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Dual Enrollment: Student Eligibility Requirements

This database indicates the grade-level, academic, or other criteria students must meet to participate in dual enrollment programs. Most if not all states allow waivers on grade-level eligibility criteria for students in gifted and talented programs. Grade level criteria listed below are those for general education students and do not reflect such waiver policies.

Why does it matter?
  • Some high-ability students may not have been challenged by their high school programs to perform up to their potential. Proficiency-based eligibility measures may be a better means than high school grades in determining student eligibility.
  • Teacher perception of student ability should not be the detemining factor in whether a student may participate in a dual enrollment program.


  • Highlights
  • Grade level: Two states require students who meet all other eligibility criteria to be in at least grade 10; 20 states require students to be in at least grade 11. Nine states appear to allow students in any grades 9-12 to participate, provided students meet all other eligibility criteria. In seven states, the eligible student's grade level varies, depending on which of two or more state-level programs a student is participating in. At least three states have an additional dual enrollment program especially designed for students in grade 12.
  • Grade point average: Seven states include minimum high school grade point average (GPA) as a criterion to be admitted to a dual enrollment program. Three more states require a GPA for program admission only under certain circumstances.
  • Written approval/recommendation: In 22 states, written permission or a recommendation from a teacher, principal, other school or district staff member or postsecondary official is an eligibility criterion. In three additional states, written approval is necessary only for certain programs or under certain circumstances.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution: Twenty-five states require dual enrollment candidates to demonstrate college readiness by earning minimum scores on ACT, SAT, PSAT or college placement exams, and meeting course prerequisites set by departments or institutions.
  • "Other":  Seventeen states require all dual enrollment candidates to meet "other" eligibility criteria, including parental permission, completion of certain high school courses or passing scores on state assessments. Five additional states require "other" criteria only for certain programs or under certain circumstances.
  • Not specified: In five states, additional eligibility criteria are left to the discretion of local high schools or districts and/or postsecondary institutions. In three additional states, discretionary criteria may exist only for specified programs.
  • Eleven states leave all eligibility criteria to the discretion of local high schools or districts and/or postsecondary institutions.


  • Note: This database does not include information about Tech Prep or early/middle college high school programs. Information about such programs is included in the ECS career/technical education and early/middle college high school databases.

    Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Last updated: December 4, 2008

    This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.

