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FAQs: Associate Degree and
District Collaboratives

The topics below cover commonly asked questions regarding the new associate degree and district collaborative programs.


What is the district collaborative: APSU is partnering with county school systems to expand dual enrollment offerings to students in the county. While one high school may not have enough students to offer a particular dual enrollment course at the high school, by pulling students from multiple high schools to a central location, the school system is able to expand early postsecondary opportunities for students.

Schedule of classes offered: While a proposed scheduled has been provided, the schedule is flexible. We will be working with counselors in each county to determine the specific courses needed. However, it is the intention that if you enroll in the collaborative for a particular semester, you will enroll in all of the courses offered that semester.

If you are a senior and interested in participating, we will work with you to provide an opportunity to do so. That may mean that you receive college credit but not high school credit for some classes because you have already met the high school graduation requirement.

Associate Degree Requirements: All associate degrees require 41 core hours and 19 elective hours. APSU will work with the high school counselors to ensure, as much as possible, that the elective hours will work with the student’s high school focus and intended college major. In particular, science courses required are different for those planning a STEM major and we want to offer the appropriate option whenever possible.

If a student chooses to participate in the district-wide collaborative during the school year but is unable to participate in the summers, s/he will still earn hours that will count toward the associate degree and will still save on college tuition.

It is possible some of the courses required for the associate degree may not be counted for high school credit because the student has already completed the high school unit requirements for that course, however, the core university hours still need to be met.

Online Option

  • The Associate Degree can be completed entirely online.
  • Depending on the student’s intended college major, some required courses may not be available online.
  • Depending on high school courses completed, some courses may count for college credit only.
  • This would be an option for those seeking the Associate Degree but unable to enroll in summer classes.

Transfer of Credit

Credits earned for college classes will appear on the student’s college transcript. Most regionally accredited colleges and universities accept APSU credits as transfer credit. Depending on the intended major, some courses may transfer as elective hours; most institutions require some elective credits for a degree. The student should verify with the institution s/he plans to attend after high school graduation.

Any previously earned college credits through a regionally accredited institution will transfer to APSU and count toward the hours required for the Associate Degree. Advance Placement scores must meet the APSU requirement to be included; scores would need to be received from the College Board. The total amount of credit earned through Advance Placement is limited to one-half of the total number of credits required for the degree sought.

University credits versus high school credits: Because each school district’s class schedule varies, whether a college course counts as one-half high school unit or a whole unit, will be determined by the school system. Regardless of how the high school unit is calculated, the student will earn the number of credit hours assigned to the course and those credits will appear on the student’s college transcript and  be included in calculating the student’s college GPA.

AP Credit or ACT Credit: Based on the student’s score on AP exams, the ACT or SAT, the student may receive college credit. APSU will work with counselors and families to determine the best approach for the student. It might be that the student earns hours toward an associate degree but does not complete the degree while in high school.

Calendar: Courses will begin and end on the Austin Peay calendar, but will follow the school system calendar for all dates within the term/semester.

Transportation: Transportation matters will be the decision of the school system in consultation with APSU.

Dual Enrollment Grant, TN Promise, HOPE and Freshman Scholarships:

(Be sure to talk with Student Financial Aid at any postsecondary institution for clarification.)

The Dual Enrollment Grant provides $2,400 for up to eight courses, maximum two per semester. The DEG funds received for courses five through eight will be deducted from the first semester of the freshman year HOPE scholarship if the student enrolls in a TN post-secondary institution. The benefit is that the tuition rate as a dual enrollment student is 50 percent less than tuition and fees as a first-time freshman.

TN Promise is a last-dollar scholarship that provides two years of tuition-free attendance at a community or technical college in Tennessee. You can use TN Promise at APSU after high school graduation, but it covers about half of the APSU tuition. Students eligible for HOPE, PELL or state student assistance funds will receive those funds first. If a student receives the maximum PELL Grant, they will not qualify for TN Promise. There are additional requirements to receive the TN Promise, including mandatory meetings and eight hours of community service for each semester. Students need to be enrolled full-time in 1000 and 2000 level courses.

HOPE Scholarship: HOPE provides funding for 120 attempted hours after high school graduation, or a BA or BS degree within five years of graduation or the equivalent of eight semesters of full-time enrollment, whichever comes later. Freshmen and sophomores receive $1,750 per semester or $3,500 year; juniors and seniors receive $2,250 per semester or $4,500 per year. Dual enrollment students are considered first-time freshman once they graduate from high school, however, if the student has earned the 60 hours for the Associate degree, the student will be classified as a junior and receive the HOPE scholarship based on the hours earned.

Freshman Scholarships: A student who has earned college credits prior to high school graduation will be classified as a freshman for purposes of scholarship opportunities, excluding the HOPE Scholarship

Freshman Scholarships: A student who has earned college credits prior to high school graduation will be classified as a freshman for purposes of scholarship opportunities, excluding the HOPE Scholarship.

Discounts: If you are eligible for a tuition discount (Certified public school teachers in Tennessee, State of Tennessee employees), visit and submit the appropriate form to the Dual Enrollment office. These forms should be submitted no later than when the student registers for class, and for each semester of enrollment; it is recommended that you take care of this item at the same time you submit your other documents.

Testing: If a student has not taken the National ACT, SAT or other placement test, the ACT Residual can be taken for purposes of admission to APSU only. Schedule the test through APSU’s Testing Center, 931-221-6269; an application for admission must be on file to schedule an exam. (The student will need to take the national exam before the freshman year in order to receive the HOPE scholarship.)

If a student has taken one of the tests listed on the website, but scores were not sufficient for admission, the student may contact APSU’s Testing Center, 931-221-6269 to schedule the AccuPlacer exam; the student will only need to take the portion of the placement exam for which a higher score is required for dual admission. An application for admission must be on file to schedule an exam.

Form submission: You may complete all printed forms and submit them to your high school counselor. The counselor or principal will sign the High School Authorization form and provide APSU with the necessary documents (transcript, test scores). APSU will work with the counselor to obtain the documents.

The student will need to complete the application for APSU admission and the Dual Enrollment Grant application on line. Please refer to the GovNOW homepage, and click on “Apply for Admission” for links to all forms.

GPA: Students must have a 3.0 cumulative high school GPA to participate in dual enrollment, in addition to the required test scores. Students will earn a grade for the dual enrollment courses taken and that grade will appear on the student’s college transcript and be factored into his/her college GPA. In addition, the grade earned will be shared with the high school counselor who will include the grade on the high school transcript to be factored into the high school GPA.

More Information

For questions not addressed, please contact:

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