Advanced Opportunities Frequently Asked Questions

8 in 6 Program    Dual Credit for Early Completers    Fast Forward Program

8 in 6 Program

Q. What is the goal of the 8 in 6 program?

A. To provide students with the ability and willingness to complete high school graduation requirements at an accelerated rate by taking overload and summer courses. Once state graduation requirements are satisfied, students can stay in high school and take college credits paid for by the state (under the Dual Credit for Early Completers program) and graduate with their peers.


Q. Can a student start the 8 in 6 program at any time between grades 7-12?

A. Yes. Students in grades 7 through 12 may enroll throughout the school year. The enrollment form can be found here: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/advancedOpp/docs/Form.pdf .


Q. How do districts and public charters identify student in the 8 in 6 program?

A. Once the enrollment form is submitted, students in 8 in 6 are identified in the "student demographic" file in the State Department of Education (SDE) longitudinal data system called the Idaho System for Educational Excellence (ISEE). 8 in 6 course details are reflected in the "course enrollment" file in ISEE.


Q. Does participating in the 8 in 6 program prohibit a student from participating in the dual credit for early completers program?

A. No, the 8 in 6 Program dovetails with the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program. Once students satisfy Idaho state high school graduation requirements (except the senior project and any other course that the state board of education requires to be completed during the final year of high school), participation in the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program is encouraged.


Q. How does the money work in this program?

A. Put simply, the district / public charter school pays for the cost of the course upon student enrollment in the course, provides the requisite data through ISEE, the SDE reviews the data and reimburses the district within 125 days of receiving the data. Payments are made to districts / public charter schools in February for summer / fall courses and June for spring courses.


Q. Are dual credit, advanced placement and concurrent enrollment courses eligible under this program?

A. Changes to the 8 in 6 program occurred during the 2014 legislative session, which involve expanding eligible courses to include dual credit, advanced placement and concurrent enrollment courses.


Q. Does the 8 in 6 program cover the cost of postsecondary credit attainment?

A. 8 in 6 pays for the cost of eligible courses (up to $225 per course) associated with high school graduation requirements. 8 in 6 reimbursements cannot cover additional costs associated with postsecondary credit attainment or transcription fees. However, if a course satisfies both a high school graduation requirement and is college credit bearing; and no additional fees are charged for the college credits or transcription fees, the SDE will reimburse the course cost through 8 in 6. The 8 in 6 program is intended to pay for courses related to high school graduation requirements.


Q. Is there a road map of recommended courses a student should take in the 8 in 6 program?

A. As each student's course map and academic aspirations are different, there is not a typical road map of courses predetermined for a student; each student should work with their parents and school counselor to determine their best course for future coursework.


Q. Will the state reimburse for any online course?

A. Provided the student is enrolled in the 8 in 6 program, the SDE will reimburse eligible course costs that meet the following criteria: 1.) non-sectarian in nature, 2.) taught by and Idaho Highly Qualified Teacher, 3.) a majority of instruction is delivered electronically, and 4.) is accredited by AdvancED (all Idaho public high schools are accredited by AdvancED). Visit MyIdahoCourses.org for a list of eligible online courses.


Q. Are courses offered by the idaho digital learning academy (idla) eligible for 8 in 6 reimbursement?

A. Provided they meet the criteria for eligible courses described above, yes.


Q. If a high school course is taken by a junior high student; does the high school need to accept the credit?

A. If a student completes a required high school course offered by an accredited provider with a grade of C or higher before entering grade nine (9), then the student has met the high school content and credit area requirement for such course, which should be reflected on the student's high school transcript.


Q. Does the 10% limit apply only to 8 in 6 or does this limitation include the other advanced opportunities programs?

A. This 10% cap only applies to the 8 in 6 program. There are no caps currently for the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program, the Fast Forward program or the Mastery Advancement Program.


Q. If the 8 and 6 is limited to 10% of 7 through 12 graders by district / public charter school, is there criteria set for students that want to enter the program?

A. If a district or public charter school reaches this limit, local policy should identify criteria for participation. Such policy must include students who have successfully completed an online course and may include GPA, completion of advanced coursework or a clear 4 year learning plan. Once students are enrolled in 8 in 6 they remain in the program provided participation requirement are adhered to.


Q. Are all school district and public charter schools participating in the 8 in 6 program?

A. All districts are required to support students in all Advanced Opportunity programs, including 8 in 6.

Q. Are districts and public charter schools required to send the sde confirmation they are participating? Is there paperwork or an application that must be completed?

A. All the information the SDE requires is captured through ISEE. Students must to fill out the enrollment form and submit it to the identified school contact. No additional confirmation is required.


Q. What is the definition of an overload course?

A. An overload course is defined as above and beyond the maximum credit offering at the school (the regular school day offerings). For example: if a school offers 16 credits during the school year, an overload course would be any additional course taken above the 16 credits.


