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Dual Enrollment and Dual-Credit Programs

Dual Enrollment and Dual-Credit Programs

In 2010–11, approximately 2 million students were taking dual enrollment courses. Eighty-two percent of high schools reported having dually enrolled students. Seventy-six percent of schools reported that students took dual enrollment courses with an academic focus, and 46 percent reported that students took dual enrollment courses with a career or technical-vocational focus.

Among students who started ninth grade in 2009, 34 percent ever took a dual enrollment course. White and Asian students were more likely to take dual enrollment courses than Black and Hispanic students.

Former dual enrollment students represented 19 percent of first-time-in-college, degree-seeking students who started college in fall 2013: 15 percent of the cohort at community colleges, 22 percent at public four-year colleges, and 17 percent at private nonprofit colleges.

According the to most recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics, 69 percent of high schools reported enrollments in AP or IB courses, with a total of about 3.5 million enrollments.

The number of AP exam-takers increased from 1.6 million in 2007–08 to 2.8 million in 2017–18.

According to the National Center of Education Statistics, 63 percent of high schools that offer dual enrollment courses have requirements that students must meet in order to enroll.

CCRC has conducted studies in Florida, New York City, and California that showed that dual enrollment participation is positively related to a range of college outcomes, including enrollment and persistence, credit accumulation, and GPA. The What Works Clearinghouse found that dual enrollment programs have positive effects on degree attainment, college access and enrollment, credit accumulation, and other outcomes. 

A CCRC study that tracked 200,000 high school students who first took a community college course in fall 2010 found that 88 percent of the students continued in college after high school. Nearly half first attended a community college after high school and 41 percent attended a four-year college. Among former dual enrollment students who started at a community college after high school, 46 percent earned a college credential within five years.

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Visit CAPSEE's website for a graphical introduction to for-profit colleges, financial aid, and college graduate earnings.