Georgia’s Dual Enrollment program allows high school students, grades 9 through 12, to enroll in college courses and earn college credit while in high school.  Students and their families do not pay for tuition, fees or books. They are only responsible for course-related fees and transportation. The program has operated in various forms since the early 1990s. In 2016, Georgia reshaped the program, then titled “Move On When Ready.” Now known as Dual Enrollment, program growth continues to demand more funding.

Quick Facts on Dual Enrollment

Who participates in Dual Enrollment?

  • In Fall 2018, about 12,000 high school students enrolled in University System of Georgia courses, 25,000 enrolled in Technical College System of Georgia courses[1] and 5,000 students enrolled in private colleges.[2]
  • Data from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement show that male, black, Hispanic and low-income students were underrepresented in pre-2016 Dual Enrollment programs.[3]

What and how many courses are Dual Enrollment participants taking?

  • Most Dual Enrollment credit hours (76 percent) are in core subject areas like English, Language Arts or math. A smaller percentage (24 percent) are technical or other fields.[4]
  • Dual Enrollment students take an average of 12.7 credit hours, or about four courses. The median number of credit hours per term is six hours, or two courses.[5]

When can you take Dual Enrollment courses?

  • Students can take Dual Enrollment courses year-round, including the summer term.

Where do students take Dual Enrollment?

  • Forty-six percent of Dual Enrollment credit hours are taken in technical colleges, 32 percent in the university system and 22 percent at independent colleges.[6]
  • Students can take Dual Enrollment courses at a college, high school campus or online. Most courses are at a college campus (77 percent), 14 percent at a high school campus and 9 percent online.[7]
  • High school teachers credentialed for college-level coursework can teach Dual Enrollment courses.

How do students participate?

  • Colleges set eligibility requirements and may include grades and scores on exams like the SAT, ACT or Accuplacer. Eligibility criteria vary by college and sometimes by course.
  • Admissions requirements for Dual Enrollment students can differ from requirements for traditional college freshmen.

Dual Enrollment Funding

Georgia supports Dual Enrollment through direct funding to the Georgia Student Finance Commission for tuition payments and enrollment-based formula funding for public high schools and colleges.

  • The Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) administers Dual Enrollment and manages the funding appropriated each year. GSFC provides tuition payments to colleges for participating high school students.
  • The state’s Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding formula for public K-12 schools includes Dual Enrollment participants, so high schools do not lose funding if a student takes Dual Enrollment classes.
  • University and technical college system funding formulas include Dual Enrollment credit hours.
  • The Department of Audits and Accounts estimated that though the appropriation for Dual Enrollment was $79 million in fiscal year 2018, total state support was $199 million including formula funds for public K-12 schools, the university and technical college systems.[8]
  • More students are participating and program costs have grown. The proposed 2020 state budget allocates the program $108 million, up from $49 million in 2016.

Dual Enrollment and HOPE Eligibility

  • GSFC includes grades for core academic courses taken through Dual Enrollment (e.g. English Language Arts) in GPA calculations for HOPE eligibility,
  • Dual Enrollment core courses meet academic rigor requirements for HOPE eligibility, similar to Advanced Placement courses.
  • College credit hours earned through Dual Enrollment do not count against the award limit of 127 semester hours for HOPE Scholarships or 63 semester hours for HOPE Grants.

Recent Program Updates and Pending Changes

  • In the 2017-2018 academic year, Georgia cut high school transportation grants that help participants get to college campuses.
  • The 2019 budged capped Dual Enrollment to 15 credit hours per student per semester.
  • The proposed 2020 budget includes language to restrict Dual Enrollment to 11th and 12th[9]
  • Recent discussions propose limiting summer Dual Enrollment courses.

Note: All information accurate as of February 26, 2019. The General Assembly is currently debating changes to Dual Enrollment, and we will update as these changes progress.

End Notes

[1] University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia data.

[2] Georgia Independent College Association data

[3] Rauschenberg, S., & Chalasani, K. (Nov 2017). Georgia dual enrollment and postsecondary outcomes. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

[4] Georgia Student Finance Commission data.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts. (Jan 2018). Dual enrollment: Special examination report no. 17-09.

[9] From 1992-2004, the Postsecondary Options program was limited to 11th and 12th graders and funded through school districts’ QBE funds. In 2004, the lottery-funded Accel program replaced Postsecondary Options and was available for 9th-12th graders.

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3 thoughts on “Dual Enrollment Explained”

  1. If the state can fund it, I would appreciate keeping the dual enrollment option open to 9th-12th graders and the option of Summer DE courses as well. College is very expensive and this program decreases the cost tremendously. It has so many other benefits: help students mature sooner, prepares students for the rigors and self-discipline (studying and time management) that is necessary for college, I wish that more of the local high schools would allow students to take advantage of the program during their 9th grade year. Our district seems to be partial to Advance Placement courses instead of dual enrollment. I am very thankful that all schools in the state of Georgia are required to inform students about the program; however, some of them still (while informing about Dual Enrollment) voice preferences of AP courses over DE. I really wish that more parents had access to this information and could help guide their children better as a result.

    Most Appreciative of the Dual Enrollment Program and your work to maintain it for students’ academic successes now and in the future.

  2. Ashley Prather


    I am wondering if there will be an option for parents to assist/ or completely fund tuition for the younger students? This opportunity can help children get a head start in life. My child will be entering 7th grade, and we are hoping that he will have an option to start his college education while gaining high school credit in the 9th grade.

    Making post-secondary options available earlier, will help make a more skilled labor force available for Georgia; It will make it much more likely that he will pursue a Master’s Degree and perhaps beyond. It will provide workers for the large tech companies that are sure to keep coming to Georgia. In order to continue to compete with the world we need to increase the level of education of our youth.

    Perhaps, the amount contributed to the college by the state can equal no more than what would be given to a public high school. Perhaps the state can evaluate its contribution per student based on need. Please provide the option for parents to assist with the tuition cost for 9th and 10th grade students.

    Thank you

    1. Ashley, thank you for your thoughts. Though there were discussions about limiting Dual Enrollment to certain grade levels, the state has not yet made any changes. Dual Enrollment is still available at no cost to families for 9th – 12th graders.

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