    Student eligibility requirements
    Alabama
  • Student in grades 10-12
  • Minimum GPA
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Alaska
  • Not specified
  • Arizona
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: Only applies for courses offered at high schools. A community college may waive the grade level requirement for up to 25% of students, provided that students in grades 9-10 demonstrate via exam and course requirements, that they are prepared to benefit from the course.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Student completion of course prerequisites, and either score on college placement test that indicates the student is at the appropriate level for the course, or composite score of at least: 93 on PSAT, 930 on SAT, or 22 on ACT (student may substitute this score for AIMS exam scores listed under "other")
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Students below age 18 must achieve passing score on relevant portions of Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) Test (or adequate college placement test score listed under "entrance requirements" above). Students age 18 and older who do not have a high school diploma and who wish to enroll in a course offered on the community college campus need only demonstrate "evidence of potential success in the community college."
  • Arkansas
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: General concurrent enrollment students must be accepted to the institution as non-degree/certificate-seeking students. They must have scored at least 19 on the ACT Reading subtest, or earned EXPLORE or PLAN scores projected to produce at least 19 on the ACT Reading subtest, or equivalent scores on the SAT, ASSET or COMPASS. Concurrent enrollment courses in English or math require a 19 or better on the respective ACT subtest or a score on the EXPLORE or PLAN projected to produce a 19 or better on the respective ACT subtest, or an equivalent score on the SAT, ASSET or COMPASS.
  • California
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Parental permission
  • Colorado
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: For Fast Track: Student is in grade 12 and has completed all graduation requirements. For Postsecondary Enrollment Options: Student is deemed to be in need of coursework at a higher academic level than that available at the student's school or is deemed by the high school to be in need of a different environment. Students in grades 9-12 may participate.
  • Connecticut
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Minimum GPA
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Delaware
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: The "articulation agreement" between a district or school and the postsecondary partner must identify student eligibility criteria. Student eligibility requirements must be based on multiple indicators of readiness such as a combination of tests, course grades, teacher recommendations or portfolios.
  • District of Columbia
  • Not specified
  • Florida
  • Minimum GPA
    Notes/Citation: Exceptions to the GPA requirement may be made if agreed to by educational entities and are included in the interinstitutional articulation agreement.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: "District interinstitutional articulation agreements" between districts and postsecondary partners must identify student eligibility criteria. Agreements must also set forth institutional responsibilities regarding student screening prior to enrollment and monitoring student performance. Legislation directs the department of education to adopt guidelines to achieve comparability of student qualifications across districts.
  • Georgia
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: Or student age 16 or older
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Accel program: parental permission if the student is a minor
  • Hawaii
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Student may be required to take a placement test that demonstrates the student's ability to succeed at the college level.
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Other qualifications may be set by the department of education or University of Hawaii.
  • Idaho
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Illinois
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Students must satisfy course placement tests or course prerequisites.
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Students must have appropriate academic qualifications, a high level of motivation and adequate time to devote to studying a college-level course.
  • Indiana
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: For Postsecondary Enrollment Program and Double Up: However, a local board may establish procedures to allow students below grade 11 to participate in the program.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: For Postsecondary Enrollment Program and Double Up
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: For Fast Track to College: Students must be either (1) at least 19 and not enrolled in a high school or (2) at least 17 and have consent from the high school the student attended most recently.
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: For Double Up: The postsecondary institution may, with the school corporation, determine the terms and conditions under which a student may be admitted to the program. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education's Dual Credit Policy (2005) requires that postsecondary institutions use the same admissions policies for dual credit courses as used for other on-campus courses.
  • Iowa
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: For Postsecondary Enrollment Options. Students in grades 9-12 may participate in Concurrent Enrollment courses.
  • Written approval/recommendation
    Notes/Citation: For both Postsecondary Enrollment Options and Concurrent Enrollment.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Postsecondary Enrollment Options and Concurrent Enrollment: Student must meet enrollment requirements, minimum performance measures on any academic assessments that may be required, and course prerequisites set by the postsecondary institution.
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Postsecondary Enrollment Options and Concurrent Enrollment: Student must demonstrate proficiency in reading, mathematics, and science. If a student is not proficient in one or more of the content areas, the school board may establish alternative but equivalent qualifying performance measures including but not limited to additional administrations of the state assessment, portfolios of student work, student performance rubric, or end-of-course assessments.
  • Kansas
  • Student in grades 10-12
  • Minimum GPA
    Notes/Citation: Students in grades 10-12 must either have a minimum 3.0 GPA, or an ACT or SAT score above the national average.
  • Written approval/recommendation
    Notes/Citation: Only required for students who do not meet the minimum GPA/ACT/SAT score requirement, have passed an "ability-to-benefit test" approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and will attend a technical program offered in a community college.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Student must have "demonstrated the ability to benefit from participation in the regular curricula of eligible postsecondary education institutions...."
