Savvy students get credits, save cash for college

Many high-school students say they sign up for college classes to get a taste of college coursework and a jump-start on a degree. It’s not until the end of their high-school careers, after they’ve compiled all of their college credits, that they realize the cost savings.

That’s what happened to senior Anna Bower, who accrued 46 credits from Ohio State University while at Metro Early College High School.

“At this point, I will have to take out very little student loans, if any,” she said.

Bower has been told that all 46 credits will transfer to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, where she will attend in the fall. She said she’ll be able to shave a year off college — and save about $12,600.

At Metro, where students take college classes as early as their sophomore year, 68 graduates — more than two-thirds of the school’s Class of 2015 — have earned college credits, as few as three or as many as 85. That equals about $1 million in savings based on where they will be attending in the fall.

Some previous Metro graduates have used the cost savings to graduate early, while others have pursued double majors and master’s degrees, Principal Meka Pace said.

Metro senior Ali Rahman will graduate with 85 OSU credits. He considered attending Ohio State, where he was halfway through a bachelor’s degree in physics and had already completed a minor in math.

Instead, he plans to attend Brown University, in Providence, R.I., where he will major in math, physics and philosophy. He estimates that 20 of his credits will transfer.

“I wasn’t counting how many credits I was earning,” he said. “I was taking whatever classes I was interested in. I was able to learn and grow and explore my interests.”

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