Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dual Enrollment in Tennessee for Homeschoolers

This post is of a more practical nature. Despite the plethora of homeschooling support sites, I found myself confused and unsupported when I sought to dual enroll my oldest at a local university. Dual enrollment is a program where high school students, usually juniors and seniors take college course work and get credit for both high school and college at the same time. Ideally, you should begin this process in tenth grade if you want to maximize the dual enrollment courses he/she will take.

So without further ado, here is what you do:

Step 1: Identification

You will need a Photo ID OR a notarized identification form if your child has not yet gotten their Driver's Licence or Permit. FYI: You have to contact your umbrella school to get the proof of attendance to obtain the Driver's Permit as well as study to pass the written test.

Step 2: Testing

Take the ACT. You cannot take the ACT without Photo ID, hence Step 1.
Make sure you list the college you plan to dual enroll at when you register for the ACT. You can choose up to four. This will ensure that your child's score gets sent directly to the college, which is important in the admission process.

Protip: Put your umbrella school's information on a card for your kid to keep in their purse or wallet. They are going to need it when they bubble in their personal info. This would include the school's name, physical address, and all important test number. Check your umbrella school's website to obtain this info. Your kid will need this throughout the rest of high school for the PSAT, more ACT's, Advanced Placement tests, etc.

Protip: Remember you don't have to get the highest score at this stage, just high enough to get through Step 3. Most kids won't have had all the algebra that will be on the ACT. However, check out crackACT for practice tests.

Step 3: Choosing the Right College

Evaluate your choices based on your child's score. Your kid will have to score high enough to meet the minimum standards of admission for the college you plan on dual enrolling at.

Community colleges (Vol State, Motlow State, Pellissippi State, etc.) need a 19. They will sometimes consider a 19 in the sub score area good enough.

Cumberland University requires a 21.

Middle Tennessee State requires a 22.

Tennessee Tech requires a 20.

Bryan University only requires a 3.0 GPA, so that may be one way to circumvent the ACT step.

Check out your local college's website for more details.

Some offer online classes, which can be a big help when you have transportation limitations.

Step 4: Apply to the College

Apply to the college, which will require you to contact your umbrella school for an official high school transcript. Your child might have to write an essay.

Step 5: Approval from your Umbrella School or LEA

Contact your umbrella school to see what forms they might require for the college course to count towards high school credit to square that end of it away.

Step 6: Hope Scholarship Grant

Apply for the Hope Scholarship Dual Enrollment Grant. Your child can take up to 24 hours in their last two years of high school. The Dual Enrollment Grant pays as follows:
The award amounts at eligible two-year institutions and four-year institutions will be as follows:
  • Up to $500 – Course #1
  • Up to $500 – Course #2
  • Up to $200 – Course #3
  • No award – Course #4
  • Up to $100 per credit hour – Course #5
  • Up to $100 per credit hour – Course #6
  • Up to $100 per credit hour – Course #7
  • Up to $100 per credit hour – Course #8
It comes out to about $1200/year.  I ended up paying out of pocket around $800/year, with my child taking four courses a year. That averaged out to only $200 per three hour class. When you compare that to what some of these tutorials are charging, it is a steal! But notice that the grant is front loaded so you won't pay much (if any) out of pocket if you just want to try it out and take only one class per semester. Colleges vary in how much they charge for a three hour dual enrollment class, but the one we attended charged $500 per class.

NOTE: They will take the Hope Scholarship money out of your child's freshman year award at college.  "Students who receive the Dual Enrollment Grant amount for more than four (4) dual enrollment courses over the junior and senior years will have the amount reduced from their Tennessee HOPE Scholarship on a dollar for dollar basis."

But in the scheme of things, we found the 23 hours of college credit  she earned before she formally started college to be much more valuable than the measly $1600 bucks. Through scholarships and grants, she still had all her expenses paid. 

FYI: You have to maintain a 2.75 GPA to keep receiving the Hope Grant.

Step 7: Choosing and Registering for Classes

Register for classes. You want to choose classes that are part of the General Education Core that practically every college kid in Tennessee will have to take. Safe bets are Speech/Communication, English, American History, Intro to Art/Music/Drama, Psychology, Sociology, etc.

Note: If your kid scores high enough on the ACT English subtest, the college may take that in lieu of credit. My daughter tested out of Freshman English on account of her high subtest score.

Step 8: Keep up with College Deadlines

Make sure you put it on your calendar to register for the next semester. You will possibly need to submit dual enrollment forms to your umbrella school and get approval. The dates can really sneak up on you, so it's good to go ahead and make a note.


So to summarize, you need and ACT and high school transcript for college admission, then you need the umbrella school's approval for the courses you've chosen, then you may register those classes, and in the mean time, applied for the Hope Scholarship to defray costs.

It was a great experience for my daughter, who gained tremendous confidence from it. Her professors were encouraging and she knew that she was well-prepared.

I hope this has been helpful to someone out there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails