Students intending to participate in the third year of College Credit Plus, the program that provides Ohio students with the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school, can begin the notification process now, and they have until April 1, 2017 to declare for the 2017-2018 school year. College Credit Plus debuted at the start of the 2015-2016 school year, with more than 52,000 students participating and getting a jump start on college, saving more than $120 million in college tuition costs.
“I think the biggest benefit for the student is, they can get college credits while they’re still in high school or even middle school, and it doesn’t cost their parents anything,” Glenna Heckler-Todt of the Student Success Center at Shawnee State University said. “So it helps alleviate the cost, especially for a lot of our local students who maybe don’t have the means for family contribution to go to college.”
Heckler-Todt said there is an additional benefit.
“For some of our local gifted students, it gives them a way to academically challenge themselves,” Heckler-Todt said.
College Credit Plus provides students with the opportunity to take college classes offered by any Ohio public college or university, or from any participating private postsecondary institution, at their high school, on the college or university campus, or online. The program allows students to explore college interests sooner and to earn college credits toward a degree before graduating from high school. It is free to families when students take courses offered by Ohio public colleges and universities.
As of Wednesday, public high school students may notify their principal of their interest to participate and must declare their intent to participate by April 1. This includes students who participated in the first and/or second year of College Credit Plus. The application window for nonpublic and homeschool students opens Feb. 20 and closes April 15; those students may send their letter of intent to participate to the Ohio Department of Education, 25 S. Front St., Columbus, OH 43215.
In an effort to give more students and families the opportunity to save on the cost of college, College Credit Plus now includes a summer term. Credits earned by taking courses through College Credit Plus during a summer term will be applied to students’ high school and college transcripts during the fall. Students and parents should check the summer term registration deadline for the college or university from which the student intends to take courses.
“We have a dedicated advisor for College Credit Plus. Her name is Brittany Corsaro,” Heckler-Todt said. “Brittany works very closely with the guidance counselors because the student’s first resource is their guidance counselor because the most important thing is to make sure they fulfill all of their high school credits so they graduate. Then Brittany confers with the student and their guidance counselor to make sure that they get all their high school credits fulfilled. Beyond that, whatever the student’s educational goal is, they can pretty much take whatever classes they want to.”
“I encourage parents and students to talk about the opportunity College Credit Plus provides and how it fits into their academic plans. The exploration should include talking to their guidance counselor and determining whether they are academically and socially ready,” Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey said. “College affordability has been and continues to be a priority for the Kasich Administration, and College Credit Plus has been a big part of creating lower-cost pathways to help students get a certificate or degree for their careers.”
For additional information on College Credit Plus, visit www.ohiohighered.org/ccp.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.