More Indiana students than ever are earning college credit while they are still in high school, which is a good thing for everyone! When you earn college credit during high school, it can save you and your family time and money toward your education after graduation and can help you become better prepared for college.
There are a lot of ways to earn college credit in high school – and it can be confusing to understand what it all means. We’ll aim to break it down for you.
Broadly speaking, early college credit is any type of college credit earned while in high school, including dual credit and Advanced Placement (AP). There are two ways to earn college credit – at your high school or at a college or university. Earning it at your high school is referred to as “dual credit” and earning it on a college campus is “dual enrollment.”
JUMP TO RESOURCES
Courses taught at a high school by a high school teacher with a formal agreement between the high school and a participating college or university. Indiana provides funding for two types of dual credit courses:
Liberal Arts courses, such as English, math, science, history and world languages; or
Technical courses, such as construction trades, health sciences, information technology and manufacturing
Courses taken by a high school student on a college campus (or online) and counts for both high school and college credit.
Here are several other ways to earn college credit in high school:
Advanced Placement (AP) courses allow you to take a course and an exam, which results in college credit if the college accepts the exam score (check with your college for their specifications)
Endorsed Early College High School begins in ninth grade and enables you to complete up to two years of Dual Credit coursework toward a specific college degree. This program is open to all students, but is tailored for first-generation college students, historically underrepresented students and students from low-income homes
The Indiana College Core is a 30-hour block of general education coursework that transfers among all Indiana public colleges and universities and some private institutions.
WHAT IS THE INDIANA COLLEGE CORE?
The Indiana College Core is a block of 30 credit hours of general education, college-level coursework which can be transferred between all Indiana public colleges and universities and some private ones. The Indiana College Core helps students save time and money toward their higher education when earned in high school. You can essentially earn a full year of your general education credits for less than $750 (potentially saving you and your family thousands of dollars) and helping you graduate on-time or even early from college.
30 CREDIT HOURS GUARANTEED TO TRANSFER
The Indiana College Core consists of 30 semester hours of credit, the completion of which at one public institution means it can transfer as a block and count as satisfying the Indiana College Core equivalent at the receiving institution.
The Indiana College Core is based on competencies and learning outcomes in six areas:
Foundational Intellectual Skills
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Speaking and Listening
- Written Communication
Ways of Knowing
- Humanistic and Artistic
- Social and Behavioral
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE INDIANA COLLEGE CORE?
The Indiana College Core applies to all students enrolling at a public institution in Indiana in the fall of 2013 and after.
Degree requirements change over time, and so the date at which you first enter a school determines the requirements that apply to you (this is sometimes known as catalog year, or degree requirement term).
Depending on the policies of the individual institution, you may be able to change your degree requirement term to be eligible for the Indiana College Core.
Speak with your school counselor to determine the best way to earn the Indiana College Core.
IS THE INDIANA COLLEGE CORE RIGHT FOR ME?
The Indiana College Core could be right for you if it’s offered at your school (ask your school counselor or teacher if it is!) and if you want to get ahead for your education journey while you’re in high school.
There are many benefits for students who participate. Not only does it save you time and money, but by earning the Indiana College Core in high school, you can pursue additional opportunities while in college, like adding a minor, studying abroad, participating in immersive learning opportunities or even graduating from college early! Plus, you can work on your program-specific studies earlier in college, with your general education options already out of the way.
STUDENTS WHO EARN THE INDIANA COLLEGE CORE
ARE MORE LIKELY TO SUCCEED.
Data show students who earn the Indiana College Core in high school are more likely to go to college, more likely to succeed when they get there and better able to graduate on-time or even early!
Of high school students who earned the Indiana College Core went on to attend college.
OF COLLEGE CORE EARNERS
Met benchmarks for early success in college.
STUDENTS DEMONSTRATING EARLY COLLEGE SUCCESS:
- Do not require remediation in math or English before beginning college level work;
- Complete all courses they attempt in their first year of college; and
- Persist to their second year of college
STUDENTS WHO EARN THE INDIANA COLLEGE CORE SAVE MONEY.
Students can earn the Indiana College Core through dual credit in high school for thousands less than earning the same credits at a two- or four-year institution.
Families spend less than $750 for 30 credits via the Indiana College Core through dual credit. At most two-year institutions, those same credits would cost $4,200 to $5,700. At four-year institutions, those costs rise to $7,200 to $10,500.
HOW DO I
COMPLETE THE INDIANA COLLEGE CORE?
Requirements for completion of the Indiana College Core vary by campus and institution.
A student must fulfill the Indiana College Core requirements of the school at which a student is enrolled, with a minimum of 30 credit hours, and with the Indiana College Core grade point average (GPA) no lower than 2.0.
Each state public institution has specified how their program meets the competencies described within the Indiana College Core framework.
Once you have completed the Indiana College Core requirements at the public institution where you are enrolled, that institution will certify the Indiana College Core completion on your transcript.
If you are subsequently admitted as a transfer student to another public institution, that institution will recognize the completed the Indiana College Core, apply 30 credit hours of general education to your academic record, and indicate on your academic transcript that you have completed the Indiana College Core.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY SCHOOL OFFERS THE INDIANA COLLEGE CORE?
