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Crestwood, KY (WDRB) -- The average student graduates college with $27,000 in student loans. But with a new program, some high school students in Oldham County will graduate with up to 34 college credits. That means they could start college as a sophomore and save thousands of dollars.
At South Oldham High School, Junior Courtney Steinberger is always on the go. Steinberger says, "I am in varsity soccer as well, so it's all about finding time for balance and stuff and I do hang out with friends on the weekend. It's a lot about finding time. You can't procrastinate. If you procrastinate, you're never going to have a social life."
But this teen is also committed to a successful high school career. She is looking at colleges and is thinking about attending the University of Kentucky and majoring in business or communications.
Steinberger says, "Right now, I'm in dual credit Spanish. Next year, I'm going to take dual credit English which is also called English 101, 102. I personally like it because it's different from an AP course. You don't have to take an AP exam in order to get the college credit."
The Oldham County School district estimates that about 300 students will take dual credit programs at South Oldham and Oldham County High Schools next school year. Dual credit means they get college credit while attending high school too.
South Oldham High is finalizing details on a combination of classes offered by JCTC, Morehead State and Bellarmine.
Dave Marshall, the Secondary Level Director says, "We're the highest performing county in the state and our students and parents expect to have these opportunities and when you can take a dual credit class, you really maximize your senior year."
At Oldham County High School, 70 Seniors will have the opportunity to attend the JCTC Carrollton Campus two days a week and take two college classes each semester. 70 junior will take classes led by JCTC faculty at Oldham County High.
There is a cost for some of the dual credit programs. Some are partially subsidized by the district.
Heather Watkins, a SOHS Counselor says, "So many students have graduated from our school through AP, now I'm hoping dual credit will go along with this where they're practically sophomores by the time they enter college because they have done so well here."
Interested students have to fill out applications and talk to their guidance counselor.
The district says everyone should have the opportunity to go to college and trying it out in high school is a good option and parents like the cost savings.
Steinberger says, "It's so expensive for one class. You save a thousand dollars by just taking the class in high school. It's a great way to save money and nice to get it out of the way and one less class you have to take in college."
Oldham students can also get dual credit on UofL's Campus by taking two courses per semester. It's $1500 a semester which is about a 30% discount. Students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch can take classes for free.