Natalie Bergeron

School Counselor Georgia Mounce discusses dual enrollment with digital media senior Vanessa Ritota.

High school is often seen as one of the most stressful and competitive times in a person’s life. Students are constantly worried about what they are going to do with their lives and what colleges they want to go to. Many students who want to get ahead with their grades look for additional options to boost their grade point averages ( and honors point averages .  At Dreyfoos, if you’re not playing on the football team, you’ve probably considered dual enrollment.

According to the Florida Department of Education, each year, more than 60,000 students participate in Florida’s dual enrollment program, and the number is continuing to grow. With  increased competition to get into college, students in schools across the nation, are seeking additional credits.

So with such a large number of participants, it seems sensible to join the bandwagon, right?  Not necessarily. Keep in mind that if  one chooses to dual enroll,  it is an addition  an already hefty schedule that will require  more time and effort outside of school hours. Even though the FDE provides simple classes such as Slot Machine Attendant, they don’t look as impressive to colleges.

As long as you have the time and are willing to put in the work, dual enrollment can be a great opportunity for students to bump up both their GPAs and their HPAs.

“I chose to dual enroll because I knew that getting ahead of the curve and improving my college resume would give me a better chance of making it into the college of my choice,” communications sophomore Hunter Goodman said. “It seemed like the right time to start.”

Though Goodman is using dual enrollment to improve his college resume, it’s not the only reason to take on an extra class.

According to the Community College Research Center, dual enrollment has the added benefit of potentially reducing the cost of college by providing low or no cost college credits, saving you money further down the path. This is one of the most important factors of dual enrolling, besides the boosting of GPAs and HPAs. It could lead to possible scholarships for students who  apply for financial aid.

However, dual enrolling is not without its issues. One of the biggest problems it is creating  is an intense competition that is putting too much stress on students. An American Psychological Association survey shows teen stress rivals that of adults. According to NBC, “On average, teens reported their stress level was 5.8 on 10-point scale, compared with 5.1 for adults.”

A common cure for stress is rest, but students who choose to enroll in additional courses seem to have an even bigger issue with getting enough sleep. Especially with the number of AP classes students take,  students should be prioritizing high school over any activity, including dual enrollment.

Even with all its benefits and issues,  whether or not dual enrollment is the right choice still comes down to the student. If you have the time and can take the class as seriously as your high school classes, it has the potential of benefiting you and your chances of getting into the college of your choice. However, if it would impact your grades negatively or keep you from staying awake during the day, just stick with your classes at school. You’re better off getting good grades in school rather than average grades and a Slot Machine Attendant college credit.