Michigan high school students can earn college credits at no cost to them: Find out if you qualify

Michigan offers dual enrollment, early middle college programs

High school students in Michigan may be able to earn college credits at no cost to them through programs offered through their district and the state.

Dual enrollment

The Dual Enrollment Bills make it so high school students can earn college credit at no cost to them.

Under the bills, school boards are required to make sure that every student in 8th grade or higher knows about opportunities to take college courses while in high school. High school students can only take college courses that are not already offered by their high school or academy, and the courses must lead toward postsecondary credit, accreditation, certification and/or licensing.

The Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act provides payment from a school district’s state aid foundation grant for enrollment of certain eligible high school students. Tuition, mandatory course or material fees and registration fees will be billed to the school district.

Are you a high school student? Find out if you’re eligible:

  • You must be enrolled in at least one high school class in a school district, public school academy or state-approved nonpublic school in Michigan.
  • Foreign exchange pupils enrolled under a cultural exchange program are not eligible.
  • You must have at least one parent or legal guardian that is a resident of Michigan (unless you are experiencing homelessness).
  • You must not have been enrolled in high school for more than four school years (there are exceptions).

Click here to learn more about dual enrollment.

View the FAQ for dual enrollment:

View the dual enrollment qualifying assessments and scores below:

Click here to make sure the courses you take will transfer to the college or university you plan on attending next. This website is a good indicator, but you should always check directly with the school you want to attend.

Early middle college

Early middle college is a five-year program that has been approved by the Michigan Department of Education that allows a high school student to also earn college credits.

High school students enrolled in early middle college will receive coursework through a public or private college or university in Michigan. School districts are required to pay the tuition, mandatory course fees, material fees and registration fees for enrollment in eligible courses -- unless the costs exceed a certain prorated percentage.

High school students can begin the program as early as 9th grade.

Students enrolled in the 5-year program can earn their high school diploma and one or more of the following:

  • 60 transferable college credits
  • An associate degree
  • A professional certification
  • The Michigan Early Middle College Association (MEMCA) technical certificate
  • Participation in a registered apprenticeship

Here are the different types of programs:

  • Early Middle College High School: Means a stand-alone public high school, where 100% of the pupils are enrolled as EMC pupils.
  • Early Middle College Program is a high school program designed to serve less than 100% of the high school population.
  • Early Middle College Consortium program is comprised of multiple school districts with one coordinating agency.

Click here to learn more about early middle college, or read more in the document below.

View a list of early middle colleges below:

Read: Wayne-Westland Community School District approved for middle college program: What to know

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.