Two years ago, in the summer after my tenth grade year, I signed up to be a full time online dual enrollment student through Liberty University. My mom found out about the EDGE program. It includes high school classes and college classes. She made a few phone calls and we discussed all the program had to offer and decided it would be a great fit for me. I couldn’t wait to get started with dual enrollment at Liberty University!
The best part of it was seeing that only 25% of their students stayed in the program. That scared the bejeebies out of me!
With just a little bit of paperwork and two college entrance tests I got signed up to take three courses through the University. They really don’t believe in starting you off easy! Those college classes were some of the hardest classes I took my Junior year.
In the first week I had to learn two different ways to cite my assignments, APA and MLA. Also had to deal with my first group assignments, and my first college level essay. That was a rough summer!
After, the first few weeks though, I started to get the hang of this whole “college thing” and as it turns out it actually wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it was. Then came fall, the start of three high school classes and two different college classes.
Every 8 weeks I’d complete two college classes and would be given a whole new set, except in the summer when I’d get one class for 16 weeks. The high school classes were set up like any other program with some year round classes that took a break for summer and only a few one semester classes.
High School Classes vs College Classes
I figured out pretty quickly that Liberty University Online Academy classes were worse than any college class! The workload was actually much more demanding than the college classes. This is partly because work was required daily for the high school classes vs the college classes which required work weekly.
While the high school classes had no true set deadlines, it was very easy to get behind on your work. Forget to turn in work for the week (believe me it happens)? Maybe went on vacation? You could come back to a week worth of assignments and projects. This would be incredibly hard to catch back up on.
Don’t be scared though! It really is good program. No program is perfect but it does have a lot of good things about it too. It has a very easy to use format and they made it so that the lessons aren’t boring.
I think that they were much harder than any college class I’ve ever taken through them. Despite my dislike of the classes I did learn a lot from them. At least I managed to get passing grades! A B- or higher was the minimum grade allowed for the high school classes.
Even though most of my college courses were the general courses, I was allowed to take one degree specific course. I was allowed to choose it based on the degree I planned on getting in the future.
Advisors and Teachers
Probably one of the best parts of the entire program is the people. I met some amazing people through the college classes. Any time I had a question about anything, my advisor was always just a phone call away. She helped me through any and all issues or problems I had with the EDGE program.
As far as the teachers go? I’ve only had problems with 3 out of the 20 professors I’ve had through the college classes. I’ve never had any issues with the teachers in the high school classes! They always helped me whenever I had a question or had an issue with the curriculum.
The overall cost of books, classes and everything was around $12,000. The payments were spread out over two years. It was about $260.00 per month over the two years that I was in the EDGE program. When you compare that to the average cost of $18,000 for an online state college or a private college’s online program at $30,000, it’s a $6,000-$12,000 savings!
Such a huge cost savings! And you’ve completed your full first two years of college by the time you’ve completed high school! The only true downside is that for a sophomore or junior in high school to get a student loan, is incredibly hard if not impossible. For most this means their parents have to sort of “foot the bill” so to speak and pay for it.
If you don’t want to take the full load and have more of a say of what classes you’re taking then you can take them “A La Carte”. You get a little more say about when you take the classes, what classes you take but the biggest drawback is that not all classes are available for “A La Carte”. There is a also a limit for how many classes you can take this way so you can’t take near as many as you would with the EDGE program.
The absolute best part about it was that I was able to attend the massive college/high school graduation that Liberty University had. They had a special section for us and even had a party the night before and our own graduation ceremony after the large general assembly. I participated as much as any college level graduate, plus I met some people I talked to in group projects in the past two years.
Highly Recommend It
I thought that I wouldn’t pass every semester. However, I made it through and I’m very glad I did. Despite everything, I wholeheartedly would recommend their program to anyone interested in dual enrollment. I learned a lot and there was a lot more to the program than just trying to pass a test or quiz. It makes you actually enjoy learning. I highly recommend Liberty University Online Academy’s EDGE program!
For more information click here: https://www.liberty.edu/onlineacademy/dual-enrollment/