Q. What are the eligibility requirements for taking 8 in 6 courses?

A. Initially, students and their parents / guardians must sign and submit the enrollment form to their school contact (typically the counselor). The student enrollment form can be found here: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/advancedOpp/docs/Form.pdf. Students in grades 7 and 8 must take at least 12 credits to be eligible for summer courses and must take at least 12 credits and the maximum number of courses offered by the school to be eligible for overload courses. Students in grades 9 through 12 must take at least 14 credits to be eligible for summer courses and must take at least 14 credits and the maximum number of courses offered by the school to be eligible for overload courses

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Dual Credit for Early Completers

Q. What is the goal of the Dual Credit For Early Completers Program?

A. The Dual Credit for Early Completers program allows students who have satisfied Idaho state graduation requirements (excluding senior project and math in the final year of high school*), to stay in high school, take college credits paid for by the state (up to $75 per credit hour) and graduate with their peers. Students are eligible to earn up to 18 dual credits per semester or 12 dual credits per trimester. *Idaho graduation requirements can be accessed at: http://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/08/0203.pdf (IDAPA 08.02.03 104, 105, 106).

Taking dual credit can be beneficial to students because they can reduce the costs and time to earn college credit and increase the likelihood of postsecondary degree / certificate completion.


Q. How does the money work in this program?

A. Put simply, the district / public charter school pays for the cost of the course upon student enrollment in the course, provides the requisite data through ISEE, the SDE reviews the data and reimburses the district within 125 days of receiving the data. Payments are made to districts / public charter schools in February for summer / fall courses and June for spring courses.


Q. How are students identified as early completers?

A. The school district or public charter is responsible for verifying graduation requirements have been met and entering all required data into the ISEE system. ISEE is the State Department of Education's longitudinal data system.


Q. How can students prepare to maximize the potential of earning postsecondary credits in high school?

A. It is critical that students carefully plan their postsecondary goals and discuss these with their parents and school counselor, and base decisions on the 4 year learning plan. Two simple pieces of advice will prepare students for success: 1.) choose a path of study and stick to it (general university requirements are a good place to start)- taking dual credit courses unrelated to postsecondary completion requirements will result misused time, money and effort. 2.) students should commit to doing their best work in dual credit courses- completion and grades impact both high school and college transcripts.

 Planning is critical to ensure dual credit courses will count toward a college degree. Students should take courses guaranteed to apply to their post-secondary education requirements. If the goal of taking dual credit courses is to receive a college degree faster and more cheaply, then a student should identify their desired degree, find out what courses they'll need to take, and start taking them. Taking dual credit courses that meet Idaho's General Education core are wise decisions. Courses that will only count as electives should be taken with caution or avoided until a student knows what is required and will be accepted for their chosen college major. By making informed decisions about what dual credit courses to take gives students an academic and financial edge in pursuing a college degree.


Q. How does the requirement that students must take math in their last year of high school work with the Dual Credit For Early Completers Program?

A. IDAPA rule 08.02.03.105 states that students who have completed six (6) credits of math prior to the fall of their last year of high school, including at least two (2) semesters of an Advanced Placement or dual credit calculus or higher level course, are exempt from taking math during their last year of high school. If this requirement is not satisfied than students are required to take 2 credits of math in their last year of high school. For the purposes of Dual Credit for Early Completers program eligibility, any courses the State Board of Education requires in the final year of high school are exempt from satisfying state graduation requirements (2 credits of math and senior project). Students may be considered as completing high school graduation requirements without having completed these two requirements to take advantage of the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program. However, students must complete the math and senior project to graduate from high school.


Q. Why are students being asked to collect data related to the dual credit courses they are taking?

A. Complete data are required for the State Department of Education to reimburse the cost of dual credit / professional technical credits. Postsecondary readiness includes demonstrating the ability to capture accurate information and submit it in a timely fashion. Additionally, this measure is intended to reduce the data collection burden for school counselors. The Student Data Form can be accessed here: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/advancedOpp/toolkit.htm


Q. Can a student be enrolled in the Dual Credit For Early Completers Program if they have satisfied the idaho state high school graduation requirements?

A. Students who have satisfied all of the Idaho State High School requirements but have not yet graduated may qualify for the Dual Credit for Early Completers program. Students who are enrolled in a school district that have higher high school graduation requirements may take a course that satisfies their school district's high school graduation requirement and receive reimbursement for dual credit.


Q. Can dual credit for early completers courses be taken online?

A. Online courses are eligible for reimbursement under the Dual Credit for Early Completers program. However, students should consult with their school counselor to assure courses pursued align with postsecondary program aspirations.


