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Opinion: Capping dual enrollment hours hurts students like me
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Students fill the University of North Georgia student center Jan. 10, 2018, on the Gainesville campus. - photo by Scott Rogers

Currently, I am a high school student who is dual enrolled at the University of North Georgia. Recently, I learned about Georgia's new House Bill 444. It would limit total dual enrollment hours to 30 hours, and students who have already exceeded 18 hours will only be granted 12 more hours. 

Georgia's dual enrollment was created to help students graduate college with less debt and become more prepared for life beyond college. Dual enrollment has dramatically enhanced students' maturity levels, readiness for college and given the lessons to prepare them for the adult world. 

The new bill would not only take away a program that has been such a key player in the success of Georgia's students but would have severe negative impacts on current dual enrollment students. 

Some dual enrollment students, like myself, are full-time dual enrolled and do not return to their high school for any classes or do internships in combination with college classes.  

Many dual enrollment students have taken almost all of their high school graduation requirements. By imposing and blindsiding existing students who went into the program with maximum credit caps that would only allow for one to two classes a semester, Georgia would be forcing its high achieving full-time dual enrollment students back into high school schedules filled with filler elective classes. Their GPAs would be destroyed along with all the work some have put into associate degrees. 

The Georgia legislature's argument is the total cost of the program has risen too much, yet it only accounts for 1% of the state's education budget. 

Is 1% of the budget too high a price to pay to help our high school students in the long run and further their education?

Emily Johnson