May 25, 2023
Getting a head start on your college education has plenty of benefits. From getting introduced early to the rigor of college classes to saving time and money.
That’s the purpose of NDSU’s Early Entry program.
Rylan Swenson, a junior at Lake Park-Audubon High School, will be enrolling at NDSU this fall via Early Entry during his senior year of high school.
"I knew I wanted to gain some college experience while still in high school, so I started looking around to see if NDSU had anything similar to Minnesota's program,” said Swenson. “I came across Early Entry last October, and after discussing it with some advisors and my family, we decided it would be a great option for me.”
The Early Entry program allows high school students to take classes at NDSU while completing their high school diploma. Students in the program get an early start on an NDSU four-year degree, receive early advising and pay a reduced tuition and fees.
“From the moment I decided to enroll in the program in late October, I have been able to talk with some amazing staff,” Swenson said. “Through the process of getting registered for classes and advising I've been working with Stacy Duffield and she has been awesome. From the moment you first talk to them, you can instantly tell they really do care about you as both a student and as a human.”
Swenson said he will double major in statistics and sports management and pursue a business administration minor. The Early Entry program seemed like the perfect fit for his goals.
“Since I was a kid at NDSU football games, I've always had a dream of two things: being a part of something bigger than myself and sports. NDSU gives me the best of both worlds,” Swenson said. “Going for two majors and a minor, I could be in college for a while. Letting me experience a top tier university and get a big jump on my college academics at the same time is a great opportunity.”
Duffield, the director of the Office of Teaching and Learning, said the Early Entry program offers many advantages to high school students looking to jumpstart their college education.
“Students like Rylan can use early entry to not only get a head start on college but also explore a variety of topics to help them decide what major is a best fit,” Duffield said. “The reduced tuition benefit provides a nice opportunity for high school students to get an early start on their college and save some money.”
Swenson's enthusiasm for NDSU and its Early Entry program is a testament to the benefits that can be gained from seeking a college education while still in high school. Students can pursue their academic and career goals, engage in college-level coursework and gain valuable experience that can help them succeed in college and beyond. The program also enables students to participate in a vibrant academic and social community, which can provide a sense of belonging and purpose.
“If you are a student who is planning on attending college, and who wants to earn some credits while in high school, Early Entry at NDSU is a great option,” Swenson said. “You are going to receive an education from some amazing professors, while paying a third of the price.”
By taking advantage of opportunities like Early Entry, students can maximize their potential and set themselves up for a bright future.