Postsecondary Enrollment Options allows high school juniors, seniors and some sophomores (see yellow box at right) to take college courses at an actual college. The courses are taught by a college instructor. You can take a variety of courses, ranging from general education to technical courses. They can be taken face-to-face in a classroom, online, or a combination of the two. You can go part-time, and take some classes at your high school and some at the college. Or you can take all of your classes at the college.
Because PSEO courses are free, you can save time and money earning your degree. Some students have earned an associate’s degree at the same time they completed high school. You can also complete occupational certificates tuition-free. If you're not finding your high school classes interesting or challenging, then PSEO may be a good option for you. Colleges and universities offer a wide range of classes. This gives you the chance to explore more subjects and at an advanced level. PSEO students have access to the same support services that the college students do, such as writing tutors. Studies have also shown that students who take college courses in high school are more likely to graduate with a bachelor's degree in four years. That's important. Each additional year of college costs you more money.
PSEO is available to eligible public, private, alternative learning center, charter school or home-schooled students in 11th or 12th grade. PSEO is also available to 10th grade public school students (see yellow sidebar).
You need to check with each college or university on its admissions requirements and deadlines to apply. Each institution that participates in PSEO has eligibility requirements that you may need to complete. View a list of participating Minnesota college and universities.
You complete the same work as the college students do and are your work is graded using the same standards. You then receive a college transcript from the college or university. This allows you to transfer the credit to other colleges. All public colleges and universities and some private ones in Minnesota accept credits earned through PSEO. Many public and private schools in other states do, too.
You need to share your transcript from your PSEO courses with your high school to get high school credit. This is not automatic.
In 2014, more than 9,000 Minnesota students took advantage of PSEO courses.
PSEO is tuition-free for Minnesota students. This includes course tuition, fees and textbooks. It does not cover general school supplies (such as notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.) or materials that students wish to purchase for use after the course or program is complete. Transportation costs (bus fares, gas for a car, parking fees, etc.) for eligible students may be covered. Ask your school counselor if you can be reimbursed for transportation.
You can contact the PSEO coordinator at the colleges you are interested in to learn more about the program and what is offered. You can also find information on the Minnesota Department of Education website, or talk with your high school counselor.