Earning college credit while in high school has many benefits, including college tuition savings, a faster path toward college graduation and better preparation for rigorous college-level study. Many colleges offer programs which enable students to start college with a number of credits under their belt.

Participate in junior and senior level International Baccalaureate (IB) courses during high school. In some cases, a college requires that you achieve a given score on a final IB exam to get credit for the course.

Achieve required scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Individual colleges may have different requirements for scores.

Participate in summer courses offered by colleges that result in credit for high school students. Some academic summer courses are available online through a college's correspondence programs.

Attend a middle college high school, which seeks to accommodate students who want an especially challenging curriculum or those who require a non-traditional school setting. Completion of such a program allows students to earn both a high school diploma and up to 60 college credits.

Take direct credit courses in high school, which are taught by college professors or qualified high school instructors.

Receive technical credit through completion of courses offered by high school career technical centers. This option typically applies to courses that are part of vocational degrees in subjects such as accounting.

Sign up for a dual enrollment program where your school day is split between attending high school and taking college classes for credit.

Enroll in college before completing high school. This option is favored by home-schooled students or those who have superior academic performance.

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