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Benefits of Taking College Classes While in High School

  • Tasha Gardner
Posted on March 11, 2021
Inclusion and Access

The High School Scholars (HSS) Program at Drexel allows local high school students to take college-level classes year round. This is not a dual enrollment program, meaning the credits cannot count towards your high school degree. However, you will have an official college transcript that you can submit to colleges you are interested in and see what credits may transfer. Why would you do that? You may be to able reduce the number of classes you have to take as a college student.

The great thing about HSS is that you can take classes in the fall, winter, spring, and/or summer.

Interested? Check out the list of other benefits below (listed in no particular order):

  • Not just a summer program. The great thing about HSS is that you can take classes in the fall, winter, spring, and/or summer. Once you are in the program, you can take one class per Drexel quarter. So, even if you decide to participate in a more traditional summer program elsewhere, you can still apply for HSS and take classes any other term.
  • Free classes. Let me say that one more time...classes are FREEEEEEEE! While classes are free, there is a one-time application fee of $75 with fee waivers for those who qualify. Students are also responsible for purchasing their own books for their courses. That price can range from $0 to $200. We do offer book awards each term for a few students.
  • Community building. HSS recently joined the Center for Inclusive Education and Scholarship. We are looking to build events and activities to enrich the HSS experience beyond the classroom, including events with current undergraduate students.
  • You get a DragonCard. As a HSS student you get some of the same perks as our full-time undergraduate students, including a DragonCard — which is the official university ID card. This will allow you access to campus buildings, including the Hagerty Library. But just like our undergraduate students, you want to make sure you have it with you at all times and not lose it. The first card is free, but there is a fee to replace a lost or stolen card.
  • College-level classes while still in high school. Students can apply for the program starting the spring of their freshman year and can start taking classes that summer. Think about that — if you start taking classes the summer after your freshman year of high school and decide to take one class per term, you can graduate high school with 12 college classes under your belt (roughly 36–48 credits). One caveat — all credits may or may not transfer to your university. Once you start applying for college, you will want to talk to your admissions counselor about how they handle transfer credits.

Have I sparked your interest? Applications for the summer and fall terms are open. Make sure to check out the High School Scholars website and email hss@drexel.edu if you have any questions.


Tasha Gardner, EdD is the Director for the Center for Inclusive Education and Scholarship at Drexel. In her free time, she loves crafting (anything creative) and baking. Tasha has been at Drexel since starting as a first-year student in 1998. Even though she took a 3-year break before starting full-time, she was still connected to the university.

Tasha Gardner

Tasha Gardner
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