The purpose of this study was to explore the reasons 162 rural area high school students participate in the dual enrollment program. Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to enroll in college courses for credit prior to high school graduation with local school districts covering the cost of tuition. Participants in this study were recruited from two rural agricultural counties from Washington State attending a local college. Exploratory factor analysis revealed that dual enrollment participation was related to academics, financial, social, and choice reasons. Results showed no significant differences between 11th and 12th grade participants regarding financial and choice reasons to participate. However, statistically significant differences were found regarding academic and social reasons for participation. Implications for rural educators and recommendations for future research regarding dual enrollment programs are discussed.

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