Free college credit before you leave high school? That's just smart.

Get Ahead

What is dual enrollment?
Dual enrollment is a great way for motivated high school juniors and seniors to jump start their college education. Dual enrollment courses allow you to earn both high school and college credit. In most cases, tuition is paid by the local school system, so dual enrollment is basically free college credit.

Dual enrollment is offered to students through an arrangement between John Tyler Community College and the high schools in the College's service region.

What are the benefits?

Since dual enrollment courses earn both high school and college credit, you are maximizing your efforts. You are getting college-level instruction from qualified faculty members during normal school hours.

Generally, if you earn a "C" or better in the class, the credits are eligible for transfer. Colleges and universities all handle transfer credits differently, so refer to individual transfer guides for more information.

Be sure to talk to your counselor about your plans after high school, so you can make the best choice for you. Also, check out Virginia's transfer tool at

Dual enrollment courses expose you to the rigor of college work. Plus, they give you a chance to get ahead on the credits you need to graduate from college. That saves you time and money. What does that mean for you? Less educational debt? A chance to study abroad? Less time in college? A new car? The possibilities are endless. Like we said, it's personal.

Bottom line: dual enrollment can save you and your family money on college tuition and textbooks. School districts cover the tuition costs of dual enrollment courses. Most high schools also pay for textbooks. Talk to your school counselor about specifics in your school district.

Who is eligible?
High school juniors and seniors who have:

  • Completed a VCCS online application to John Tyler Community College. (Seem overwhelming? Want to be walked through the process? Check out this guide to completing the online application.)
  • Returned a summary of their John Tyler application and other required documents to their high school counselor.
  • Earned satisfactory scores on college placement examinations and have met any prerequisite requirements.
  • Gained permission of their parent/legal guardian and high school principal.

Not sure if you are eligible? Talk to your counselor.

What courses can I take?
Different courses are offered in each high school, but students can take courses designed for transfer to four-year colleges or universities or career and technical education (CTE) courses that provide technical training and can lead to industry standard certification.

Examples of traditional transfer courses include English, biology, history and calculus.

Examples of college-level CTE courses include Cisco networking, computer-aided drafting, horticulture and photography.

If you are interested in college classes that aren't part of the dual enrollment program at your high school, you can become a concurrent student at John Tyler. Concurrent student = someone 18 years or younger who is taking on-campus John Tyler courses. You'll need the permission of the College's dean of student services.

Tuition and fees at John Tyler run about one-third of tuition and fees charged at four-year public colleges and universities in Virginia, so concurrent courses can also save you money. See all the course options at Tyler at

I'm in. What's next?

Students generally apply for dual enrollment during the spring semester prior to their junior or senior year of high school. Your high school counselor will help you decide which dual enrollment courses work best with your future plans.

When you meet with your counselor, you will be given a packet of information and forms to complete. You will also need to complete the John Tyler Community College online application, either at home or at your high school. Your online application and all forms must be completed and returned to the counseling office by your high school's deadline.

Dual enrollment students must meet course placement test requirements set by John Tyler Community College. Students enrolling in academic transfer courses must achieve qualifying scores on the PSAT, SAT or COMPASS standardized tests. Students enrolling in CTE courses must either have passing SOL scores in both math and English or qualifying PSAT, SAT or COMPASS standardized test scores. Your high school counselor can give you a list of qualifying scores for each standardized test.

Students may have the option of taking the COMPASS test at their high school or at the College. Check with your high school counselor to determine if you are required to take the COMPASS test.

Talk to your school counselor for information specific to your plans after high school and the offerings at your high school. You can also contact John Tyler Community College's dual enrollment office at 804-706-5170.

Been there. Done that. How do I get a transcript?
Once you've finished your dual enrollment courses, you'll need a transcript to get your credits transferred. You can request an unofficial transcript through myTyler. Or, learn how to get an official transcript from John Tyler.