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Advanced Opportunities for High School Students

Advanced Opportunities allow students to individualize their high school learning plan and get a jump start on their future.

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Every student attending an Idaho public school in grades 7-12 has access to $4,125 to use towards exams or special courses. The program is called Advanced Opportunities and these funds can help pay for:

  • Overload Courses
    An overload course is a high school level course that is taken in addition to a regular school day. These may be offered online, during the summertime, or before/after school. If there’s a cost, the Advanced Opportunities program can pay up to $225 for the cost of the course. Overload courses must be above and beyond 12 credits in a school year.
  • Dual Credits
    Dual credit courses are those that help you earn both high school and college credits for the same class. Dual Credit courses can be taken online, by virtual conferencing, or in some cases, students go directly to the college/university campus. This includes Career & Technical Education (CTE) classes. The program can pay for up to $75 per credit.
  • Exams
    Funds can be used to pay for a variety of college-credit bearing or career-technical exams. These include Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or Career & Technical Education (CTE) exams. Contact your local school district for a list of available challenge exams.
  • Workforce Training
    Students can utilize Advanced Opportunities funds to pay for regionally approved workforce training courses at an Idaho public college in their area. Up to $500 per course or $1000 a year can be utilized for these courses. An approved list of courses is available on the Advanced Opportunities website.
  • Early Graduation
    Early Graduation Scholarships are available to students who graduate from high school at least one year early. Eligible students are awarded (approximately) $1,800 for every year skipped. Funds can only be used at one of Idaho’s public post-secondary institutions.

How to Sign Up

  1. Create an Advanced Opportunities account at advancedops.sde.idaho.gov to track your account balance and request funding.
  2. Contact your school’s Advanced Opportunities designee to learn about local guidelines for funding requests.

    Note: Account verification and funding approvals are done by your local school district.

Watch

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    An Introduction to Advanced Opportunities

    Source: Next Steps Idaho

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    Overload Courses

    Source: Next Steps Idaho

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    Dual Credit Courses

    Source: Next Steps Idaho

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    Workforce Training Courses

    Source: Next Steps Idaho

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    Exams

    Source: Next Steps Idaho

FAQs

Dual credit courses are classes taken by high school students that are transcribed (student receives credits) both on a student’s high school and college transcripts. Many of these courses cost $75 per credit and can be paid for with Advanced Opportunities funds. Dual credit courses can be taken in-person, online, through virtual conferencing, or directly at the college/university campus. Learn more about dual credit the college and career advisor at your school.

By taking dual credit courses, you can accelerate progress on your academic track and save money and time. In many cases, dual credit courses are significantly discounted and can count toward high school graduation requirements and college degree requirements.

Generally speaking, having a 3.0 cumulative GPA is recommended, as these courses are college-level, meaning there are higher expectations and additional requirements beyond what you’d expect in high. However, each course is different. To make sure you’re prepared, contact the college provider of the course you are considering to learn about specific criteria.

Dual credit courses can be paid for using Advanced Opportunities funds. Check out the Advanced Opportunities website to create an account and contact the Advanced Opportunities Designee at your school to learn more.

No. It’s important to remember that college courses, once taken, are associated with a student’s permanent college record. Grades earned in these courses can impact Advanced Opportunities funding and eligibility and future financial aid funding and eligibility.

Many dual credit courses satisfy degree program requirements. If you hope to use these credits to meet program requirements, be sure to closely review your college and career goals make sure that the proper courses are taken. Talk to your college and career advisor and consider contacting the college offering the courses, or the college you plan to attend before enrolling in a dual credit course.

There are many CTE course offerings available to students including CTE courses for dual credit (meaning both high school and college credit), technical competency credits (completing high school courses and skills that can be assessed for technical competency and given credit at a later date), or workforce training courses (non-college credit courses designed for specific job needs). Talk to your school’s college and career advisor to learn about options.

Yes. Advanced Opportunities dollars can be used for specific exams, workforce training courses, or high school courses taken outside of the regular school day.

Generally, all dual credit courses provided by Idaho public colleges will transfer within Idaho. It is important to ask your college and career advisor or a college representative how the course you’re considering will transfer and be applied toward a specific degree program before you enroll.

GEM courses or general education core courses are those that are universally required by Idaho public colleges. These courses are recommended for students who take dual credit courses in high school, as they are more broadly accepted and counted toward many degree programs. Visit the Course Transfer website to learn which courses are GEM courses.

Many colleges have pathways and advisors that can help students learn about taking courses that move them toward degree completion. Talk to your high school college and career advisor and/or contact the dual credit office at the college of interest to learn more.

Students need to successfully complete the AP exam to earn college credit. Idaho pubic colleges accept AP exam scores for credit but need to receive a copy of the exam results to make a determination about what credit is earned. For most exams, a score of 3 or high can qualify for credit. Processes can vary, so ask the college you plan to attend about the next steps after completing an AP exam.

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