Yes, you can take classes at a different college. This is typically called dual-enrollment.
While this isn’t super common, it does happen more often than most people think. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering dual-enrollment for yourself.
You Need One “Main School”
Even if you plan to attend two colleges, one of them needs to be your main school — otherwise known as the school that will present you with a degree upon completion.
Once you decide on that school, you can work with them to ensure that the credits you take at your secondary school will transfer over and count towards your degree requirements. Making sure your credits transfer is one of the most important steps you’ll take throughout this process.
You don’t want to end up a few weeks from graduation and find out that a course didn’t count, so you’re no longer eligible.
Community College Dual-Enrollment
Most students who are dual-enrolled are at both a community college and a four-year university. That’s generally because community colleges have articulation agreements with four-year institutions so students can ensure their classes will transfer over.
Community college is also a popular option because it’s inexpensive. Students save money taking classes at community college compared to what they might spend at their four-year school — yet they still walk away with a degree from the bigger institution.
If you’re hoping to save money on your college education and stress less over transferring courses, attending a community college that has an articulation agreement with your school is a huge help.
Other Four-Year Schools
Of course, some students opt to attend two different four-year schools with one of them serving as their main school. There are many reasons for this, including the opportunity to take courses that might not be available at their main college or study something the other school doesn’t offer.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that most four-year schools do not work together to make it easier to transfer credits. You will need to set-up time with academic advisors at both schools to make sure that your credits transfer over and you continue to meet your academic requirements at both schools.
Depending on the institutions you choose, this could still help you save a bit of money, but typically not as much as dual-enrollment at a community college would.
If you’re considering taking classes at two different colleges, take the time to speak with your academic counselors and get a sense of what this will mean for you. It’s not easy juggling two different schools with two different requirements, but if it helps you reach your goals, it could be worth it.