Students who earn college credits in high school — either through dual enrollment or passing AP exams — can earn a degree more quickly and cheaply, writes Romer, who introduced dual enrollment legislation as a Colorado state senator. They’re also better prepared for college demands.
Lastly, and perhaps the most exciting option, are community college honors programs that are providing rigorous courses, small class sizes, and personalized academic advising. This model is often known as “2+2,” meaning students complete their first two years at a community college and then finish their degree at a four-year college or university. Honors programs combine the low-cost structure of a community college with a challenging curriculum, preparing students to successfully transfer.
. . . American Honors, is saving students between 30 and 40 percent of the cost of a typical four-year education. After two years, students earn an associate’s degree with honors and are well-poised to transfer to leading colleges and universities like Amherst, Middlebury, Auburn, Gonzaga and Brandeis, to name a few of the 27 participating schools.
Only a few community colleges offer honors programs, writes Romer, but the idea is gaining popularity.