“Any chance you get, take it! We saved $100,000.”

This is the advice of Jennifer Walzel, a busy working mom of five children who worried about how to cut the cost of her children’s college educations. With the rising burden of student debt in the headlines, she found the answer in dual credit. Three of her children went on to participate in the Ranger College Dual Credit Program, and they saved significantly as a result. The other two will start as soon as they reach high school. 

Dual credit, sometimes referred to as dual enrollment, is a program through which high school students can take college-level courses and gain credit towards a college degree or occupational certificate. Courses are offered on location at partner high schools, on RC campuses, and online. 

Many times, participation also results in students’ graduating from college earlier, which translates into still more money saved.

“I have amazing kids, and Ranger has allowed them to do some pretty cool stuff,” Jennifer said. 

Her son Jaxon is a high achiever among a family of motivated students. While in high school, he has completed not just one but two college degrees (the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science) and will complete an EMT certification this May. 

Jaxon aspires to be an athletic trainer and will finish his bachelor’s degree at Texas Tech University. Jennifer reports that “dual enrollment is saving him two years of college and about $100,000.”

She also remarked that his EMT certification will allow him to work part-time in the medical field while completing his studies. “He will enter the workforce earlier, make more money, and have significantly reduced student debt,” she said.  

According to the College Board, in the 2018-2019 school year the average tuition, fees, room, and board at a public four-year college or university cost $21,370 for in-state students and $37,430 for out-of-state students.  

Dual credit at Ranger College is significantly less expensive than this. Academic courses are a flat $50 per credit hour, while Career Technical Education courses, such as EMT, are $80 per credit hour plus lab fees. Dual credit has been very significant for Jennifer’s family saving two years for her son and $100,000 for her family.

Ranger College also participates in an experimental Pell Grant program that allows eligible lower-income students to have their tuition completely covered by federal funds. RC is the only institution in the state of Texas to offer this program. 

“Ranger College is committed to providing access to dual credit courses to all students, and we are particularly focused on kids from low-income and first-generation households,” said RC Director of Dual Enrollment Programs Brenda Madore. 

Why Take Dual Enrollment Courses at Ranger College?

  • Efficiency: Reduce the time to degree or certificate completion.
  • Transfer success: Most colleges accept dual enrollment transfer credit. 
  • Affordability: Low tuition rates can significantly reduce the cost of higher education. 
  • Accredited instruction: Ranger College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its faculty hiring credentials are identical to those used at four-year universities.
  • Support services: Dual credit students have access student support services, such as tutoring, counseling, advising, and library services.
  • Geared for learning: Smaller classes and more opportunities for individual attention to help retain younger and first-generation college students.

For more information, contact the Ranger College Dual Enrollment Program at (254) 267-7020 or [email protected] or visit https://www.rangercollege.edu/dual-credit/