Begin college prior to high school graduation

Published 11:19 pm Saturday, July 28, 2012

Did you know that high school students can get a jump start on their college education by enrolling in college level courses at Pearl River Community College (PRCC), while still in high school. Commonly referred to as dual enrollment, earning college credit while in high school can be achieved in different ways and offers several benefits to high school students.

Before discussing the benefits, let me highlight the various opportunities that exist for students. Students at Picayune Memorial High School enrolled in World Civilizations 1 or 2 can also dual enroll in each class and earn college at PRCC. The same opportunity exists at Pearl River Central High School for students enrolled in English Composition 1.

So while taking a required high school class, the student can earn college credit. Makes a lot of sense to, pardon the colloquialism, “kill two birds with one stone.” The fee for this is only $25 and the student must purchase, or rent, the text book. Students should see their high school counselor for more information.

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Another way to take college level courses while in high school is to do so over the World Wide Web. PRCC offers an ever growing list of online courses. Enrollment in these courses continues to explode as well. Students, again, should visit with their high school counselor before engaging in online course study. PRCC allows students to take one online course per semester at minimal costs. As I have written in this column on a few occasions about the rising costs of a college education, any way to curtail the expense will benefit students, and parents, as they seek out ways to finance a college degree. Contact Ms Cindy Wells at PRCC to learn more; or 601-403-1374.

Finally high school students can enroll in on-campus courses as their schedule allows. While these classes come at full costs, the opportunity to get a jump start on a college degree can pay off in the end. Students can learn more at

The benefits are aplenty. Of course, the aforementioned cost savings are obvious. Researchers have found that dual enrollment courses ease that difficult transition from high school to college. Other researchers have shown evidence that students that dual enroll and begin college level work while in high school go on to actually complete college at a higher rate than those that do not participate in dual enrollment classes. Of course taking this route will take time and energy on the students part, the end result of earning a college degree faster and cheaper is the reward.