College Credit for High School Students

There are several options for students to earn college credit while in high school. It's important that you explore each of the programs and determine which is the best fit for you.

The Early College Credit Program (ECCP)

Students at public high schools in Wisconsin can earn college credit via the ECCP Program. A student selected for the program may enroll at UW-River Falls, to take one or more courses for which the student may earn high school credit, post-secondary credit, or both. Under ECCP, the costs of the courses are shared among UWRF, the school district, the state, and in some cases the student's family. The ECCP option is the most affordable option. Students can earn up to 18 total credits via ECCP.

High School Special

Students may also take college courses as High School Special student. It is a great opportunity to earn college credits, however, the student and their family are responsible for the full cost of tuition. High School Special students may enroll in any course in which prerequisites have been met. Typically a student will enroll as a High School Special if a course is not approved via ECCP. Enrolling as a High School Special is the most flexible option since students can enroll in any course available at UWRF.

Dual Academic Credit Program

The River Falls High School now offers dual credit opportunities in partnership with UW-River Falls. Students may elect to earn both college credits and required high school credits simultaneously, providing students with the opportunity to earn UWRF credit at the high school. Upon successful completion of the course, students will earn credits that count towards both high school and university requirements.

ITV-Northern Lights Network

UW-River Falls offers college-level courses over an interactive television network (ITV) that serves CESA 11 schools who participate in the Northern Lights Network. Classes in areas such as computer programming, teaching, special education, environmental studies and astronomy can put you a step ahead to your degree.

Participating schools:
Barron, Birchwood, Clayton, Clear Lake, Frederic, Grantsburg, Luck, Northwood, Pepin, Plum City, Prairie Farm, Prescott, Shell Lake, Siren, Spring Valley, Turtle Lake, Unity, Webster and Westfield

Applying as a:

High School Special Student

Application Process:

  1. Complete the UW System Application
  2. Submit an official high school transcript;
  3. Submit a letter of recommendation from the high school counselor or principal;
  4. If the ACT exam has been completed, please include your ACT score report.  

High School Special Students are responsible for payment of course tuition and required fees.

Early College Credit Program (ECCP) Student

Students enrolled in Wisconsin public school districts may request approval from their school district to take university courses through the Early College Credit Program (ECCP). Students must file the ECCP Program Agreement Form with their high school to request approval of ECCP courses. This form is to be submitted to the high school before March 1 if applying for fall semester courses, and before October 1 if applying for spring semester courses. ECCP students will register after UWRF degree seeking students.  The ECCP is designed for students to take 100/200 level courses.  

If a student receives a failing grade or drops a course for which the school district has made payment, the school district may request reimbursement from the student, or from the student's parent or guardian, for all costs related to the course. Students who fail a course are not eligible to continue in the ECCP. 

Admission Criteria

Students must be a junior or senior in the top 40% of their class with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you may be considered for ECCP on a case-by-case basis by submitting significant and convincing letters of recommendation. An essay may also be requested.

Also note:

  • AP coursework in physical science is required to take science courses.
  • AP math test scores are required in order to apply for a math course. A math placement test may also be required.
  • Modern language courses require an on campus placement test.
  • Registration is on a space available basis.
  • Approval by your high school does not guarantee admission to the University.

Application Process

  1. Complete the UW System Early College Credit Program and High School Special Agreement Form and submit to your high school (fall deadline: March 1; spring deadline: October 1)
  2. Apply for Admission to UWRF (Fall Semester deadline: July 1; J-Term deadline: December 1; Spring Semester deadline: December 1; Summer School deadline: May 1)
Dual Academic Credit Program

Dual Enrollment Options at UW-River Falls with River Falls High school          DACP and AP credit comparison PDF

(Click thumbnail to view PDF)

Application Process:

  1. Complete the UW System Application
  2. An unofficial high school transcript (will be sent directly from the high school);
  3. Submit official AP scores if course(s) require prerequisites. 

The student is responsible for payment of course tuition and required fees. The student will be billed by River Falls High School.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • 3.0 GPA or 22 ACT
  • Exceptions considered with a recommendation from RFHS
ITV-Northern Lights Network

Application and Enrollment

High school students notify their school that they are interested in participating in Northern Lights interactive television (ITV) course(s). Students should complete the online version of the UW System application for admission indicating that the student wants to be a “high school special.”

The high school forwards a current high school transcript and a letter of recommendation from the high school indicating the desired class(es) for the semester and verifying student readiness for college-level work (see sample letter). UW-River Falls will inform the student and high school of admission.

Selection Criteria:

  • GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Top 40% of class (exceptions may be made for students with special talents)
  • Open to 9-12th grade students
  • Letter of recommendation from the high school addressing the student’s readiness for college level work and listing desired course(s)

No application fee will be charged ITV students or their schools. If the student wishes to enroll at UW-River Falls following high school graduation, the student would need to re-apply during the senior year in high school as a degree seeking student and pay an application fee. Placement tests may be required for specific courses, such as foreign language or math. For questions on the admission process, contact the UW-River Falls Admissions Office at 715-425-3500 or by email to

ITV Guidelines
UWRF ITV Courses


Admission Criteria

For admission to the University, students generally rank in the top 40% of their class and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. High school courses completed, ACT scores, and letters of recommendation may also be considered in the evaluation of students.

Upon admission, students can enroll in university courses on a space available basis (only certain courses are offered via ITV), provided they meet course prerequisites. Placement testing may be required to determine appropriate course level for students wishing to study in areas such as Math, English, or Foreign Languages. Scores on College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP) exams may also be used to determine course placement.

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