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Dual Enrollment: Who Is Primarily Responsible for Paying Tuition

This database indicates who is primarily responsible for paying students' tuition — the student's family, the district, etc. — or if postsecondary institutions are required to waive tuition for dual enrollment students.

Why does it matter?
  • Low-income students are less likely to be able to afford any related tuition. Leaving tuition costs for families to cover could easily dissuade low-income students from participating in dual enrollment programs.


  • Highlights
    Who is primarily responsible for paying a student's dual enrollment tuition:
  • Students/parents: Twenty-two states
  • Student's school district: Six states
  • Participating postsecondary institution: Three states
  • The state department of education or another state organization: Three states
  • Four states (Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri) have multiple dual enrollment programs which have different groups that are primarily responsible for tuition.
  • In six states there is no clear funding system in place.


  • Note: In some of the states where the student or parent is primarily responsible for tuition, state rules or laws stipulate that a district or higher education institution may fund the tuition costs. The fact that the language in these states says "may" as opposed to "will" means that the primary responsibility of paying tuition is still with the parents or the student, and only the secondary responsibility lies with the district/higher education institution.

    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 2, 2008

    This database was compiled by Michael Griffith, senior school finance analyst. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3619 or mgriffith@ecs.org.

    Who is primarily responsible for paying tuition
    Alabama Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent, unless otherwise negotiated between the college and the local board of education.
    Alaska Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Arizona Unless the student's high school or community college has volunteered to pay the tuition, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Arkansas For both concurrent enrollment and dual enrollment, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.

    California While the community college does have the right to waive the cost of tuition to students, it is not required to do so. If tuition costs are not waived, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Colorado Parents must first pay the postsecondary institution for the cost of a college course, and then are "... subject to reimbursement by the school district upon successful completion of such postsecondary courses." Different rules apply to students who qualify for free/reduced lunch.
    Connecticut "The (community) college will pay the costs of tuition for the high school students participating in the program and will waive all fees." Tuition is not paid for noncredit and extension courses. District and/or students pay book costs.
    Delaware Payment of tuition varies depending upon the type of dual enrollment and district policy. Depending on the program and location, may be grant-funded, paid by the student or student's parent, or covered by waivers for eligible students.
    District of Columbia Unknown
    Florida Students enrolled in programs at public institutions are exempted from paying registration, tuition and laboratory fees — students enrolled at private institutions are not.
    Georgia Accel and dual enrollment students in non-degree granting programs that qualify for HOPE Grants: Student tuition, fees and a book allowance are paid for through the state's lottery funds. Students cannot receive more than a cumulative total of 190 quarter hours or 127 semester hours of Accel, HOPE Grant, and/or HOPE Scholarship payments.

    Dual & joint enrollment for students not qualifying for state lottery funding: Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Hawaii Unless the student is from a low-income family that qualifies for financial aid from the state's Gear Up program, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Idaho For a pupil enrolled in a postsecondary enrollment options course, the school district may make payments or partial payments for courses taken for secondary credit. The school district superintendent cannot make payments to a postsecondary institution for a course taken for postsecondary credit only. The district superintendent cannot make payments to a postsecondary institution for a course from which a student officially withdraws during the first 14 days of the semester or for courses for audit.
    Illinois Student or school district (locally determined)
    Indiana Double Up for College: Students eligible for free/reduced lunch must have their tuition waived. The university/community college may waive any student's tuition, but is not required to do so.

    Post Secondary Enrollment Program and Fast Track to College: A school may grant financial assistance to a student enrolled in a Post Secondary Enrollment Program but is not required to.
    Iowa District pays by June 30 (end of school year). Statute bars institutions from charging students for tuition. However, if the student does not complete or receive credit for the course, the student is responsible for all tuition and other course costs, and must reimburse the district.
    Kansas Tuition is an amount negotiated by the school district and the college/university under this program. Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Kentucky The state does not address the issue of tuition for dual enrollment programs in either legislation or rules. Thus, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Louisiana TOPS-Tech Early Start: The state pays the postsecondary institution $50 per credit hour, up to $150 per course, for a student enrolled in specific courses. A student may take two courses in the 11th grade and two in the 12th under this program.

    Early Start: The state pays the postsecondary institution $100 per credit hour, up to $300 per course to cover the student's cost of enrolling in specific courses.

