Career Guidance

Can I Get an Associates Degree in High School?

Can I get an associates degree in high school? Yes, you can get an associate’s degree in high school through what’s called “dual enrollment” or “concurrent enrollment.”

The topic of whether it’s possible to get an associate’s degree in high school has become a major concern to a lot of people.

The truth is that a lot of people don’t actually know that it’s very possible to get an associate’s degree in high school and even the few that know don’t know how to go about it.

If you are among those wondering how to get an associate’s degree in high school, worry no more, I got you covered!

In this comprehensive guide, we will take an in-depth look at how to get an associate’s degree in high school, its benefits as well as the potential challenges and drawbacks it comes with.

Ready? Let’s go!

Also Read: What Jobs Can I Get with an Associate of Arts Degree?

What Is an Associate’s Degree?

What Is an Associate’s Degree
What Is an Associate’s Degree

An Associate’s Degree is a two-year undergraduate credential awarded by colleges, universities, or community colleges.

It comes in two main types: Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS), with specialized versions like Associate of Applied Science (AAS) available.

These programs blend general education courses (e.g., English, math) with major-specific coursework.

Many students pursue Associate’s Degrees with the intent to transfer credits to a four-year institution for a Bachelor’s Degree.

Key points:

  • Duration: Typically completed in two years of full-time study.
  • Curriculum: Mix of general education and major-specific courses.
  • Transferability: Credits can often be transferred to a four-year college.
  • Career Opportunities: Provides access to entry-level positions, with the value varying by field.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Generally more affordable than pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Flexibility: Offers evening, weekend, and online classes for diverse student needs.
  • Skills and Knowledge: Focuses on practical skills and knowledge relevant to the chosen field.
  • Personal Growth: Represents an important educational milestone.


Overall, an Associate’s Degree is a versatile and cost-effective option for gaining education and skills, potentially leading to career opportunities or further academic pursuits.

Recommended: What Can You Do with a Music Production Degree?

Can I Get an Associates Degree in High School?

Can I Get an Associates Degree in High School
Can I Get an Associates Degree in High School

Yes, you can get an Associate’s Degree while you’re still in high school, and it’s all thanks to something called “dual enrollment” or “concurrent enrollment.”

It’s like a superpower for students who want to turbocharge their education.

Let’s dive into it:

Dual Enrollment Programs

Think of these programs as your secret weapon.

They let high school students take college-level courses at a local college, community college, or even online.

It’s like getting a sneak peek at the college experience while you’re still in high school.

Eligibility and Admission

To join this superhero club, you’ll usually need to meet some academic standards and age requirements.

It’s like getting your official cape and mask.

You may also need the thumbs-up from both your high school and the college.


Once you’ve completed all the required courses, you’ll be awarded your Associate’s Degree.

It’s a big deal and something to be super proud of, even before high school graduation.


So, yes, you can be a high school student by day and a college student by night (figuratively speaking).

Dual enrollment is like having your own education sidekick, helping you save money, learn faster, and unlock more opportunities.

Just remember to plan carefully and stay committed to making the most of this educational adventure!

Also See: Can You Be a Dental Assistant without a Degree?

Benefits of Pursuing an Associate’s Degree in High School

Benefits of Pursuing an Associate's Degree in High School
Benefits of Pursuing an Associate’s Degree in High School

Pursuing an associate’s degree in high school comes with several exciting benefits and it’s important we look into them.

Here are some of the benefits of pursuing an associate’s degree in high school:

1. Super Savings on Tuition

Imagine going to college without racking up a ton of debt!

Pursuing an Associate’s Degree in high school often means you get to take college courses at a fraction of the regular cost, or sometimes even for free.

That’s a major win for your wallet.

2. Turbocharged Education

You’re basically fast-tracking your education.

While most of your friends are just starting college, you’re already halfway to a Bachelor’s Degree.

This can save you time and money in the long run.

3. Get a Taste of College Life

It’s like having a sneak peek of what college is all about.

You’ll experience college-level coursework while still in the comfort of your high school setting.

