High school programs help students get a head start on college

Students examine sound waves using fire with the guidance of Dr. Chad Wallace.

High school students can start earning college credits before they graduate with Anderson University’s Launch and Early STEM programs. Anderson University offers many classes to high school juniors and seniors ready to earn dual credits. Classes are discounted, and students can request a transcript at the end of the semester to use as needed.

How can I apply? What are the requirements for the programs?

The Launch program is for high school students of either junior or senior status. To apply, students must have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and a recommendation letter from a teacher, guidance counselor, or administrator. The application, along with a list of classes being offered, is available on Anderson University’s website.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. To apply for the Early STEM program, students must be of senior status with a 3.0 GPA and a minimum score of 550 on the math SAT (or equivalent ACT). Along with the online application, students must submit a recommendation letter from a high school guidance counselor, teacher, or equivalent person.

Professor Caroline Ahn demonstrates key signatures to students.What kinds of classes can I take?

The Launch program offers courses in art, Bible, business, computer science, dance, English and communication, fitness and exercise science, languages, math, music, nursing, science, social sciences, and theatre. Most of the classes are entry level and serve as prerequisites for upper-level college classes.

The Early Stem program offers higher-level classes. This program is designed for students interested in biology, computer science, chemistry, engineering, math, or physics. The program allows students pursuing a STEM career to get a head start on their college degree requirements.

How much does it cost?

Launch students pay only $55 per credit compared to the approximately $1,000 AU students pay per credit hour. In the Launch program, students can take up to 6 credits per semester with a total of 12 in the program.

“It’s a great way for high school students to get some college credit,” said Paula Blount, head of the Launch program. “I think that’s why it’s so popular. It has grown every year. We average between 20 to 40 students each semester in the program.”

At the end of the semester, students can request their transcript from the Office of the University Registrar.

STEM classes are offered at the reduced rate of $225 per credit hour and is a great option for students who have completed 12 credits in the Launch program. It is also a great option for students ready for more challenging material and for students who know they are interested in a particular STEM area, such as engineering, computer science, math, or the sciences.

What do I do once I’m accepted?

Once accepted into the program, students will be invited to a registration day to sign up for classes. During the Launch registration day, students will also receive a username, an ID, and a launch program handbook. Their username will be used to provide them with an AU email address and access to canvas (an online source many professors use for class). The ID grants students access to AU’s Nicholson Library and the library’s computer labs, the Kardatzke Wellness Center, and athletic events. The ID card can be loaded with Raven Dollars to be used at food locations on campus. During registration day, students will also be taken on a campus tour, get their parking pass, and learn how to get their textbooks and more about the program.

Students smiling while sitting at desks in class.Why should I consider either Launch or Early STEM classes?

Both programs allow students to get a head start on college by earning college credit at a reduced rate. These programs are also beneficial for homeschool students who may have difficulty finding the classes required to graduate high school.

For students and parents unsure of Indiana’s requirements for a high school diploma, Anderson University suggests visiting the Indiana Department of Education website for guidelines and resources.


Faith Sayles is a senior dance business and writing complementary major, writing on behalf of the Office of Communication & Marketing.

Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World ReportColleges of Distinction, and The Princeton Review. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business and theology.

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