One of the major hurdles high school students face when applying for college is standing out among a sea of applicants who also have solid test scores and AP classes all over their transcripts.

One strategy for students is to enroll in a college-level course at a local community college.

Taking a community college class is:
• equivalent to taking an AP class
• much less expensive than a summer college program
• a great way for your child to demonstrate readiness for college-level work.

The first step your child will need to take to enroll in a community college course is to obtain a dual-enrollment form from their high school counselor or counseling office.

Next, your child will want to go through the schedule of classes at the local community college and make a list of 3-5 classes that they find interesting, but also highlight their areas of strength.

Unless your child is math whiz, taking a college calculus course is probably not a wise idea. Classes in English, philosophy, speech or social sciences are usually better bets.

Also, ensure that credit for these classes is transferable to 4-year colleges.

If you live in California, for example, your child should be looking at classes that transfer into the UC system.

Most community colleges make lists of transferable classes available through their websites.

From the list of classes, your child should then register for one class based on scheduling and availability. Keep in mind that community college classes tend to fill up quickly, so your child’s first choice may not be available.

Finally, make sure that your child doesn’t forget to send transcripts from the community college to the colleges they are applying for. Most schools have made transcript request services available online, making the process easy and affordable.

If you want to learn more about what your child can do to get a scholarship or grant to attend one of the top colleges in the country, watch this webinar at

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