our FREE Parent's Guide.
St. Lawrence Seminary is an all boys Catholic boarding school located in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin. We welcome students from Minnesota, Illinois and across the United States. Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the example of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Lawrence Seminary provides a residential college preparatory education in a living Catholic community nurturing mature, well-rounded men of faith. See if St. Lawrence is right for you and your son.