Saturday, December 14, 2013

The American Honors Network: an innovative way to save money on the way to a diploma from a top-tier college

Each year a growing number of American high school students opts to begin college careers at  a community college rather than a four-year institution.  In the past, these were often students who didn't take their high school classes seriously until it was too late.  A weak high school transcript meant they needed to spend two years proving themselves before they could move on to a university.

Lately, however, the recession and concerns about the financial returns of a four-year degree have meant that many students opted for community college, not for academic reasons, but for financial ones.  A disproportionate number of these are the very students that colleges would love to recruit in order to add diversity.  Locally, the Wake Tech PAC program was designed for these students.  Enrollees who met the program requirements during two years at Wake Tech were guaranteed transfers to NC State University through an agreement between the two schools. After four years a students could have an NC State degree at a considerably reduced cost.

Someone has now taken this concept to the national level.  There is a growing consortium of community colleges and selective colleges and universities - both public and private - operating under an organization called the American Honors Network.  Elite schools eager to recruit top students with diverse backgrounds have agreed to recruit heavily from a list of community colleges who, in turn, have agreed to design rigorous honors programs in order to allow for the seamless transfer of credits.  You can read more about the program here.

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