  • Kentucky
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: All students willing to accept the challenge of a rigorous academic curriculum must be admitted to dual credit and dual enrollment courses provided they have successfully completed the prerequisite coursework or have otherwise demonstrated mastery of the prerequisite content knowledge and skills as determined by measurable standards.
  • Louisiana
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: For TOPS Tech Early Start. For Early Start: Students must be in grades 11-12 and at least 15 years old
  • Minimum GPA
    Notes/Citation: For TOPS Tech Early Start
  • Written approval/recommendation
    Notes/Citation: For Early Start
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: For TOPS Tech Early Start: Student must score at least 15 on the English and math sections of the PLAN. For Early Start: Students must have taken either the PLAN, ACT or SAT and those scores are on file at the high school (minimum scores on ACT, PLAN or SAT vary depending on whether student is enrolling in a college-level degree credit course, enrichment/developmental course, or work skills course).
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: For TOPS Tech Early Start: Student must have prepared a 5-year education and career plan, including a sequence of related courses with a career focus, and must have passing scores on the English and math sections of the graduation exam. For Early Start: Students must be in good standing as defined by the high school, must have parental permission, and to enroll in college level or developmental courses, must be on track to complete the Regents/TOPS core by high school graduation. Eff. Class of 2012: Regents/TOPS core requirement replaced by requirement that student be on track to complete the Louisiana Core 4 curriculum. To enroll in work skills courses, a student must be on track to graduate from high school and have declared a career area of concentration in high school.
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: For traditional dual enrollment: Determined by the postsecondary institution. Postsecondary institutions must set entry requirements, guided by the requirements of the board of regents' Academic Affairs Policy 2.18 - Minimum Requirements for Placement into Entry- Level, College-Level Mathematics and English.
  • Maine
  • Minimum GPA
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Parental approval. Policy also states that if a student does not meet all approval criteria set in statute, the student may still participate in dual enrollment provided the student is at least in grade 11, has received a recommendation from the student's high school and has received approval from a postsecondary institution.
  • Maryland
  • Not specified
  • Massachusetts
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Legislation directs the board of education, in consultation with the board of higher education, to establish criteria for admission.
  • Michigan
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: For both programs
  • Written approval/recommendation
    Notes/Citation: For both programs
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: For both programs: Student must have passed all subject areas on the Michigan merit exam (MME). A student who has not taken the MME must have achieved a qualifying score in all subject areas on a readiness assessment (PSAT, ACT PLAN or ACT), or, if hoping to participate in a career and technical preparation program, a qualifying score in mathematics and a qualifying score on a nationally or industry recognized job skills assessment test as determined by the superintendent of public instruction. Parents must provide written confirmation that they have received information and counseling about programs.
  • Minnesota
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: In addition, any person under 21 eligible for the graduation incentives program may participate in postsecondary enrollment options.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Mississippi
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: All programs: Students must have completed at least 14 core high school credits (as defined in regulations) OR have earned at least a composite score of 30 on the ACT (or an equivalent score on the SAT) and met all other eligibility requirements.
  • Minimum GPA
    Notes/Citation: All programs
  • Written approval/recommendation
    Notes/Citation: All programs
  • Missouri
  • Minimum GPA
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Montana
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Student must complete a running start application; the district must "determine whether the student has the skills needed to succeed in the proposed college coursework."
  • Nebraska
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Eligibility requirements are set by high schools and postsecondary institutions. However, the Nebraska dual enrollment standards state that "eligible students will typically" be in grades 11 and 12; meet course prerequisites; "be formally identified as high ability or gifted students by" the high school; have at least a 3.0 GPA; a minimum ACT score of 20, etc.
  • Nevada
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: Students in grades 9 and 10 who have not been identified as academically gifted or talented may enroll for zero credits in Community Services courses only.
  • Written approval/recommendation
    Notes/Citation: Approval of institution officials
  • New Hampshire
  • Not specified
  • New Jersey
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Local boards determine student eligibility.
  • New Mexico
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Student must obtain permission from a postsecondary institution representative
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Parental permission. Student must also be enrolled one-half or more of the minimum course requirements approved by the public education department for public school students (enrolled at least half-time in high school courses).
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: The agreement between the district and postsecondary partner must specify any student eligibility requirements.
  • New York
  • Not specified
  • North Carolina
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: Concurrent Enrollment: Student must be at least age 16
  • Written approval/recommendation
    Notes/Citation: Huskins: The high school's chief administrative officer must recommend the student. Concurrent Enrollment: Upon approval of the president of the college, and upon approval of the student's program by the chief administrative school officer and the president of the college.
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Concurrent Enrollment: The chief administrative school officer must affirm that the student is taking the equivalent of one-half of a full-time schedule and is making progress toward graduation.
