For students in their sophomore, junior or senior year, it’s possible to earn college credit while in high school by participating in the PSEO program!
Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) allows high school sophomores, juniors, seniors to take college courses at an actual college. The courses are taught by a college instructor. You can take a variety of courses, ranging from general education to technical courses. They can be taken face-to-face in a classroom, online, or a combination of the two. You can go part-time, and take some classes at your high school (through AP, IB, concurrent enrollment, or others) and some at the college. Or go full-time, and take all of them at the college. Transportation funds are available from the state for students from low-income families.
Because PSEO courses are free, you can save time and money earning your degree. Some students have earned an associate’s degree at the same time they completed high school, all at no cost. You can also complete occupational certificates tuition-free.
If you’re not finding your high school classes interesting or challenging, then PSEO may be a good option for you. Colleges and universities offer a wide range of classes. This gives you the chance to explore more subjects and at an advanced level. PSEO students have access to the same support services that the college students do, such as writing tutors. PSEO students also still have full access to programming at their high school, such as extra-curricular activities and athletics.
Studies have also shown that students who take college courses in high school are more likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years. That’s important. Each additional year of college costs you more money.
All sophomores, juniors and seniors can contact the college or university of their interest and ask for the PSEO Coordinator for more information regarding courses offered, requirements and deadlines. Each institution has their own deadlines and requirements.
For a MN statewide list of institutions that offer PSEO see Participating Post Secondary Institutions, 2017-18 for location and contact number.
For more information on eligibility details at MnSCU institutions, see Minnesota State Colleges and Universities PSEO eligibility requirements or visit the Minnesota Department of Education PSEO website for helpful forms.
Beginning in May 2012, 10th graders have been allowed to take a career/technical course through PSEO. If the 10th grader earns at least a “C” in the first course, she/he may take as many additional career/technical courses as fit into her/his schedule. The Legislative Changes – July 2012 provides detailed language of eligibility for 10th graders to participate in PSEO. Please use the Career and Technical Education Courses for Eligible 10th-Grade Students to choose the right college or university that is best for your child’s academic needs.
There are several other ways high schools students can earn free college credits:
- Courses at your high school taught by a qualified high school instructor (see concurrent enrollment, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate);
- Courses at your high school taught by a college instructor (see concurrent enrollment);
- Credits granted through one-time testing with the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- PSEO information from MN Department of Education
- Participating Postsecondary Institutions 2011-2012
- Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program Notice of Student Registration
- Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program Information
- Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program Frequently Asked Questions