It is now 2022 and high school students are applying for dual enrollment at either Florida SouthWestern or Florida Gulf Coast University. 

“I definitely believe that getting a little head start is so beneficial,” senior Daisey Mackey said.

Dual enrollment allows a student to take college courses at a college while still being enrolled in high school. Being able to start an Associate’s Degree in high school gives students the opportunity to decrease their schooling years. 

Freshman Savannah Toro says that she is considering dual enrollment so that she can get her Associate’s Degree quicker. Since her school path is already going to be lengthy, the head start would help out tremendously. 

Many consider this to be helpful for trying to get ahead. Doing school for years after high school is time consuming, and dual enrollment allows those years of schooling to be cut down. Students are able to learn what college is like without being there everyday of every week. 

“It makes it a lot easier to have that experience of a college setting and learn how differently things work there versus high school,” Mackey said. 

Having the ability to learn and be in a college environment while not being there all the time is useful for knowing what’s to come after high school. There are options for part or full time dual enrollment. Part time dual enrollment means taking classes at the high school for part of the day, and the rest of the day is spent at the college, while with full time dual enrollment, the entire day is spent at the college. 

“I stay at Naples High for only four periods,” Mackey said. “I have FSW three days a week starting at 12:00 p.m. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I am there until 1:20 p.m. and on Tuesdays I’m there until 3:30 p.m.”

One advantage of being a college student is the flexibility. Students get to choose a class schedule that fits perfectly for them. While there are many great benefits of dual enrollment, there are some critical requirements. 

Naples High School counselor Michele Fineis says that the requirements such as test scores, grades, GPA, credits and attendance depends on the dual enrollment program the student is interested in and the school (FSW or FGCU).

The required GPA is a 3.0 unweighted for both FSW and FGCU. The GPA is not the only thing that is required however. Students need to have SAT and/ or ACT test scores that are high enough to meet the required scores. Dual enrollment provides students with many opportunities and has fantastic benefits. 

“It is actually very helpful and beneficial to get a head start on college without having to pay so much or move away from home,” Mackey said.