Q. Will the state pay for end of course, college credit-bearing advanced placement examinations?

A. Students are eligible to take up to 12 Advanced Placement (AP) exams, six exams per semester or four per trimester or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams paid for by the state (up to $90 per exam).


Q. What is the impact of a student enrolling in a dual credit course then failing/dropping out?

A. For purposes of the SDE reimbursement- If a student fails to earn credit for any course or examination for which the SDE has paid a reimbursement, the student must pay for, and successfully earn credit for one such course or exam prior to the SDE paying any future reimbursements. In other words, the SDE reimburses the district, but if a student drops out or fails he / she has to carry the cost and earn the credit for such a course before the state will pay any more for dual credit. For postsecondary purposes, failing one or more dual credit courses may have a negative impact on financial aid in college. Institutions receiving federal financial aid are required to have policies related to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). How institutions of higher education calculate SAP varies within certain guidelines and are in place to monitor student progress to degree completion. Students should be prepared to demonstrate college-level work in dual credit courses.


Q. Will earning college credits in high school limit access to federal financial aid?

A. Federal student aid guidelines limit the number of courses students can take while receiving federal financial aid to 150% of the credits required for the degree. For instance, the window of federal aid for a 4 year baccalaureate program is 6 years. The time is calculated based on the actual clock hours spent in the dual credit course- an incoming college freshman who earned 3 dual credits as a junior in high school will only have those 3 credits subtracted from their 150% federal aid window. Taking dual credits that count as electives rather than credits required for a degree may impact both a student's Satisfactory Academic Progress and access to federal financial aid. More details on federal aid can be accessed at the 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook: http://ifap.ed.gov/ifap/byAwardYear.jsp?type=fsahandbook&a wardyear=2013-2014


Q. Will entering an idaho public college or university with dual credits earned in high school limit access to freshman scholarships?

A. Students who earn Dual Credits in high school are NOT penalized or excluded from qualifying for first-year scholarships, and are considered eligible just like other first-year students. Students who encounter any questions about this when applying for financial aid at an Idaho public institution should talk to the financial aid director at the institution or contact Dana Kelly, Student Affairs Program Manager at the Idaho State Board of Education (dana.kelly@osbe.idaho.gov)

Eligibility for freshman scholarships is based upon first time / full time freshman status. As such, students with dual credits earned in high school maintain access to freshman scholarships. Students should investigate freshman scholarship criteria for private and out of state institutions if these are of interest. Regarding how harder courses (dual credit, AP, Honors) relate to competitive scholarships based on merit; postsecondary institutions review transcripts and are aware that these courses are more difficult and typically acknowledge this with offers of admission and scholarships.


Q. How does accruing college or technical preparation credits in high school impact the timing of degree / certification completion?

A. Earning postsecondary credits in high will decrease the time and cost of completing a program after high school if the dual / professional technical credits align with the student's overall program requirements. Students taking credits that don't contribute to program requirements will take longer to complete. Advising (consultation with counselors) is critical to assure dual credits lead to postsecondary program completion.


Q. How does an earning college credit impact a student's high school GPA?

A. Dual credit courses result in college credit and a grade for the institution sponsoring the course and credit and a grade that will be reflected on the student's high school transcript. If class ranking is important for students, dual credit endeavors should be approached with caution. As with any advanced opportunity, advising and planning is critical.


Q. How will AP exam results impact reimbursement from the SDE?

A. The SDE will pay for initial AP exams regardless of the outcome. However, if a student scores below a 3 the student must take a subsequent AP exam, pay for it themselves, score above a 3 to have subsequent 8 in 6 exams or courses paid for by the SDE.

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Fast Forward Program

Q. What is the goal of this program?

A. The goal of the program is to increase college-going rates in Idaho. It provides a resource of $200 for every junior, and $400 for every senior attending Idaho public high school or Idaho public charter high school to pay for 75% of the cost of dual credit courses, advanced placement or other college-credit bearing or professional certificate examinations.


Q. How does the money work in this program?

A. Put simply, the district / public charter school pays for the cost of the course upon student enrollment in the course, provides the requisite data through ISEE, the SDE reviews the data and reimburses the district within 125 days of receiving the dat

A. Payments are made to districts / public charter schools in February for summer / fall courses and June for spring courses.


Q. How does this funding relate to other resources offered for Advanced Opportunities?

A. The $200 / $400 is intended to be used after all other scholarships, awards or resources available are exhausted (including dual credit for early completers) except for costs associated with students attending Idaho community colleges residing outside of the county in which the community college is located.


Q. How can students prepare to maximize the potential of earning postsecondary credits in high school?

A. It is critical that students carefully plan their postsecondary goals and discuss these with their parents and school counselor, and base decisions on the 4 year learning plan. Two simple pieces of advice will prepare students for success: 1.) choose a path of study and stick to it (general university requirements are a good place to start)- taking dual credit courses unrelated to postsecondary completion requirements will result misused time, money and effort. 2.) students should commit to doing their best work in dual credit courses- completion and grades impact both high school and college transcripts.

