Ohio High School Students
Did you know your child can earn college credit for free during high school? Ohio offers excellent opportunities for high school students to get a jumpstart on their college degree at no cost!
There are four options for high school students to consider:College Tech Prep
can Earn College Credit for Free!
, Early College High Schools
, Advanced Placement (AP) Classes
, and Post-Secondary Enrollment Option
College Tech Prep
“If students can get a technical skill and combine that with a strong,
related academic curriculum, they get the best of both worlds.” –Jim Rarric
College Tech Prep focuses on the fastest-growing technology career areas, while also preparing students for a two-year or four-year college degree for free except for the cost of books. Students can get a head start on a college degree and job certification in a high-skill, high-tech career. Click here for a list of the Career Fields. Program options vary by school district.
Students usually start taking Tech Prep classes in 11th grade, but there may be earlier options in your area. Program registration usually begins in the second semester of 10th grade. Every College Tech Prep Program of Study links directly to a degree or certificate program at a partner college. Visit Ohio College Tech Prep for more information.
Early College High Schools
“The tuition-free early college high school helps my family financially,
Early College High Schools focus on getting students ready for college. Students can graduate from high school their diploma AND a two-year college degree at no cost. The only possible costs could come from transportation if the school doesn’t provide bus service.
while allowing me to take control of my own future.” – Brittany Price
Most applications are due in the winter of the student’s 8th grade year. So, start planning during middle school. Any student can apply. Students whose parents didn’t attend college are especially invited to apply. Each school has its own focus and style. Click here for a full list of all the Early College High Schools in Ohio and more detailed information.
Advanced Placement (AP) Classes
“The Advanced Placement courses I took saved me and my family time and money.
By earning college credit in high school, I was able to graduate from
Ohio State in three years instead of four.” – David Haskell
Advanced Placement classes are high-level high school classes that can count for college credit if a student passes a test at the end of the class. In general, all high school students are eligible. However, each school can set its own eligibility requirements. Students apply for AP courses at the same time they develop their class schedule each year.
After finishing an AP class, students take an exam to receive college credit. Public colleges in Ohio will grant free college credit to students who earn a score of 3 or more of 5 possible points on the exam. AP classes are free. To take the exam for college credit, the cost is $86. For more information on AP courses, click here
Post Secondary Enrollment Option
I attended a local community college during high school for a year. I am getting ready to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in psychology and am very thankful to have been able to use that year to really seek out my calling and not have to pay a penny for it.”
– Katie Webb
Ohio’s Post Secondary Enrollment Option allows students to take college classes – on campus or online – and receive both college and high school credit at no cost aside from possible transportation expenses. But, even those can be reimbursed in some cases.
Students in grades 9-12 are eligible. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher in the subject of the college course they want to take are eligible. Students can take the courses during the school year or even in the summer months, including day, evening and weekend classes.
College credit can often be transferred to a different college after high school graduation. The deadline for next school year has already passed, but talk to your child’s guidance counselor to learn the deadlines for the following school year.
Interested in learning more about Ohio’s college jumpstart options? Have any questions?
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