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 Wisconsin public schools 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.

Application Process

  • Complete the UW System Early College Credit Program Form and submit to your high school counselor.
  • Complete the high school special student ECCP online UW System Application for UW-River Falls. 
  • Have your high school counselor email your high school transcript and approved ECCP form to
  • Returning ECCP Students: You do not need to reapply for admission. You must submit the ECCP form every semester and an updated high school transcript once each academic year. 
  Summer Semester Fall Semester  Spring Semester 
ECCP Form Due to High School Counselor Feb.  1 March 1 Oct. 1
UW System Application, Transcripts, and ECCP Form Due to UW-River Falls March 1 June 1 Dec. 1

Admission Criteria

  • High school junior or senior in the top 40% of high school class with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • If a student does not meet the above criteria, they 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.

ECCP Resources

Additional Notes

  • 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.
  • Approval by the high school does not guarantee admission to the University.
  • ECCP students will register on a space-available basis. Course registration is not guaranteed.
  • If a student receives a failing grade or they drop 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 Early College Credit Program.

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.

Application Process

  • Complete the high school special student online UW System Application for UW-River Falls.
  • Request an official high school transcript be sent to UW-River Falls Admissions.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from the high school counselor or principal
  • Submit your ACT or SAT test scores if completed.

Admission Criteria

  • Applications are given a comprehensive review and are handled on a case-by-case basis

High School Special Resources

Additional Notes

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

The Dual Academic Credit Program (DACP)

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.

Application Process

  • Complete the high school special student DACP online UW System Application for UW-River Falls.
  • Request an official or unofficial high school transcript be sent to UW-River Falls Admissions
  • Submit official Advanced Placement (AP) scores if electing to take courses with prerequisites.

Admission Criteria

  • High school student with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or a 22 ACT (1100 SAT)
  • If a student does not meet the above criteria, they may be considered for DACP on a case-by-case basis by submitting significant and convincing letters of recommendation from River Falls High School.

DACP Resources

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

(Click thumbnail to view PDF)

Additional Notes

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

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

Application Process

  • Notify high school counselor of interest to participate in the Northern Lights Interactive Television (ITV) program.
  • Complete the high school special student ITV online UW System Application for UW-River Falls.
  • Request an official high school transcript and letter of recommendation be sent to UW-River Falls Admissions. Recommendation letter must include desired courses and address student readiness for college-level coursework.
  • Student will receive a decision letter from Admissions with more information.

Admission 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)

ITV-Northern Lights Network Resources

Additional Notes

  • 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 Math, English, and Foreign Language. 
  • Questions? Please contact Linda Jacobson at or 715-425-3190.


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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