It’s like dipping your toes in the pool before jumping in.

Also Read: What Can I Do with a Project Management Degree?

4. Early Career Opportunities

By earning an Associate’s Degree early, you’re arming yourself with more career options right out of the gate.

This can give you a head start on landing entry-level jobs or internships related to your field of interest.

5. Customize Your Learning

It’s like having your own menu at a restaurant.

You can choose courses that match your interests and career goals.

This way, you’re not just ticking off boxes; you’re building a foundation tailored to your passions.

6. Boost Your Confidence

Taking on college-level coursework while in high school is no small feat.

It can boost your confidence, independence, and sense of achievement.

You’ll feel like you can conquer anything.

Recommended: How Long Does It Take to Get a Culinary Degree?

7. Credit Transfer

Most of the time, the college credits you earn during dual enrollment can be transferred to other colleges and universities.

This means you’re not just spinning your wheels; you’re building a solid foundation for your future education.

8. Top-Notch Education

You’ll be learning from the best of the best—college professors who are experts in their fields.

Plus, you’ll have access to college resources and facilities that can enrich your education.

9. Networking opportunities

Building connections with college professors and fellow students can set you up for success later on.

Networking is a superpower in the professional world, and you’re getting an early start.

10. Reduce Stress Levels

Balancing high school and college can be tough, but it can also spread out your workload more evenly.

This can actually reduce the stress of trying to cram everything into a traditional four-year college experience.


Overall, pursuing an Associate’s Degree in high school is like getting a head start on your education, your career, and your life.

It’s a challenging adventure that can pay off big-time in the long run.

So, if you’re up for the challenge, go for it!

Also See: How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Degree?

Potential Challenges of Getting an Associate’s Degree in High School and How to Overcome Them

While getting an associate’s degree in high school offers various benefits, it also comes with a lot of challenges and drawbacks, but don’t worry, I will show you how to overcome these challenges.

Here, let’s dive into some of the potential challenges of getting an associate’s degree in high school and how to overcome them.

1. Heavy Workload

Juggling high school and college coursework simultaneously can be demanding.

  • Solution: Prioritize time management. Create a schedule that allocates dedicated time for both high school and college assignments. Avoid procrastination, and seek help from teachers or college advisors when needed.

2. Academic Pressure

College-level courses can be more challenging than high school classes.

  • Solution: Develop effective study habits early. Seek support from college instructors or tutors. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and clarify doubts to stay on top of your coursework.

3. Balancing Social Life

Earning an Associate’s Degree in high school might mean sacrificing some social activities.

  • Solution: Find a balance. Maintain open communication with friends and family about your commitments and schedule. Look for ways to engage in social activities that don’t disrupt your academic goals.

Also Read: How to Become an Art Teacher without a Degree

4. Increased Stress

Managing dual enrollment can lead to higher stress levels.

  • Solution: Practice stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness, exercise, or hobbies. Reach out to school counselors or support groups for emotional support.

5. College Transition

Adjusting to the college environment while still in high school can be overwhelming.

  • Solution: Attend college orientation programs if available. Familiarize yourself with college resources, like libraries and tutoring centers. Connect with college students for guidance.

6. Rigorous Coursework

College courses can be more rigorous than high school classes.

  • Solution: Stay organized. Keep track of deadlines and assignments. Seek help from teachers, professors, or academic advisors if you’re struggling with specific subjects.

Recommended: Do Hospitals Hire Associate Degree Nurses?

7. Staying Motivated

Maintaining motivation throughout a more extended academic journey can be challenging.

  • Solution: Set clear goals and milestones. Reward yourself for achievements along the way. Surround yourself with a supportive network of peers, teachers, and mentors.

8. Future Education Planning

Deciding how your Associate’s Degree fits into your long-term educational goals can be complex.

  • Solution: Consult with academic advisors to create a clear educational plan. Understand how your credits can transfer to a four-year college or university. Explore potential career paths to align with your degree.

