Frugal parents understand the value of a good education. Summer is a great time for students to take classes to get ahead in life. High school students have options for their education that can save a great deal of time and money for everyone in the long-run. With the current education budget cuts being seen in our public education, there are some things that parents can do that will dramatically impact their child’s opportunities and reduce the amount of time their child spends in school.
A high school student that graduates in three years in Texas is eligible for the Early High School Graduation Scholarship that pays $2,000 for tuition and fees. If the student also has completed 15 college credits, they are eligible for an additional $1,000. This is not an impossible feat. A high school student has options for earning their high school credits in a variety of ways in Texas. Regular high school classes provide an opportunity for students to earn 7 credits per year. A student who is enrolled in school for three years would have an opportunity to earn a total of 21 credits. The additional 5 credits required to graduate could be earned from many sources. Many school districts offer before or after school classes. Night school is available at Northside ISD for $110 per 1/2 credit class. Many of these classes are offered online from APEX learning. Parents can go directly through the APEX company for a variety of AP and regular courses. Another source of high school credit is available from Texas Tech University ISD. Classes are offered k-12 online, distance education, and credit by exam. Students can either take classes from the ISD that are transfered to their home campus or become a student in the TTUISD upon acceptance. UT Austin also has an ISD option for taking high school classes. Summer school enrollment is another option for obtaining credits. Northside ISD offers summer school classes for $140 per 1/2 credit for students in-district. High school resources and online textbooks can be accessed free at www.hippocampus.org. These resources can be valuable to students who choose to study and take the credit by exam tests offered through many school districts as well as at Texas Tech ISD k-12.
The Alamo colleges offer dual credit college classes to students begining in the 10th grade. Application deadlines are posted online and firmly held to. This option allows high school students to take college classes for free. The Early Admission Program is another option for high school students to take regular college classes while still in high school. This option works well for many during the summer between the junior and senior year in high school. Classes are out-of-pocket though. These opportunities provide students a chance to complete the 15 college credits necessary to be eligible for the Early High School Graduation Scholarship.
Taxpayers benefit greatly from this arrangement. Consider for a moment the cost to educate one student in a typical Texas high school for one school year is about $7,000. If one student finishes high school a full year early, tax payers have saved $7,000 in education spending. If this amount were extended to 10 students, a savings of $70,000 would be realized. If there were 100 students who followed a 3-year plan to graduate, $700,000 would be saved. The budget crisis would not even be a topic of concern if students were offered options to finish their education early rather than be forced to remain in school the full 4 years.
Families benefit from students completing high school in three years from the standpoint of their child being available to enter college and the workforce a full year earlier. Society benefits by having a productive member of the community. Schools benefit by graduating students who continue on into the workforce and college. Being frugal can become a lifestyle that affects all aspects of society.