Frequently Asked Questions about Dual Enrollment

Who is eligible to take a dual enrollment course?

To be eligible for a dual enrollment course, a student must:

  • Be enrolled in a Montana school district.
    • Homeschool students may enroll in college credit-only courses through the college, or concurrent enrollment courses through their local high school.
    • Foreign exchange students enrolled in a Montana school district that meet all other eligibility requirements are eligible for dual enrollment.
  • Be between the ages of 16 – 19 and/or junior/senior standing.
    • Graduating students are not eligible for dual enrollment in any term after the term of their graduation.
  • Have successfully completed the required high school classes at their grade level and be on track for high school graduation within a four-year construct. 

What's the difference between dual enrollment, dual credit, early college and concurrent enrollment?

Dual enrollment is the broad term for opportunities for high school students to take college coursework while they are enrolled in high school.

Types of Credit for Dual Enrollment

Dual Credit

Dual credit courses award high school and college credit simultaneously for the same course taken by a high school student. 

College Credit Only

College credit only courses award college credit, and not high school credit, for a college course taken by a high school student. The college records the credit on a standard transcript for the student. The high school may or may not be aware of the student’s enrollment in the college course.

Dual Enrollment Delivery Models

Early College

Early college courses are standard college classes that are open to high school students and offered on a college campus, online, or as a hybrid course both on a college campus and online. Early college courses may be dual credit or college credit only, depending on the qualifications of the college faculty and acceptance by the school district.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment courses are college courses taught at a high school to a class of high school students by a college-approved, state-licensed high school teacher who meets or exceeds the qualifications established by Board of Regents (BOR) Policy 730. Occasionally, an appropriately qualified college faculty member may teach the course in the high school, via distance education, or team teach with high school faculty. Concurrent Enrollment courses are dual credit. High school students may, with approval from the school district or high school, enroll in a concurrent enrollment course for high school credit only. 

How will my dual enrollment course affect my future financial aid?

Anyone that is looking to use Financial Aid must meet certain requirements that show satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Each school has varying requirements. SAP is made up of 3 components:

  • GPA: Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their college classes. This is MSU-Northern's requirement; other schools may vary. This does not include your high school GPA.
  • Maximum Credits: Financial Aid wants to see students making progress towards a degree, so a maximum of 150% of credits required for a degree can be taken while using federal aid. Example: A degree requires 120 credits; a student is eligible for financial aid for a maximum of 180 attempted credits Important Note: Even if a student is not using financial aid, dual enrollment credits attempted count towards this maximum amount.
  • Pass Rate: Students must successfully earn 67% of the credits they attempt to show academic progress. 

If you don't meet SAP, you might have to submit an appeal to financial aid. You will be notified if you have to appeal, so be sure to keep an eye out for any communication from your university's financial aid office.

For more information on how your future financial aid here at Northern can be impacted by your academic performance as a dual enrollment student, please contact MSU-Northern's Financial Aid Office at 406-265-3787.