By Jacob Harvey –
Let’s say a $1,363 tuition payment for a college student is no big deal.
Well for most high school students, it is. And with a steep price increase and a non-existing dual enrollment grant, some students have been put on the spot to pay for their dual enrollment classes.
A dual enrollment class is when a student in high school takes a college class at the same time they are attending high school. The big benefit is that the credits can be used by the student in a college they attend saving time and money.
Last year, while the dual enrollment grant was still in the Pennsylvania budget, Penn Manor had 45 students taking 55 classes. This year Penn Manor only has 32 students taking 39 classes, a noticeable decrease.
In the past, students have had to pay upfront for their classes, but were guaranteed at least a percentage back. Now, because of budget cuts, the students won’t be receiving any money back.
“The main contributing factor to not take Chinese was the price. It was just too much for a kid in high school,” said Logan White a Penn Manor senior.
Over the past few school years the amount that the student would get back has been decreasing steadily by around 30% each year for the past three years. This fact has caused students to bypass dual enrollment.
“I didn’t have to pay for Chinese my freshman and sophomore years but my junior year I did and it was too much hassle to get enough for the class this year,” said Logan White.
Along with the decrease in money returned to the students there was over a $200 cost increase for a majority of the classes for this year. Calculus 3 which would have cost a student $1,134 for a semester last year now costs students $1,363 for a semester.
The huge leap in dual enrollment prices has students in disarray trying to afford these classes. Zack Kauffman, a Penn Manor Senior is paying for the classes out of his pocket. He is doing a payment plan where he slowly pays off the fee’s for his classes which are Russian and Calculus. He is still paying off the bill for them.
“I took calculus so I could get a head start on (college) classes so I didn’t have to wait a year to take calc in college,” said Zack Kauffman. “I wanted to take Russian because I just enjoy the class a lot.”
Some students have parents who are willing to put up the extra cash needed to take these advanced classes. While the price increase and the decrease in money back has changed some students minds about taking their dual enrollment.
Still, students are signing up and teachers and counselors alike are happy with the number of students who signed up.
“I was really excited by the number of students taking dual enrollment classes. It’s great to see that students are willing to pay the money for the higher education.” said Kimberly Marsh a counselor at Penn Manor.
In the past if a Penn Manor student took a course at Millersville, HACC, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, LGH, F&M or an 0nline school that teaches languages called Blended Schools they would have been reimbursed at least a percentage because of an agreement that Penn Manor has with these schools. This year the refund for students is probably just out of the question with the dual enrollment grant being cut. However Penn Manor seniors have a chance to be selected for a class at F&M to take for free. For information on the free F&M class Penn Manor seniors should talk with Sallie Bookman or their counselor.