Planning is critical to ensure dual credit courses will count toward a college degree. Students should take courses guaranteed to apply to their post-secondary education requirements. If the goal of taking dual credit courses is to receive a college degree faster and more cheaply, then a student should identify their desired degree, find out what courses they'll need to take, and start taking them. Taking dual credit courses that meet Idaho's General Education core are wise decisions. Courses that will only count as electives should be taken with caution or avoided until a student knows what is required and will be accepted for their chosen college major. By making informed decisions about what dual credit courses to take gives students an academic and financial edge in pursuing a college degree.


Q. Why are students being asked to collect data related to the dual credit courses they are taking?

A. Complete data are required for the State Department of Education to reimburse the cost of dual credit / professional technical credits. Postsecondary readiness includes demonstrating the ability to capture accurate information and submit it in a timely fashion. Additionally, this measure is intended to reduce the data collection burden for school counselors. The Student Data Form can be accessed here: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/advancedOpp/toolkit.htm


Q. Will the state pay for end of course, college credit-bearing advanced placement examinations?

A. Students are eligible to take up to 12 Advanced Placement (AP) exams, six exams per semester or four per trimester or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams paid for by the state (up to $90 per exam).


Q. What is the impact of a student enrolling in a dual credit course then failing/dropping out?

A. For purposes of the SDE reimbursement- If a student fails to earn credit for any course or examination for which the SDE has paid a reimbursement, the student must pay for, and successfully earn credit for one such course or exam prior to the SDE paying any future reimbursements. In other words, the SDE reimburses the district, but if a student drops out or fails he / she has to carry the cost and earn the credit for such a course before the state will pay any more for dual credit. For postsecondary purposes, failing one or more dual credit courses may have a negative impact on financial aid in college. Institutions receiving federal financial aid are required to have policies related to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). How institutions of higher education calculate SAP varies within certain guidelines and are in place to monitor student progress to degree completion. Students should be prepared to demonstrate college-level work in dual credit courses.


Q. Will earning college credits in high school limit access to federal financial aid?

A. Federal student aid guidelines limit the number of courses students can take while receiving federal financial aid to 150% of the credits required for the degree. For instance, the window of federal aid for a 4 year baccalaureate program is 6 years. The time is calculated based on the actual clock hours spent in the dual credit course- an incoming college freshman who earned 3 dual credits as a junior in high school will only have those 3 credits subtracted from their 150% federal aid window. Taking dual credits that count as electives rather than credits required for a degree may impact both a student's Satisfactory Academic Progress and access to federal financial aid. More details on federal aid can be accessed at the 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook: http://ifap.ed.gov/ifap/byAwardYear.jsp?type=fsahandbook&awardyear=2013-2014


Q. Will entering an idaho public college or university with dual credits earned in high school limit access to freshman scholarships?

A. Students who earn Dual Credits in high school are NOT penalized or excluded from qualifying for first-year scholarships, and are considered eligible just like other first-year students. Students who encounter any questions about this when applying for financial aid at an Idaho public institution should talk to the financial aid director at the institution or contact Dana Kelly, Student Affairs Program Manager at the Idaho State Board of Education (dana.kelly@osbe.idaho.gov)

Eligibility for freshman scholarships is based upon first time / full time freshman status. As such, students with dual credits earned in high school maintain access to freshman scholarships. Students should investigate freshman scholarship criteria for private and out of state institutions if these are of interest. Regarding how harder courses (dual credit, AP, Honors) relate to competitive scholarships based on merit; postsecondary institutions review transcripts and are aware that these courses are more difficult and typically acknowledge this with offers of admission and scholarships.


Q. How does accruing college or technical preparation credits in high school impact the timing of degree / certification completion?

A. Earning postsecondary credits in high will decrease the time and cost of completing a program after high school if the dual / professional technical credits align with the student's overall program requirements. Students taking credits that don't contribute to program requirements will take longer to complete. Advising (consultation with counselors) is critical to assure dual credits lead to postsecondary program completion.


Q. How does an earning college credit impact a student's high school GPA?

A. Dual credit courses result in college credit and a grade for the institution sponsoring the course and credit and a grade that will be reflected on the student's high school transcript. If class ranking is important for students, dual credit endeavors should be approached with caution. As with any advanced opportunity, advising and planning is critical.


Q. How will AP exam results impact reimbursement from the SDE?

A. The SDE will pay for initial AP exams regardless of the outcome. However, if a student scores below a 3 the student must take a subsequent AP exam, pay for it themselves, score above a 3 to have subsequent 8 in 6 exams or courses paid for by the SDE.

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