Whether you are signing up for electives or advanced courses, the classes you take in high school reveal so much about your motivation and interest in learning. Smart choices now will open more opportunities for college. Remember that meeting high school graduation requirements may not mean meeting college entrance requirements. Plus, there are many benefits to taking more rigorous courses including:
Recent national surveys and data indicate many students are not challenging themselves enough in high school. The result places students at a real disadvantage when seeking admission to college or trying to secure their first job. In response, the State of New Hampshire supports the State Scholars Initiative: a program that encourages students to take a more rigorous course of study.
According to the study Achieve, Inc. completed in 2005, over 70% of recent high school graduates wish they had taken more rigorous courses in high school. So, whether you plan to go to a four-year, two-year or technical school, there are certain subjects that are critical to your success. Patterned after the recommendations of the National Commission on Excellence in Education and other groups, the NH State Scholars Core Course of Study includes no less than the following:
Keep in mind that electives allow you to explore special interests. Consider electives that will help you to enhance your profile and develop your talents.
Specific high school course requirements vary from college to college; if you have a certain type of school in mind, click here for more detailed information on possible admissions requirements. Check a college’s admissions website for information on what high school courses they require –and remember, certain programs within a college may also require additional high school courses.
New Hampshire Scholars is a community-based program that encourages students to take a more rigorous core course of study in high school. It is based on a partnership between a community’s local business leaders and its school district. Many New Hampshire colleges and universities offer scholarships to NH Scholars students. For a list of participating school districts, click here.
A concurrent enrollment program is an educational program for high school students that want to earn college credit while they simultaneously complete the regular requirements to graduate from high school. Concurrent enrollment is therefore a great opportunity to get a head start on your college studies while you’re still in high school.
In 1999, the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) introduced the Running Start program which is a partnership between New Hampshire’s community colleges and high schools that gives students the ability to take courses at their high school for both high school AND college credit. Similar to Running Start, but conducted online, eStart is a program that was launched in 2009 in partnership with the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School.
The Running Start program, in collaboration with CCSNH, is a program in which high school juniors and seniors take actual NH community college courses for full college and high school credit. These courses are taught by qualified high school teachers during regular school hours at the students’ high school. Tuition is $150 per course (plus books and supplies if not provided by the high school) and some scholarships are available. To find out what specific courses are available through Running Start you can visit your high school guidance counselor; they will be able to give you a comprehensive list.
As a college-readiness program, Running Start may seem similar to taking Advance Placement (AP) courses. However, there are significant differences between Running Start and AP courses. For example, unlike AP courses, Running Start consists of actual college courses, students earn college credits that can be transferred to many different colleges and universities around the country, and students earn a college grade based on a variety of different measures – not just one big test.
To register for Running Start, you need to do three things:
When it comes to transferring your college credits earned through Running Start to a college or university of your choosing, you will want to have an official CCSNH transcript sent to the college or university you plan on attending. You should complete a Transcript Request Form and either mail or fax it to the Office of the Registrar at the college through which your course was offered. You may download a Transcript Request Form from the college’s website that offered the course. Note: transcripts can only be requested by the student.
eStart is a partnership between CCSNH and the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School. It is similar to Running Start, though it focuses on online education as opposed to Running Start’s traditional classroom environment. Like Running Start, eStart’s tuition is $150 per course and the courses are open to high school juniors and seniors. However, eStart’s dual credit program is an opportunity for NH high school students to take 100% online college courses while earning both high school and college credit at the same time. When in doubt, however, students should verify with their high school principal, counselor, or Running Start liaison that the eStart college course will meet a high school requirement.
No matter what grade you are in, it’s important to make your classes count! By applying yourself in your studies, you will gain a valuable edge in understanding the material, do well on assignments, and ultimately receive good grades.
AP classes give students the chance to challenge themselves with rigorous coursework. There are more than 30 courses offered through the AP program, but students should check with the guidance office to see which are available at their high school. If you are interested but your school doesn't offer AP courses, visit www.vlacs.org to learn about the tuition free online virtual public school. The AP Program gives students the experience of college-level work while still in high school. And, a solid score on the AP exam can help students earn college credit! Students save time and money when colleges accept AP courses for credit. Check out the College Board website to learn about the AP Credit Policy at various colleges and universities nationwide. AP Courses are available in the following subject areas:
During their six week summer program, students live on the campus of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and take five classes in the following areas: math, science, English, electives and "success studies" (SAT prep, study skills, etc.). Small classes are designed to inspire excitement about academics and give students a head start on college. For more information about the UNH Upward Bound Summer Program, click here.
