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High School Dual Enrollment

  • Young student attends class at NOVA

Studies show that students who acquire college credits while in high school are more likely to graduate and continue their education beyond high school.

What is dual enrollment?

Dual enrollment is an enrichment opportunity that allows qualified high school students to take college courses through NOVA, earn college credit and possibly receive high school credit for these courses. You may take dual enrolled classes on-campus, online or in your high school if your high school offers the college course you desire. Always talk with your high school counselor before moving forward with dual enrollment options.

Why take dual enrollment courses?

Studies show that students who acquire college credits while in high school are more likely to graduate and continue their education beyond high school. Taking dual enrollment classes allows you to progress towards both your high school and post-secondary education goals at the same time. If you choose carefully, courses might eliminate duplication of coursework you need for both high school and college. You can reduce the time and cost of a post-secondary education by taking some courses through a community college allowing you to complete your post secondary education on time, and possibly sooner. You will gain confidence in your ability to do college work and it will probably be easier to start classes on a college campus when you graduate from high school.

Is dual enrollment right for everyone?

Dual enrollment is an opportunity to take challenging courses and begin a college education. Dual enrollment courses become a part of your permanent college transcript, so it's important that you commit to the extra work a college course may require. You will be expected to participate in classroom discussions and activities as they will be part of the college grade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Students must be high school juniors or seniors or the home-schooled equivalent. You must have the support of your parents, principal and high school counselor who verify that you are ready for college-level work. You must also obtain a qualifying score on the college English placement test or have a score of 550 or higher on the Critical Reading section of the SAT. 

There are two types of dual enrollment students:

  • DUAL CREDIT STUDENTS are high school students enrolled in college credit classes who receive both college credit and credit toward their high school graduation requirements. Classes may be taken on a college campus or at their high school if the course is offered there.
  • CONCURRENTLY ENROLLED STUDENTS are high school or home schooled students enrolled in college credit classes. However, these students only receive college credit for the classes and must take the classes on a NOVA campus.
Which classes can students take?
NOVA offers a variety of courses. Popular courses include English composition, biology, U.S. government, pre-calculus and chemistry. Many students take courses not offered at their school like advanced math, science or a foreign language. If you are interested in a career skill, you can choose courses in fields such as automotive technology, culinary arts, information technology or allied health. Dual enrolled students must take credit bearing courses, not ESL classes, developmental math or English classes, or physical education classes.
What if I have an IEP at my high school?
High school juniors and seniors with special needs or disabilities may participate if they earn qualifying scores on the placement tests, and are able to participate and achieve in class without modification of course work. For more information regarding students with disabilities visit the Disability Services website.
Is financial aid available for dual enrollment students?
No. College-based financial aid is not available for high school students.
Can I transfer my credits to a four-year college or university?
As with other courses taken at NOVA, many credits earned through dual enrollment typically transfer to four-year colleges and universities. However, some courses are not designed to transfer. Colleges and universities have specific policies regarding acceptance of transfer credits. You should contact the college or university you are considering to discuss the transferability of dual enrollment courses, or talk to a counselor at NOVA for more information.
Do you know about Virginia's Guarantee Transfer Program?
NOVA graduates who earn an associate of science or associate of arts degree, and who meet criteria specified by each senior institution, are guaranteed admission to more than 40 area colleges and universities including schools like George Mason University, Virginia Tech and the College of William and Mary!