The Indiana College Core isn’t offered at every Indiana high school yet. There are about 140 schools so far that offer the option. Visit this link to see if your school or surrounding schools offer the Core.
WHAT IS DUAL CREDIT?
Dual Credit courses provide opportunities for qualified students to earn college credit from a regionally accredited institution while attending high school.
These courses will enable you to meet the dual credit requirements for a Core 40 with Technical Honors or Core 40 with Academic Honors diploma and receive college credit, too.
Dual Credit courses can be taken at your high school or at a college campus and can be taught by regular high school faculty or college faculty. These courses and grades become part of your academic record and can potentially impact your college grade point average (GPA) and financial aid eligibility.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DUAL CREDIT AND THE INDIANA COLLEGE CORE?
The Indiana College Core is a block of general education courses that students take as dual credit, but dual credit itself is much broader than the Indiana College Core, and there are different types of dual credit, including liberal arts and career and technical courses (CTE). While most high schools in Indiana offer some form of dual credit, only about 140 schools currently offer the Indiana College Core. Indiana’s high school and higher education organizations are working to eventually ensure all high school students have the option to earn the Indiana College Core, but it is limited for now.
The best way to determine which path suits you best is to talk with your school counselor and consider your future college and career plans.
HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT DUAL CREDIT AT MY SCHOOL?
Step No. 1 is to ask your school counselor or teachers about the dual credit options available at your school, and find out as much information as you can about the different types of dual credit and options that you can take. You can take dual credit courses as early as freshman year.
An important note for students and families:
Dual credit courses are college-level courses that will generate transcripts for students. This means that courses taken and grades earned become part of a student’s academic record and can potentially impact a student’s college GPA and financial aid eligibility. That is why it’s so important to take dual credit courses intentionally and work with your school counselor to determine the best pathway and courses, considering your future college and career plans.
WHAT ABOUT ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) COURSES?
Another option to earn college credit in high school is by taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
At the end of the course, you take a test that is graded on a 5-point scale to determine if you’ll obtain college-level credit for the course. Different schools require different scores, so check with your high school counselor or the colleges you’re interested in to make sure the class will transfer to your prospective colleges before signing up.
All Indiana public colleges accept AP courses with a minimum score of 3. You can learn more about AP courses, sign up to take exams and obtain your scores at the College Board.
There is a fee to take any AP exam, but students with financial need may qualify for a reduction or waiver. Learn more about AP exam fees here.
Check here to see which of your Advanced Placement (AP) courses will transfer to Indiana public colleges.
I WANT TO EARN COLLEGE CREDITS IN HIGH SCHOOL.
WHICH PATH DO I CHOOSE?
Having an idea of what you want to do after high school is step No. 1 in determining how to earn college credits in high school – and which credits you should pursue. Paths will look different depending on the college you want to attend and the subject area you plan to study. If you need help with this step, check out the Indiana Career Explorer tool as a good place to start.
Make an appointment with your school counselor to explore the best options for your education journey. Remember: No two students’ paths will look the same! Your journey to earning college credit in high school should be based on your own education and career goals.
Finally, keep in mind that taking college credit while in high school will become part of your academic record and can impact your college GPA and financial aid eligibility. Working with a school and/or college counselor throughout your journey will help you stay on track!
Yes, you must apply for admission as a transfer student in the usual way. As part of the Core confirmation process, you will need to request your college transcripts from all higher education institutions with which you have earned credit. These transcripts must be sent to the primary postsecondary provider that is awarding the Indiana College Core.
You will also need to request your AP exam scores from College Board to be sent to the Core provider. This will enable the primary postsecondary provider to determine if you have met the competency requirements to earn the Core.
Once admitted into your new institution, the 30 credit hours of general education (Indiana College Core) coursework you have completed will transfer in accordance with appropriate transfer policies.
The Indiana College Core competencies, which were agreed upon by faculty across public institutions, are the skills and knowledge associated with the coursework considered foundational for further study in higher education and introduce students to a range of skills and disciplines.
Within the Indiana College Core framework, the competencies are categorized as either Foundational Skills or Ways of Knowing. The competencies can be viewed here.
Yes, transfer credit from a regionally accredited institution (whether in-state or out-of-state) may apply toward fulfillment of an Indiana public institution’s Indiana College Core requirements, in accordance with that institution’s transfer credit policy.
If the student earns the Indiana College Core milestone and then subsequently transfers to another Indiana state institution, the receiving institution will recognize the Indiana College Core milestone, and the student’s transfer credit will apply toward fulfillment of other requirements at the receiving institution in accordance with that institution’s transfer credit policy.
Your coursework will be articulated on a course-by-course basis by the institution to which you transfer.
Indiana’s Core Transfer Library (CTL) makes it easy to find out. The CTL is a comprehensive, continually updated list of courses that are pre-approved for transfer between all Indiana public college and university campuses and five independent colleges and universities (assuming adequate grades were earned).
Visit TransferIN’s Core Transfer Library page for more information.
Early College High School begins in ninth grade, enabling you to complete up to two years of Dual Credit coursework towards a specific college degree.
Early College schools generally absorb most course costs while families may be responsible for Dual Credit costs beyond the Indiana minimum offering of two courses.
Both programs are open to all students, but Early College is tailored for first-generation college students, minorities, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.