High school might be the most thrilling phase of your educational career with all the new energy and vibes surrounding you, but it is also the most crucial time. It is the phase where you decide what you want to do with your life and how you envision your future. Some people can picture a lifetime during these days, while others would feel too daunted to start thinking that far ahead. But the way to get past it smoothly is to focus on the very next step, college.

High schoolers can single out their fields of interest and work on gaining credits by signing up for programs that support their application. Different organizations and institutions launch workshops, training programs, and courses that are relevant to professional fields. Or, you can choose to opt for random activities that have credits for completing them. Volunteering is the most common option that individuals take up to get some extra credits this way. But the real question is, why go after them?

Extra credits allow you to get done with your courses early and then take up classes solely for your interest or the ones that might offer you some professional support. You will have more freedom and choices compared to other students over your career. You also have the option to take on some online high school classes that your institution doesn’t offer at another place. All these possibilities open up to you if you are actively working on gaining extra credits.

So, if you think that you might want to go after them, then here are seven ways to earn extra high school credits. These should help chase your ambitions and land a better placement.

  1. Advanced Placement (AP) Programs

Advanced Placement (AP) programs are the best way of giving you the boost that you need for college in the form of credits. The College Board allows students to choose from over thirty distinct courses like Math, Science, Language, and Arts to sign up and become candidates for this opportunity.

Depending on the course that you choose, you can either get credits or an advanced standing if it is a pre-requisite to some other college course. If you are unaware of the term, it refers to a lower-level that you must complete to move to the next stage. But while that may give you the pleasure of skipping tedious elementary courses, you will be taking the challenging ones from the beginning, so caution is ideal.

    2. IB Diploma Program

IB diploma programs are specifically for the cream of the crop students because of their challenging nature. They primarily focus on helping them understand the reasoning and science behind everything we study as part of the curriculum. It develops their comprehension ability and lets them have a fresh perspective with the logic behind actions.

Not only does this gives you an edge in placements, but refines you as a student and enhances your academic experiences exponentially. That’s why it’s a much-coveted option amongst competent students who are ambitious about their future.

     3. College-Level Examination Program

CLEP is another option for students looking to jump ahead in their college years. Like AP, The College Board looks over this program, but it’s more of a test than a complete course. Signing up for it and completing it would allow you to declare your mastery over that subject and prove that you are qualified for that next level if it isn’t already the terminal one.

The idea is to enroll in the program, pay for the exam, complete and clear the test, but the catch is that you can do all this without doing the coursework. 

    4. Dual Enrollment Programs

Dual enrollment is a collaborative program between colleges and high schools that allow bright minds to progress on both fronts at once. Students that qualify for it can sign up for college courses while moving towards their high school graduation. The only problem that students face with this choice is that it is challenging to juggle the two and manage schedules. They have to be flexible and make sacrifices on socializing or some extracurriculars if this is the path they choose.

     5. Summer College

An alternative to the Dual Enrollment program is Summer College. This option allows you to sign up for college courses during the summer and avoid the hassle of skipping roles as a high schooler and college student during regular high school days. Some colleges and universities fancy the thought, regardless of being private or public. 

It’s an attractive opportunity, but the price of it narrows the number of participants. This program particularly suits the well-funded students with endorsements and credentials that would complement an institution.

     6. Early Enrollment Program

Early enrollment into college is another option before high school students hope to take a giant leap forward in their educational careers. It is common amongst juniors or seniors to consider it if they have a good sense of direction about their future aspirations. This program allows the sharp minds to skip through high school and directly take up college as part of their gifted students’ program or blend into the regular college population.

     7. Technical Credits

Besides these, there’s the option of technical credits that students can gain in exchange for their capabilities. Colleges and universities offer them the choice of getting a 2-years certification or associate’s degree in their area of expertise from junior years of high school. It means that they will have a degree under their belt before their peers. That also prepares for early employment opportunities and gets them to explore other courses or programs that might interest them.


These were the seven ways to earn extra high school credits before you even qualify as a regular college student. Some of these options require you to become a brainiac, while others demand sacrifices of time and resources. So the choice is up to you but in any case, what remains certain is that you can enjoy some benefits if you go with these alternatives.