Dual Enrollment Offers High School Students Substantial Savings and Accelerated Degree Attainment
(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA)— Delaware County Community College’s Dual Enrollment program has more than quadrupled in size over the last two years, and the College is taking further steps to get the word out about this unique program, which offers substantial savings to students. Through Dual Enrollment, qualified high school students can earn college credits while still in high school at a discounted rate of up to 70 percent off the College’s normal tuition and fees.
“It is a wonderful way for students to receive an affordable head-start on their college education, and the credits are transferable to four-year colleges and universities,” said College President Dr. Jerry Parker.
Dual Enrollment participation has grown from 266 students in November 2013 to more than 1,300 students today. Program eligibility is based on a student’s potential for success, which includes demonstrated academic ability and motivation. Qualified students from the College’s sponsoring school districts pay only $40 per credit, versus the normal $146 a credit with fees. (Sponsoring districts contribute to the College; residents from these districts receive a reduced tuition rate). Non-sponsoring school district students pay only $80 per credit, vs. the normal $254 a credit with fees. Courses are at most of the College’s nine locations. Fees are waived.
Starting this summer, the College also will offer Dual Enrollment courses online through its new “PowerUp” online-only summer session, June 15 through August 17. Registration begins April 13 and ends June 12. For more information, see www.dccc.edu/powerup.
Students and parents from a variety of economic backgrounds praise the College’s Dual Enrollment program (see below). Although the College takes a financial loss on the front-end because of the substantial tuition discount afforded students, the College realizes that Dual Enrollment is beneficial to residents and that some of the program’s costs may be offset if a student decides to enroll at the College.
Previously, Pennsylvania funded dual enrollment programs throughout the Commonwealth, but the state eliminated funding in Fiscal Year 2011-2012.
Below are brief biographies that describe some of the students who have benefitted from Delaware County Community College’s Dual Enrollment program:
- Nicholas Wu (of Chester Springs) – A junior at Downingtown East High School, Nicholas Wu, age 16, enrolled in the College’s Dual Enrollment program not so much for the cost savings, but for the academic challenge of taking college-level courses. Wu, who completed senior-level high school mathematics in his freshman year of high school, is now taking courses, such as Linear Algebra and Calculus, at the College’s Downingtown Campus, so that he can dive right into higher-level courses when he enters the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall. “I took the courses for their educational value so when I go to MIT, I can take higher-level courses,” Wu said.
- Amber Ott (of Norwood) – Interboro High School senior and single mother Amber Ott, 17, will have earned 21 college credits at the College by this summer, while saving more than $2,000 on college tuition. Ott already was accepted into the College’s Nursing program, and, thanks to Dual Enrollment, she will start the College this fall with one year of general education course work already completed. Ott works at a fast food restaurant, lives at home, and is driven by a desire to take care of her 2-year-old son. “I have a son at home. It’s not like I am a regular high school student,” she said. Her mother, Ruth Ott, says the College’s dual enrollment program has worked so well for Amber that now her 15-year-old daughter, Sara, is considering enrolling in the program.
- Jonathan Bronner (of Yeadon) – Next year, when Jonathan Bronner, 17, graduates from the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, he hopes to have also earned an associate degree, majoring in Computer-Aided Design, from Delaware County Community College. Thanks to Dual Enrollment, he is earning College credits while still in high school and has saved more than $1,000 off the College’s regular tuition and fees. Bronner, who also takes business courses twice a week at The Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia, wants to be an architect. After earning his associate degree, he would like to transfer his credits to Cornell, Princeton, or Temple Universities. “It’s really great because the credits are transferable to other colleges,” said Pauline Bronner, his mother, who last January enrolled at the College as a Business Administration major and hopes to open a real estate sales business.
- Ellie Hostetter (of Oxford) – When Ellie Hostetter, 18, graduates from Oxford High School this year, she will have shaved a full year off her Harcum College Dental Hygiene course requirements. By first earning 30 credits through Delaware County Community College’s Dual Enrollment program, Hostetter significantly reduced the time and the cost of earning a bachelor degree from Harcum. Having completed all of her general education credits at Delaware County’s Pennocks Bridge and Downingtown Campuses, she will be able to complete Harcum in two years, instead of the normal three years for the Dental Hygiene program. Hostetter works at a fast food restaurant and used her personal savings to pay the Dual Enrollment tuition. “You literally get a head start, and you save a lot of money,” she said. Her mother, Judy Hostetter, also is pleased. “She set it up. She knew all the courses she wanted to take,” her mother said, adding that now her 16-year-old daughter, Brooke, is also looking into enrolling in the Dual Enrollment program.
(Note: If you would like to interview any of the College’s Dual Enrollment students mentioned above, please contact Anthony Twyman at 610-325-2816.)