College is a major decision for everyone. Choosing a career path is an exciting time in your life, but what happens if your passions are pulling you in two different directions? Can you be enrolled in two colleges at once?
Can I Go to Two Colleges at The Same Time?
Yes, you can. In fact, many students choose to attend two colleges at the same time. For example, it’s not uncommon for students to:
Attend a traditional four-year college
Attend a community college
Community college is often much more affordable than a four-year option, so students will take classes in the summer at a community college. Summer classes empower you to graduate a semester or two earlier – or more.
Factors to Consider When Enrolling in Two Colleges at Once
Can you be enrolled in two colleges at once? Of course. Colleges want your tuition fees, and anyone is free to take classes if they meet the school’s entry requirements. However, there are a few things to consider before making the commitment:
Credit transfers. Do you want to transfer credits from one school to another? For example, if you take summer classes at a community college, you need to ensure that these credits will transfer. You’ll want to verify that the credits will transfer with the school’s admissions office. Additionally, you may need to fill out a few forms.
Community college agreements. If you’re taking additional classes at a second school, consider any agreements that your main school offers. Many schools partner with community colleges to make it easy to transfer credits.
Choosing the right classes matters. You should choose the right courses to take at your second college. Typically, it’s safe to take general education courses at a second school. It’s best to avoid taking any degree-specific classes at your other school.
Financial aid and scholarships. Paying for your schooling may be complicated because of dual enrollment. You should speak to the financial aid staff at your school to see how they can help. Sometimes, a “consortium agreement” allows financial aid or scholarships from the four-year school to be distributed to your second school.
Online and in-person classes. Dual enrollment opens up opportunities to attend your courses the way that you prefer. For example, you can attend one school’s online classes and go to the other school for in-person courses, which need a more hands-on approach to learning.
Overload is possible. As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to dual enrollment. However, one downside is that you may become overloaded by taking on more classes. If you work full-time or can barely handle a full-time course load, you may quickly become overloaded, leading to bad grades.
Continuity may suffer. If you take Calculus 1 at one school and Calculus 2 at another school, it’s possible that continuity will suffer. Schools build curricula in such a way that when you go to the next course level, it’s a seamless experience. Going to different schools for both classes may lead to difficulty when entering the new class. You may not know the material necessary for the class because you’ve taken the course at a different school.
Most students who enter into dual enrollment programs do so for a few reasons.
First, students can save a lot of money by taking their general education courses at a community college. Often, community college courses are 50% to 90% cheaper than a university.
Exiting your degree program with less debt is a great option for students.
And the second reason to dual enroll is to graduate faster. If you attend two semesters per year at a university and attend for the summer semester at a community college, you can graduate a year or more faster.
Graduating faster means:
Entering your career earlier
Saving money on your degree
One crucial step to take is to ensure that you track your dual enrollment progress adequately. Tracking requires you to have strong communication with your advisors and to track your credits. The key is to ensure every credit transfers seamlessly so that you’re not taking classes that won’t count towards your degree program.
To successfully enter dual enrollment, you need to stay organized and ensure that you can handle the additional coursework.