9. Balancing Extracurricular Activities

High school often involves extracurricular activities, which can become harder to manage with college coursework.

  • Solution: Prioritize extracurricular activities that align with your interests and long-term goals. Consider reducing commitments to manage your workload effectively.

10. Burnout

Overcommitting can lead to burnout.

  • Solution: Know your limits and don’t overextend yourself. Learn to say no when necessary. Balance academic pursuits with self-care.


Overall, while pursuing an Associate’s Degree in high school comes with its share of challenges, it’s entirely feasible with the right strategies and support.

Time management, effective study habits, and seeking help when needed are essential tools for successfully overcoming these challenges and making the most of this unique educational opportunity.

Also See: What Can You Do with a Culinary Degree?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is the Difference Between a Bachelor’s Degree and an Associate’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree takes about four years of full-time study, while an associate’s degree is typically a two-year program.

Bachelor’s degrees dive deeper into a specific field and often require more general education courses.

They’re great if you want to specialize or pursue advanced positions.

On the other hand, associate’s degrees offer basic knowledge and are good for entry-level jobs or as a starting point for further education.

In terms of career prospects and earning potential, bachelor’s degrees usually open more doors compared to associate’s degrees.

So, it really depends on your career goals and how much time you’re willing to invest.

What Are the Associate Degrees in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, you’ve got a bunch of associate degree options.

There are the usual suspects, like Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS), which prepare you for transferring to four-year schools.

If you’re more into hands-on skills, check out Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees – great for jumping right into the job market.

They’ve even got niche programs like Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) for artsy individuals and Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN) for aspiring nurses.

Arkansas keeps things versatile, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s career goals and interests.

What Is Equivalent to an Associate’s Degree?

An equivalent to an associate’s degree is often a combination of practical experience, certifications, or vocational training that demonstrates a similar level of competence and knowledge in a specific field.

Depending on the profession, a high school diploma with relevant certifications or apprenticeships can sometimes suffice.

Additionally, some specialized programs offer certificates or diplomas that are equivalent to, or even more focused than, an associate’s degree in certain industries.

Ultimately, the equivalency varies based on the career path and employer requirements, with some positions valuing experience and skills over formal education, while others prefer or require a specific degree.

What Are the Highest-Paying Associate Degrees?

Are you curious to know the highest-paying associate degrees?

Well, if you’re after a solid paycheck with an associate degree, consider healthcare, tech, or engineering.

Nursing with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) can land you a well-paying gig as a registered nurse.

If you are tech-savvy, look into an Associate of Science in Computer Science or Information Tech for lucrative tech careers.

Plus, there are fields like dental hygiene, radiologic tech, and engineering technology that pay well too.

These jobs often need special skills and certifications, but they’re in demand and can offer a good income.

Keep in mind, though, that pay can vary based on where you work and your experience level.

What Is the Most Common Associate’s Degree?

The most common associate degree is the Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS).

They’re like the Swiss Army knives of education because they cover a bit of everything: math, English, social sciences, you name it.

People often pick these degrees when they plan to transfer to a four-year university for a bachelor’s degree.

They’re kind of like the “get your foot in the door” degrees because they’re so versatile.

You can find them at community colleges and online, making them super accessible for lots of people trying to kickstart their higher education journey.


You can get an associate’s degree in high school through dual enrollment or concurrent enrollment programs.

These programs allow you to pursue an associate’s degree while still in high school.

Before deciding to pursue an associate’s degree in high school, you have to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks.

While it can come with so many exciting benefits, it also poses some potential challenges.

So carefully evaluating the pros and cons will help you determine if this is a good idea for your education and career.

If you have any inquiries or questions, feel free to let me know in the comment section and I will respond right away.

Best of luck!













  • Grace Williams

    Grace Williams is a retired teacher with over 30 years of experience when it comes to teaching and education in general. She has decided to share her wealth of knowledge on Schoolcrib.

Grace Williams

Grace Williams is a retired teacher with over 30 years of experience when it comes to teaching and education in general. She has decided to share her wealth of knowledge on Schoolcrib.

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