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Columbia MD, 21044
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JumpStart

early entrance high school students

Expanding options for students to gain college credits, prepare for a career, or earn an associate degree.

These dual enrollment programs provide Howard County students with several paths towards earning college credit while in high school - from just a few credits to an associate degree. Explore the options below.

Flexible Programs

Explore careers and interests, gain exposure to college coursework, and increase college success. Take one or two classes per semester, at your high school or on the Howard Community College (HCC) campus, with the option to attend HCC full time during your senior year.

  • HCC Campus-Based College Credit

    This option is available for any high school student in Howard County, including private and home-school students. Admission for eighth, ninth, and 10th grade students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    • Take one or more college courses1,2 at HCC.
    • Earn credits toward your college degree. Some credits may also count toward high school graduation.
    • During senior year, you may be eligible to enroll at HCC as a full-time student. Talk to your school counselor for more information.

    To apply, visit the link below. Answer yes to the questions about being a current high school student and taking classes in high school. Your application fee is waived. Contact an HCC admissions advisor at 443-518-1200 for more information.

    Apply Now!

  • High School-Based Dual Credit

    This option is available for students attending Howard County Public Schools (HCPSS).

    • Take HCC courses1,taught by college-qualified HCPSS faculty.
    • Classes are taught at all high schools and vary by location. More options are available at Oakland Mills HS and River Hill HS.
    • Earn college credit and meet high school graduation requirements.
    • Access all of HCC’s campus-based resources.

    How to Apply: Talk to your counselor at your high school. Learn more on the HCPSS website.

 Structured Programs

Get on the fast track for advanced education by making the commitment to an Early College program starting in ninth or 10th grade. These programs combine high school-based and HCC campus-based dual credit for a structured pathway to high school graduation, and are open to HCPSS students.

  • Early College: 30 Credit Option
    • Choose from associate degree track programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), cybersecurity, computer science, criminal justice, entrepreneurship, general studies, secondary teaching, public health, or health sciences.
    • Graduate from high school with 30 college credits or more.
    • Complete your associate degree at HCC within one year of high school graduation, or transfer credits to another higher education institution.
    • Access all of HCC’s campus-based resources.
  • Early College: Degree Option (60 Credits)
    • Earn an Associate of Arts (AA) in general studies from HCC, while earning your high school diploma.
    • Graduate from high school with up to 60 college credits.
    • Transfer college credits to complete a bachelor’s degree.
    • Access all of HCC’s campus-based resources.
 Explore Early College Programs Apply Through HCPSS
   
  • How Much Does It Cost?
    • Families are responsible for paying course and consolidated fees, books, and discounted tuition.
    • Tuition is discounted 50% off HCC’s tuition costs.
    • HCC’s current academic year tuition rates and fees are available at howardcc.edu/pay.
    • Tuition costs change annually.
    • Students receiving Free and Reduced-price Meal services (FARMs) are only responsible for covering fees and books. Assistance may be available.
    • High School students are not eligible for federal student aid.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    How do JumpStart students earn college credit?

    Students are eligible to receive college credits after successfully completing the course. Some courses have prerequisites to enroll.

    Will college credits earned at HCC transfer?

    HCC credits will transfer to Maryland public four-year colleges and universities and most private and out-of-state colleges and universities3. HCC transfer advisors will assist students in planning for transfer to the college of their choice.

    Am I required to attend HCC after graduation?

    While structured programs provide a clear path for completing an associate degree at HCC, the college credits earned may be transferred elsewhere.

    I am an HCPSS parent/student with more questions about JumpStart.

    Visit the HCPSS website for more information.

1 - Prerequisites may be required for enrollment in some courses.
2 - Semester start dates for HCC campus-based courses may differ from HCPSS start dates. Students enrolled in HCC campus-based classes will follow the HCC calendar, with fall semester beginning earlier than HCPSS.
3 - Transferability of credits may vary depending on the course and the college or university.

 
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