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Are you interested in learning about dual credit courses and how to enroll your high school student?

Want to learn how your student can earn college credit in high school? Then this is the place to start. Find out what dual credit is and how your student can get it.  Then learn what your student can do each year of high school to stay on track.

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Shaping Your Future: Why Minnesota Families Choose College

Meet Arthur. His youngest daughter, Staci, struggled with peer pressure and behavior in high school. Arthur always believed in the importance of education and encouraged Staci to continue. She is now attending North Hennepin Community College, with the goal of eventually earning a degree. Hear other individual parent stories below, or access the entire Shaping Your Future video collection.

Shaping Your Future videos were produced by Twin Cities Public Television and presented by the Minnesota Department of Education.


My Plan by MCIS

Some schools are using the Minnesota Career Information System's online personal learning plan to guide families through the career and college process.

Free Email Service for Parents

Stay on track as your family navigates the road to college. Sign up for to get reminders and advice tailored to your student's grade level.

Brought to you by the College Board. View sample email.

Learn the Basics

Career and College Preparation

In 2018, Harvard University predicts only 33% of all jobs will require a 4-year degree or more, while the overwhelming majority will be middle-skilled jobs requiring technical skills and training at the credential or Associates Degree level. The video, Success in the New Economy, helps families understand the preparation needed to prepare and prosper in a chosen career.

You can help your student succeed by taking time to learn about college planning and financing on KnowHow2Go for Parents and Mentors. Access the Spanish version of this website. Or, download Pathways to Success (pdf) for information about career clusters, high-demand occupations, and ways to help your teen prepare for these careers. Also available in Hmong, Somali and Spanish.

From urban to rural, big to small, public to private, Minnesota's postsecondary schools offer you a variety of choices after high school. Visit this website for an overview of the types of colleges that Minnesota has to offer.

Paying for College

Many people never apply for financial aid because they think they won't qualify. Don't be fooled! Financial aid comes in many forms and there are many opportunities for different kinds of students and families. Learn about all the financial aid options available to help you pay for college.

Financial Aid Basics (pdf) summarizes key financial aid information and serves as a good introduction to paying for college. Also available in Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. Detailed information about paying for college can be found on the Parent Go page.

Dual Credit Options

There are a number of ways high school students can Earn College Credit While in High School. Most of these programs are entirely free to families. For a comparison grid specific programs, download the Dual Credit Comparison Chart. For more detailed information about the specific programs, click on the tabs at the bottom of this page.

Saving Money with Dual Credit: This video, from the Texas Education Agency, provides a great introduction to how enrolling in dual credit courses in high school can save you time and money.

Visit the Center for School Change's website to learn about dual credit programs in Minnesota - and to watch testimonial videos from students in dual credit programs across the state.

Start Planning

Timelines and Checklists

These planning lists, written specifically for parents, outline things you can do to get your student prepared for the next level of school and beyond graduation:

Middle School
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade

Working Together

My Child's Future helps parents learn about career and educational planning and the positive roles you can play in supporting your student during the process - from elementary to college.

The process of preparing for college, visiting schools, narrowing down possibilities, and applying can be stressful for students and parents.Learn how to help your child with the college admission process. The National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) also offers a great list of Dos and Dont's.

Download the Mentor Workbook from KnowHow2Go. This resource is meant to be completed by parents or mentors and teens together. It's a great first step toward preparing for college.

  • Copyright 2012
  • Minnesota Department of Education