Pros and Cons of Dual Enrollment: Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Earning College Credits in High School

Dual enrollment programs are becoming increasingly popular as high school students look for ways to earn college credits while still in high school. While there are many advantages to dual enrollment, there are also some disadvantages to consider.

Advantages of Dual Enrollment:

  1. College Credit: Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to earn college credits while still in high school. These credits can be transferred to a college or university, saving students time and money on their college education.
  2. Challenging Coursework: Dual enrollment courses are usually more challenging than high school courses, which can help students prepare for the rigor of college coursework. Dual enrollment courses can also help students develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for success in college and beyond.
  3. Increased Access: Dual enrollment programs can provide students with access to courses and resources that may not be available at their high school. Students can take courses at a local community college or university and benefit from the resources and facilities available on campus.
  4. Early Career Exploration: Dual enrollment programs can help students explore their career interests and gain experience in a specific field before entering college. This can help students make more informed decisions about their college major and career path.
  5. Cost: Dual enrollment is more affordable and, in some states, state grants cover a lot (if not all) of expenses charged. Tennessee students can take 30 hours of DE with Bryan College for less than $200 tuition (total), plus books. Out-of-state students receive a $200 scholarship per class.
  6. Time Management: Dual enrollment courses can be time-consuming, and students may struggle to balance their high school coursework, extracurricular activities, and college coursework, but the sooner they learn to handle this, the better and, answering to someone other than mom, provides accountability.

Disadvantages of Dual Enrollment:

  1. Not Taking the Classes Seriously: Students who are not careful to pass their classes with good grades may suffer by losing state grants, having to retake a failed class, or having a low GPA on their record.
  2. Faith Under Fire: Taking dual enrollment college classes on a secular campus can present certain challenges and potential dangers for a Christian high school student. One of the primary concerns is the clash of worldviews. Secular campuses often promote a perspective that may contradict or challenge the student’s Christian beliefs, exposing them to ideas and ideologies that could potentially erode their faith. Additionally, the college environment can be more liberal and permissive, with a greater emphasis on personal freedom and experimentation, which may lead to peer pressure or temptations that can steer the student away from their Christian values. It is important for the student to be prepared and equipped with a strong foundation in their faith and critical thinking skills to navigate these potential pitfalls and stay true to their beliefs amidst the secular influences. Regular communication and support from their Christian community and mentors can also play a vital role in helping them navigate these challenges successfully.
  3. Earning Useless Credits: There is a significant risk associated with taking too many dual enrollment classes that may not transfer to a student’s desired college or university. While these classes provide an opportunity for high school students to earn college credit and get a head start on their education, it is crucial to carefully consider the transferability of these credits. If the chosen institution does not accept the credits or has strict limitations on transferable courses, the student may find themselves retaking classes they thought they had already completed. This can result in wasted time, effort, and financial resources. Therefore, it is essential for students to thoroughly research and consult with academic advisors to ensure that the dual enrollment courses they take align with their future educational goals and the transfer policies of their desired institutions. (The same holds true for CLEP credits.)

Dual enrollment programs offer many advantages, including college credit, challenging coursework, increased access, and early career exploration. However, there are some disadvantages to consider as well. It’s important for students and their families to carefully consider the pros and cons of dual enrollment before deciding whether or not to participate. To find out more about the online dual enrollment opportunities at Bryan College, send an email to Be sure to let them know if you live in Tennessee or out-of-state.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s