Academics, Affordability, Campus wide

CSU Scholars Academy gives high school students a head start

By Jenna Johnson | February 17, 2021
Students like Margaret McElheny, a current nursing major at CSU, enrolled in the CSU Scholars Academy in high school to get ahead in prerequisites for her desired degree. Photo provided

High school students can get a head start on their college career through the CSU Scholars Academy at Charleston Southern University. The dual enrollment program invites high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit at only $275 per course.

Offering both asynchronous online and in-person courses, the program is open to public, private, and homeschool students. 

“CSU Scholars Academy meets the student where they are and offers high school students an affordable option to get ahead. Taking college credit now from a high-quality accredited institution gives students the opportunity to graduate earlier from college or perhaps double major and minor without adding extra workload,” said Kimberly Ford, director of undergraduate admissions. 

The program launched in 2018 in an effort to create dual enrollment opportunities that included general liberal arts core requirements required by most majors, but also specialty courses for various areas of interest. Most courses prior to the pandemic were offered on campus, but most are now offered online and in person. Students may take courses in the fall, spring or summer, with no more than 10 credit hours each semester. 

Interested students must meet general admission requirements such as a 3.0 unweighted GPA. Currently, CSU has a test flexible policy due to the pandemic. Additional documentation may be required. 

Students like Margaret McElheny, a current nursing major at CSU, enrolled in the CSU Scholars Academy to get ahead in prerequisites for her desired degree. Taking a Math 105 course allowed her to complete a fourth year of math in high school and earn three credits.

“It was very easy to enroll in the course that I took and was not very difficult to keep up with along with my other high school classes,” McElheny said, adding she would recommend the program to others. McElheny plans to become a critical care nurse and work in the ICU. She also dreams of working with the Samaritan’s Purse International Disaster and Relief Team.

Partnering private schools offer space for students to take CSU Scholars Academy synchronous online courses on their respective campuses. If a student has a free period, the private school’s instructor moderates while a CSU professor teaches. 

A student may apply at no cost at Applications are accepted year-round, but close three weeks before the start of each term. To learn more, visit or email

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