The College Level Examination Program is an
opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery on 33 exams in
five subject areas and earn between 3 and 12 college credits
before leaving high school. Currently, CLEP exams cost $89. The
amount of college credit a student can earn on individual CLEP
exams varies by college.
Career and Technical Education
The Louisiana Department of Education career education initiative
Jump Start requires students to attain industry-valued
credentials to graduate with a Career Diploma. Jump Start
regional teams have developed 47 graduation pathways for students
to pursue. Schools receive the same credit for students pursuing
advanced credentials and technical diplomas as for those who
achieve top AP test scores.
Eligible high school juniors and seniors may use the TOPS-Tech
Early Start Award to fund any technical or applied course leading
to a certificate issued by a postsecondary institution or any
Louisiana Workforce-recognized entity. To be eligible, students
must meet the following:
- Be in good standing as defined by the student’s high school
- Have an approved 5-year Education and Career Plan
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.0
- Score 15 or above on the math and English portions of the
Pre-ACT or equivalent assessments, or Silver level on the ACT
- Enroll in a course in a high-demand, Industry-Based
Occupational or Vocational Education Credential Program
Students may only take two such courses per high school semester
in the 11th and 12th grades.
Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit
Dual enrollment students are enrolled in both
high school and college and earn both secondary and postsecondary
credit. Students may enroll in in-person or online college
courses at local technical, community and/or four-year colleges
or may take college-level courses specially offered on the high
Beginning January 1, 2020, the Louisiana Board of Regents set
minimum eligibility requirements for students participating in
dual enrollment courses. Students must demonstrate college
readiness by meeting benchmark scores on one of several college
readiness or placement exams, as well as have a 2.5 cumulative
high school GPA. Postsecondary institutions may set higher
placement score requirements than those set by the Board.
Act 128 (2019) creates the Dual Enrollment Framework Task Force.
The law charges the task force with developing recommendations
related to funding, course requirements, teacher qualifications
and student eligibility. The act also directs the task force to
develop a draft process for increasing program coordination,
credit articulation and regular evaluation of state strategies.
Act 204 (2020) established the Dual Enrollment Innovation and
Equity Grant to conduct capacity building for implementation of a
statewide dual enrollment framework to support high schools and
postsecondary institutions in providing equitable dual enrollment
opportunities and to encourage participation in such programs.
Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate
Students who enroll in Advanced Placement courses and score a 3
or higher on the corresponding exam may be eligible for college
credit. Offered courses are aligned with the Taylor Opportunity
Program for Students core requirements, and exam scores of 3 or
higher are recognized with 150 points (the highest achievement
level) toward the graduation index. AP exam scores of 1 or 2 earn
110 points toward the graduation index.
To ensure that all students retain access to the AP program, the
Louisiana Department of Education has encouraged districts to
subsidize the cost of AP exams for low-income students. The DOE
provides funding options to help guide districts in doing so.
To participate in the International Baccalaureate program,
Louisiana students must enroll in a full-time, six-course
program. Students who score a 4 or higher on standardized EOC
exams will earn college credit as well as the maximum 150 points
toward the graduation index. Students who earn a 1, 2, or 3 on IB
exams will receive 110 points toward the graduation index.
Early High School Graduation
Louisiana high school students have the option of leaving high
school early — typically after the junior year — and enrolling
full time in college. Students who qualify for early admission
must have a B average over three years and score 25 or higher on
the ACT or the SAT equivalent. Early college students earn their
high school diplomas by successfully completing their first 24
credit hours at the college level.