The CATS (Challenging Academically Talented Students) program is open to motivated and academically strong local high school seniors and juniors who want to enrich their academic experience with an introductory college level course (400-500 level). It is designed to supplement the high school curriculum – NOT replace courses offered at the high school. High school students must submit a completed application, an official high school transcript, and SAT or ACT (if available) to the Office of Admissions. The CATS Coordinator will then review it for approval. Spaces fill on a first-come, first-served basis.
Project SMART is a Summer Institute at the University of New Hampshire that challenges, educates, and motivates talented high school students in science and mathematics while acquainting them with the environment and resources of the University as a place for higher education and research.
Upward Bound is a year-round college preparatory program. It prepares students for success in high school and enrollment in college. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is free of charge to students who meet eligibility criteria. It serves students enrolled in the following high schools in New Hampshire and Vermont: Bellows Falls Union, Brattleboro Union, Green Mountain Union, Fall Mountain Regional, Keene, Leland and Gray Union, Monadnock Regional, and Springfield.
The Links Program is a six week summer program designed for first-time college students. The purpose of Links is to expose students to the academic and social expectations of college in a supportive learning community. The program takes place in classrooms, a residence hall, around campus, and in the local Keene community. The Links Program is designed to ensure beginning college students have a successful and fulfilling academic experience. It allows students to enter college through a challenging, yet rewarding program that builds confidence and the connections that lead to making the most out of their time on campus. Links students are recent high school graduates and those out of school for a while. Tuition includes enrollment in 9 credits as well as room and board for the 6 weeks. Partial scholarships are available to those who qualify. For more information on Links, please visit the website at the Keene State College Links page.
Spur is a 4-week residential summer program for those families seeking a college preparatory experience whose income exceeds the federal guidelines for the Upward Bound program. Any high school student is eligible to apply. The goals of Spur are to prepare students to complete a rigorous high school program of study, assist students in applying to and enrolling in college, and introduce students to stimulating new areas of interest – both academic and non-academic – available at most colleges. Spur aims to improve students’ reading, writing, math, science, test-taking, and study skills. But, beyond this academic work, Spur aims to improve students’ skills for relating to other people – people who may be culturally similar or culturally different . Spur gives students the experience of cooperative living through self-governing residence on campus and allows students to explore leadership potential and strengthen a commitment to self-improvement. Partial scholarships are available to those who qualify. For more information on Spur, please visit the website at www.keene.edu/academics/departments/ub/.
Plymouth State University offers a one week residential program for high school students. Students who attend will write in journals, write poetry, work with professional authors and illustrators, write on computers, conference with peers and teachers, and revise and publish their writing. The camps afford an opportunity to enjoy being part of a community of writers. Summer Camps for Young Writers and the Summer Institute for Young Writers are planned and staffed by National Writing Project in New Hampshire teacher consultants.
The six week RISD summer Pre-College Program introduces high school students to the focused curriculum of a college of art and design. Students live in residence halls, attend social activities, and study a particular subject in the fine or visual arts. Participants must be high school students between the age of 16 and 18 years old. For more information about the RISD summer program, click here.
At Tufts Summer Study, you have an opportunity to challenge and stretch yourself in new ways, while getting a head start on your college career. Do something this summer that will enhance your college application and add distinction to your educational background! You may or you may not know where you want to attend college or what your major will be. Tufts Summer Study can help. Through four enrollment options, you can catch a glimpse of what college life is like, investigate a possible major, and earn college credit that can be transferred later. Click here for more information.
These immersion workshops range from four-week programs to full-year programs. They are designed to introduce students to the creative and technical demands of telling stories with moving images. Students have the opportunity to write, direct, shoot and edit short films. Award-winning instructors, abundant equipment, and small classes provide students with the individual attention and support necessary to complete their own work. For more information about NY Film Academy's summer program, click here.
We invite you to choose from five exciting and challenging summer high school programs. Each program offers the opportunity to explore new subjects and college life—while making friends with fellow students and participating in social activities in Boston and on campus. Join other motivated high school students from 49 states and 87 countries and experience a great introduction to college life and academics. Click here for more information.
Alongside college and adult students, you can earn college credit in Harvard courses and explore subjects not available at your high school. You study with distinguished faculty, use state-of-the-art labs, and have access to the largest university library system in the world. For more information, click here.