    Traditional dual enrollment: Student pays tuition.
    Maine The department of education pays 50% of the tuition for the first 3 credit hours taken each semester by a student at an eligible institution and up to 6 credit hours per academic year. The student is not required to pay any tuition, but must pay any fees associated with the college course he/she is taking.
    Maryland A postsecondary institution may waive a student's tuition but is not required to. If tuition is not waived, students who demonstrate financial need may apply to the state to have their tuition covered by a grant.
    Massachusetts Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent. The student's high school may pay for tuition, but is not required to.
    Michigan A school district is only responsible for paying the portion of a student's tuition that is equal to the pro rated amount of funding that the district receives from the state for the portion of the school day that the student attends the postsecondary course. The district can provide additional funding but is not required to. Any tuition costs that are not covered by the district are the responsibility of the student.
    Minnesota For a student who is earning high school and postsecondary credit or just high school credit, the state department of education pays the student's tuition. The state uses the following formula to reimburse colleges/universities: 88% of the product of the formula allowance minus $415, multiplied by 1.3 divided by 30 for schools on a semester calendar, and by 45 for schools on a quarter calendar
    Mississippi All programs: Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Missouri Tuition cost may be covered by the student's school district, but if the district does not cover the cost, tuition is the responsibility of the student or student's parent.

    Through the Missouri Fee Payment Program, students who score at the Proficient or Advanced level on the math, science or communication arts MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) exams can be reimbursed for tuition costs for a dual enrollment course. The course must be in the same subject area as the MAP assessment.
    Montana Statute provides that tuition may be covered by the student's school district, but if the district does not cover the cost, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent. In practice, responsibility for tuition varies by interlocal agreement. The most common practice is for the student to pay tuition which the college has discount the tuition by 50%.
    Nebraska If a student is enrolled in a course for high school credit only, the student cannot be charged tuition. However, if the student takes a course for college credit, he/she may be charged tuition.
    Nevada Per the institutional president's approval, a reduced registration fee may be offered to students taking 100-level and remedial courses on the high school campus. If the president does not approve the discount or if the student chooses to take a different course, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.

    High school students may take a distance learning college course for $25/course if the fee is approved by the institution's president.
    New Hampshire There is no formal dual enrollment policy, so tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    New Jersey There is no direct reference in state policy to who pays tuition. However, procedures must ensure that inability to pay does not keep any academically eligible student from participating.
    New Mexico The higher education institution is required to waive tuition for students in dual enrollment programs. The student's high school is responsible for the cost of the required textbooks and supplies.
    New York There is no formal dual enrollment policy, so tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    North Carolina Community colleges must waive tuition for all high school students participating in Huskins and Concurrent Enrollment.
    North Dakota Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Ohio Post-Secondary Enrollment Options: Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent under Option A. Under Option B, the school pays for the tuition through a deduction in their basic aid payment. The choice to select option A or option B is the student's.

    Seniors to Sophomores: Tuition arrangements are negotiated between the school district and the college or university partner. Students take a year’s worth of college credit at no charge to the student.
    Oklahoma Higher education institutions must waive tuition costs, of up to 6 credit hours a semester, for high school seniors. For all other students: If a school district offers a course that the student is taking at a community college, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent. If the school does not offer the course, the district must pay the cost of tuition, fees, books and transportation.
    Oregon The school district is primarily responsible for paying tuition. The district must enter into a financial agreement with the postsecondary institution about the cost that will be paid per student. The amount the district pays must be at least equal to 50% of district's general purpose grant per extended ADMw.
    Pennsylvania Schools may choose to pay a student’s postsecondary tuition and fees. If the school does not pay, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent. Students may qualify for a complete or partial reimbursement through the state’s "Opportunities for Educational Excellence Program."
    Rhode Island Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    South Carolina Unknown
    South Dakota District may cover all or a portion of tuition and fees; the student is responsible for paying any tuition/fees not paid by the district and any other costs.
    Tennessee A student in a dual enrollment program, including a distance education course, is eligible to apply for a "dual enrollment grant" from lottery proceeds. To maintain eligibility after the first semester of receipt, the student must maintain a minimum 2.75 grade point average for all postsecondary courses attempted through the grant. The grant will pay only for lower division (100-200/1000-2000), not upper division (300-400/3000-4000) courses.
    Texas Higher education institutions may waive tuition charges. If the institution does not provide a waiver, tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent.
    Utah Higher education tuition and fees may not be charged for participation in the concurrent enrollment program, except that each institution within the state's higher education system may charge a one-time per student per institution admissions application fee for concurrent enrollment course credit offered by the institution. The student's district is responsible for covering these costs.
    Vermont VSC Dual Enrollment: Courses are offered tuition-free, with support from GEAR UP and the state's Next Generation Initiative.

    Technical program: Student's district
    Virginia Local decision. However, "schools and colleges are encouraged to provide higher school students the opportunity for dual enrollment at no tuition cost to them or their families."
    Washington A student in the Running Start program is not responsible for paying tuition or fees.
    West Virginia Tuition is the responsibility of the student or the student's parent. Postsecondary institutions may offer dual enrollment students a tuition rate that is equal to only 75% of the lowest tuition rate offered by any public institution.
    Wisconsin The student's school district is responsible for paying all tuition costs for courses taken for high school credit. A student who receives a failing grade must reimburse the district. A student who takes a course solely for post-secondary credit is responsible for all costs.
    Wyoming The student's school district is responsible for paying all tuition and fee costs.


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