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Advanced Opportunities for High School Students

Advanced Opportunities allow students to individualize their high school learning plan to get a jump start on their future. These options include dual credit, technical competency credit, Advanced Placement, workforce training, career-technical credits, and International Baccalaureate programs.

Get Going, Faster

The term “advanced opportunities” refers to additional classes/exams students can choose to take in grades 7-12 to earn extra credits that might be used to help you graduate early, earn college credits, or train for a career while still in high school. The Fast Forward program provides every student attending an Idaho public school an allocation of $4,125 to use towards exams or courses that advance a student’s education in grades 7-12. You can use the funds to 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.
  • Workforce Training
    The program can pay up to $500 per approved course. An approved list of courses is available on the Advanced Opportunities website.

 

Tips for Pursuing Advanced Opportunities

If you are interested in pursuing Advanced Opportunities, you may be overwhelmed with the application process and college-level lingo. Here are some helpful tips to set you up for success:

  • Meet with your school guidance counselor
    By meeting with your counselor or college and career advisor, you can learn more about course options available at your high school campus, college campus, or online.
  • Reach out to colleges/universities
    Idaho institutions have staff available to help you plan for the transition between high school and college. Reach out to the dual credit offices across the state to learn about the options available for high school students. Do not feel limited to just your local institutions. Many colleges/universities have both online and satellite campuses.

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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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