Megan Hoadley's Story

Megan Hoadley anticipates a lengthy — and pricey — road to becoming an attorney. So she decided to launch her college career as a senior at Dublin Coffman High School. Recent legislation has made it easier for Ohio students to get a jump start on a college degree or professional certification. Under the College Credit Plus initiative, Ohio school districts must offer dual enrollment classes for college-ready students in grades 7-12.

While her high school offered some college courses, Hoadley wanted a full load of Columbus State classes to save her time and money toward a bachelor’s degree at Ohio State.

This year, she joined more than 80 area high school students who attend the college’s downtown campus full-time. Many of her Dublin peers questioned her decision.

“Initially, they were little surprised,” she said. “A lot of people thought, ‘Oh yeah, it’s Columbus State. It’s got to be easy.’ From my experience, it’s hard. After all, it’s college work.”

During the fall semester, Hoadley starts her classes after 9 a.m. — roughly two hours later than her high school peers. She’s done by 1 p.m., giving her enough time to visit math tutoring labs before heading back to her home school for cross-country practices and other school activities.

“When I’m here for classes, I feel like a Columbus State student,” she said. “Then I go back home, hang out with friends, go to football games and feel like a high school student.”

This spring, Hoadley will graduate from Dublin Coffman with 43 college credits, enough to enter college as a second-year student. She plans to return to Columbus State in the fall for her associate degree, then transfer to Ohio State.

She has not looked back on her decision, especially after hearing from friends and family members in college. Each of their stories shared a common theme: Earning top marks in high school doesn’t mean you’re ready for college.

“A lot of them were getting to college and they were struggling,” she said.

And she recalled a conversation with her sister, a junior at Ohio State, who was envious of Hoadley path to a degree.

“Looking back, (she said) she it would have been better off to start at Columbus State,” Hoadley said. “It would have saved her money.”

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