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Financial Impacts of Earning Dual Credits During High School

Below is information regarding the potential financial impacts of earning dual credits from courses taken while in high school.


Taking courses for college credit during high school is an option for many students. In addition to preparing high school students for the rigor of college courses, dual credit may also allow students to arrive with some required courses already completed - which can help them graduate early, and save money on tuition, fees, and other expenses.

Students, families, and high school staff should be aware of how accumulating these dual credits could impact the financial aid students may be eligible to receive during college. Careful planning is required to ensure that this head start, and the changes to financial aid eligibility it may bring, do not present a roadblock later in a student's college career.

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Enrollment Requirements for Aid

Federal and state aid programs have various enrollment requirements. Many, including Title IV federal aid and West Virginia state aid, will only count courses toward the enrollment requirements for a student’s aid eligibility if they are degree-pursuant, meaning required for the student's degree completion.

If a student earns a large number of required college credits during high school, the student may be limited during some college semesters when it comes to available, degree-pursuant courses that count toward their aid eligibility.

When students at WVU enroll in courses after graduating from high school, they are reviewed for degree-pursuant coursework and aid eligibility through our Course Program of Study (CPoS) process. Both students and their advisors will be notified via their MIX email if a lack of degree-pursuant coursework puts the student's financial aid eligibility at risk, and they will be advised to make adjustments to the student's schedule if possible.

If a regular undergraduate student cannot reach full-time status with degree-pursuant courses during a semester — whether due to dual enrollment credits brought in from high school or other reasons — they will need to pursue other means of paying for the non-degree-pursuant courses. Institutional scholarships, external and private scholarships, private loans, and other funding options may be available and have various enrollment requirements. Recipients of West Virginia state aid have the option to submit a State Aid Appeal if they are enrolled in at least 6 credit hours and are unable to enroll in additional degree-pursuant credit hours in certain circumstances, such as no remaining degree-pursuant credit hours needed are offered for the semester. There is not an appeal process for the degree-pursuant coursework requirements for federal financial aid.

If a regular undergraduate student is enrolled on a full-time basis but not all courses are degree pursuant, the student will still be assessed tuition and fees as a full-time student, and they may have limited federal and state aid eligibility based on degree-pursuant coursework.

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What to Consider

  • Participants in the WVU High School ACCESS Early College Program should consider taking courses approved for dual enrollment credit by their high school and ones that satisfy a university’s general education requirement. WVU High School ACCESS Early College Program generally recommends that students consider courses that fulfill natural science and math requirements, which usually will fulfill a general education requirement for most majors.
  • Dual enrollment courses are recorded on college transcripts and can affect overall high school and college grade point average.
  • Before transferring dual enrollment credits from other institutions, you should work with your WVU High School ACCESS Early College Program Coordinator to ensure the courses satisfy a requirement.
  • Dual enrollment courses cannot be used to meet the credit hour requirement for institutional scholarship renewal purposes once enrolled at WVU, but the GPA is included in the overall GPA and can affect renewal.

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