Students being helped at the One-Stop

Early College


Since 2009, 8,834 area high school students have gotten a head start on a college degree before even finishing high school. Today, LMC partners with more than 50 area high schools and home schools in Allegan, Ottawa, Van Buren, Cass, and Berrien Counties.

The Lake Michigan College Early College program has saved Southwest Michigan families over $12 million in overall tuition expenses since 2009. This is an incredible community benefit at a time when the average college graduate accumulates $37,172 in student loan debt – a burden that delays major life events like buying a home, getting married or having children.


Early College gives young people the opportunity to earn a certificate or degree that launches them directly out of high school and into a high-demand career like manufacturing or health science, and earning above-average salaries.


Early College students can transfer many of their LMC credits to a university and fast-track their degrees by up to two years, saving tens of thousands of dollars in tuition. Completing general education college requirements in high school lets students jump right in to earning credits toward their major at their transfer university. Some students even use the time and money they save to earn an advanced degree. Imagine earning a master’s degree at age 22! 


LMC Early College not only saves families money, it offers an early glimpse into college life, helping students gain independence, sharpen study skills and time management and creates a smoother transition into their next chapter. 

Early College allows students to develop interests and talents by exploring a myriad of subjects not offered in the average high school curriculum. Students who participate in Early College are also more likely to graduate - an outcome only about 40% of U.S. college students ever achieve.

Early College can begin as early as 9th grade or as late as senior year. Some students take just a few college classes, and some earn an associate’s degree along with their high school diploma. Many students receive tuition, fees and textbooks at no cost.      

Follow these steps to get started with Early College at Lake Michigan College. 

1. Ask Questions

  • Meet with your high school guidance counselor or career & technical education director to determine which college classes count toward your high school graduation requirements.

  • Find out which college classes are available to you and fit into your schedule

2. Review Test Scores

  • Obtain a copy of your ACT, SAT, or COMPASS test scores.

  • Review your test scores; be sure you meet prerequisite requirements for your chosen courses.

  • Schedule COMPASS testing if needed. Ask your guidance counselor whether testing is offered at your high school. Or go to the LMC Testing Center for testing information.

3. Get Approval

  • Be sure your guidance counselor, teacher (direct credit only), and parents/guardians are supportive of you taking Early College classes.

  • Select courses with your guidance counselor. You MUST meet prerequisites for each course.

  • Get authorization signatures from your parents.

4. Meet with LMC Advising

  • Meet with an LMC academic advisor (optional for Direct Credit; required for Dual Enrollment)

  • Decide which classes fit your college and career goals. If you plan to attend LMC or another college after graduation, you'll want to make sure your Early College credits are transferable. Transfer guides are available here.

  • To schedule an appointment, call (269) 927-8128, identify yourself as an Early College student and indicate which campus you plan to attend.

5. Register for Classes

  • Complete and submit the appropriate paper registration form with test scores attached to your guidance counselor.

  • Check your schedule on Wavelink regularly to confirm your enrollment.

5. Buy Your Books

  • Some schools cover the cost of books with a bookstore voucher. Check with your guidance counselor or career & technical center director.

  • Order your books online, or purchase the necessary textbooks at the LMC Bookstore.

6. Go To Class

  • Make sure you are listed on your teacher's roster. Not being listed could mean you are not registered.

  • Check the academic calendars online to find out when classes start and end.

  • Dual enrollment classes generally follow LMC's academic calendar.

  • Direct credit classes generally follow your high school's or Tech Center's academic calendar.

For more information about Early College opportunities at Lake Michigan College, please contact:

Emily Fritz
Early College Coordinator
(269) 927-8735


If you reside in the Allegan County school district service area, find out more about Early College offered by the Allegan Tech Center through the Allegan County Educational Service Agency.