Here’s an early Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa present to young people that can save you and your family thousands of dollars. Really.

Please take 10 minutes to read “One Year Out.”

This is a survey of 1,507 young people who graduated from high school in 2010. Students were interviewed either by phone, or by an online survey. They were carefully picked to represent 2010 high school grads from around the country. Hart Research Associates did the study for a national group the “College Board.” Among other things, the College Board produces national college entrance tests and Advanced Placement courses.

To begin with, 76 percent said the year after they graduated from high school was either good (42 percent) or great (34 percent). The vast majority (74 percent) enrolled in some form of education after high school. Forty-three percent enrolled in a four-year program, 25 percent entered a two-year program, and 6 percent entered a training program.

Here’s where the potential money saving advice starts.

  • More than half of students who went to a two year college (53 percent ) and 56 percent of those who did not enter a program wished “they had worked harder in high school.”
  • Thirty-five percent of those entering a four-year college/university agreed.
  • More than half (55 percent) said the biggest challenge moving from high school to college was financial.
  • Thirty-nine percent of the 1,507 young people had taken an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course. Of those who had taken either kind of course, 83 percent said the courses were more difficult, and 82 percent reported that they were more worthwhile compared to other courses they took in high school.
  • Eighty-six percent agreed that earning some form of degree after high school is ‘worth it.”

How can this advice save you money? It’s no surprise that college costs are a challenge for many families. But throughout Minnesota, there are a variety of ways to earn free college credit while you are still in high school. There are many options – from taking such courses in your high school, to taking them on-line, to taking them on college campuses.

Taking these challenging “Dual Credit” courses, as recent college graduates suggest, gives you two advantages:

  • You can earn free college credit.
  •  You make it less likely that you will have to take a “remedial course” in reading, writing or math. More than one-third of Minnesota’s recent high school graduates who entered a public college or university here had to take such a course, which costs money but does not count toward a college degree. More than half of recent Minnesota high school students who entered a public two-year program had to take a remedial class.

If you’d like to see brief You-Tube videos with Minnesota students who have taken Dual High School/College Courses, please check out our website:

The website also has other information about these courses. We’ve been able to do these videos with help from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Most Minnesota families and teenagers work hard for their money. Listening to the recent high school graduates in “One Year Out” will allow you to make much better use of your time and money.

Joe Nathan, formerly a Minnesota public school teacher, directs the Center for School Change at Macalester. Reactions welcome,



Recent Posts

More posts from Uncategorized

See All Posts