  • North Dakota
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Parent permission
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Postsecondary campuses may publish guidelines that describe criteria for student eligibility.
  • Ohio
  • Minimum GPA
    Notes/Citation: For Post-Secondary Enrollment Options: Students may not enroll in a college course if the student has taken high school courses in the same subject area as that college course and has failed to attain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent, in such completed high school courses. For Seniors to Sophomores: Students must have earned at least a "C" in Algebra II and completed at least three years of high school English with at least a "C" average (also listed under "Other")
  • Written approval/recommendation
    Notes/Citation: For Post-Secondary Enrollment Options
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: For Seniors to Sophomores: Students must score college ready on the college partner's placement assessment as defined by the college.
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: For Seniors to Sophomores: Students must pass all parts of the Ohio Graduation Test, complete Algebra II or the equivalent with a "C" or better, and complete three years of high school English with a "C" or better.
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: For Post-Secondary Enrollment Options: Institutions may set their own eligibility requirements.
  • Oklahoma
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Minimum GPA
    Notes/Citation: Students not required to meet GPA requirements to enter concurrent enrollment, but must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in college courses to continue participation.
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Students may only enroll in subjects where they have met the ACT assessment requirements for college placement as determined by the state regents. A high school student not meeting the designated score in science reasoning, mathematics, and English will not be permitted enrollment in the corresponding college subject area. A student scoring below the established ACT score in reading is not permitted enrollment in any other college course outside the subjects of science, math and English.
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Parental permission. In addition, University of Oklahoma (OU) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) are authorized to set higher admission standards for 12th grade students. OU is authorized to require minimum class rank or grade point average in addition to ACT or SAT score.
  • Oregon
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: Students who are not in grade 11 or 12 but who either (1) are at least 16 years old or (2) have developed an educational learning plan as defined in statute and who have not completed the requirements for a high school diploma are eligible to participate.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Student must apply for acceptance at the postsecondary institution
  • Pennsylvania
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Postsecondary placement test scores, plus demonstrated readiness for college-ready coursework, as determined by the postsecondary institution.
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Results of nationally available achievement tests or other standardized tests used in the district's assessment system, plus satisfactory progress toward meeting high school graduation requirements, as determined by the student's district.
  • Rhode Island
  • Not specified
  • South Carolina
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Minimum GPA
    Notes/Citation: Only for courses offered by four-year institutions and two-year regional campuses of the University of South Carolina (not applicable to courses sections in technical colleges).
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Only for technical colleges: students must "meet the same requirements for individual courses as other college students"
  • South Dakota
  • Student in grades 10-12
    Notes/Citation: For distance learning courses and courses taught by postsecondary faculty
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: For courses taught by high school teachers through an agreement between the board of regents and a postsecondary institution
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Tennessee
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Texas
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
    Notes/Citation: Students must earn minimum scores on any of several college placement tests, including COMPASS and ACCUPLACER, or earn minimum scores on the English or math section of the 11th grade Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). An 11th grade student may alternatively qualify by earning a minimum score on the English language arts/reading or math portions of the 10th grade TAKS, PSAT or PLAN. Students who qualify using the PSAT or PLAN must demonstrate eligibility again in 12th grade.
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: A student may enroll in workforce education dual enrollment courses by achieving the minimum passing standard in math or English language arts on the grade 10 or 11 TAKS.
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Local high schools/postsecondary institutions determine additional student eligibility requirements.
  • Utah
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Student eligibility requirements set by schools and postsecondary partners must include parental permission. "Local schools have the primary responsibility for identifying students" eligible to participate. All participating students must have a current "student education/occupation plan (SEOP)" on file at their school.
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Schools and postsecondary partners jointly establish additional student eligibility requirements.
  • Vermont
  • Not specified
  • Virginia
  • Student in grades 11-12
    Notes/Citation: For partnerships between high schools and community colleges. Exceptions may be considered for freshman and sophomore students who are able to demonstrate readiness for college level coursework through the college’s established institutional policies.
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: Parental permission
  • Washington
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Institutions of higher education, in consultation with school districts, may establish admissions standards for students.
  • West Virginia
  • Written approval/recommendation
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Wisconsin
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Other
    Notes/Citation: For programs at technical colleges: "good academic standing" and written parental approval.
  • Wyoming
  • Not specified
    Notes/Citation: Must be based on criteria established by the university or community college in collaboration with the department of education, and must address student grade level, uniform prior curricula requirements, academic achievement levels and national exam performance indicators.


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