Dual-Enrollment Advice for PCC Students

By Mountain.Barber|May 15, 2017Student Writing|

Most students attending PCC for a four-year degree prefer to transfer entirely away to their new school, but sometimes circumstances call for students to dual-enroll at PCC and another school, like myself. It’s definitely more difficult than attending a single school, but there are often excellent reasons to dual-enroll. A few tips for students looking to do so:

  • If you have a student job at PCC, you need to be taking at least six hours at PCC to retain that job.
  • PCC’s classes are much cheaper than at many other schools, so dual-enrollment can be a great way to save money.
  • Some schools, like PSU and OSU are easier to dual-enroll at than others.
  • Make absolutely sure that both schools understand the situation. You will end up being the main route of communication between the two for your enrollment.
  • Only one school can grant you financial aid per quarter. Make sure to pick a home school – either PCC or your other school. This school will be the only one to disburse you aid, which you will use to pay the other school. You need to be attending your home school for at least six hours. Choosing your home school can be tricky. There are a few things you need to take into account when doing so:
    • Will you be taking upper division credits at your other school? If so, it needs to be your home school. PCC cannot disburse funds for upper division credits, since it does not offer them. This can result in only part time funds being disbursed to you instead of full time funds, for instance.
    • Many four-year schools disperse funds earlier than PCC, but this isn’t necessarily true for all schools. Make sure to compare the fund disbursement dates for both schools and the fund due dates for both schools before choosing your home school. PCC has a fairly strict due date, but they are willing to extend it to the end of the first week for dual-enrolled students.
    • DO NOT let both schools disburse financial aid. The Department of Education will catch it midway through the semester, and one of the schools is going to make you pay them back – which will be a problem if you’ve spent the money already.
  • Schools cannot send each other your financial aid. You’ll have to pay your non-home school when your home school disburses your funds.
  • Scheduling your classes can sometimes be easier, since you have more options to choose from. (Though sometimes picking gets more difficult with more options to choose from.)
  • If you’re taking physical classes at both schools, this can potentially add a lot of transportation time on. If you’re taking only online classes at one (or both) schools, this isn’t a problem.
  • Scholarships work differently than federal funds, so make sure to check every one of your scholarships to see how they’ll work with dual-enrollment.
  • When filling out your FAFSA, make sure to list all possible schools you’re considering attending. The FAFSA allows you to fill out ten possible schools on its list, and there’s no penalty to filling out a school you don’t plan on attending.
  • You don’t have to dual-enroll at a community college and a four-year college – you can technically dual-enroll at two community colleges or two four-year colleges.
  • I’m not sure if triple-enrollment is possible, nor do I particularly want to know. Nor should you.
  • Most importantly: make sure to talk to enrollment services and financial aid at both schools BEFORE enrolling. Heck, talk to them afterwards to make sure everything went off without a hitch. They’re there to help, and in my experience they’re often ready to go out of their way to do so.
  • For a full list of schools that PCC has dual-enrollment agreements with, as well as further information and advice about dual-enrollment, visit PCC’s website.
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