Is PSEO Worth It (YES!!) (From a PSEO student!)

I think schools don’t do a great job of explaining how worth it PSEO really is. The only quote that stuck with me was “it’s literally free college!”.

They don’t tell you that PSEO isn’t ‘like college’, but it is college. Like- you do college instead of high school. For free.

These aren’t AP classes either, you apply to any college and take classes there. No, I’m serious, this isn’t like something where you get like ‘some credits that might transfer’, you just literally take the college classes at a college.

Like, you’re in real college now, not high school anymore.

It’s literally the equivalent of graduating two years early. It’s like you’ve gotten your diploma from high school and you’re onto your college life.

But- I think they do a horrible job at explaining that. Everybody always says ‘do PSEO it’s like college!!! do PSEO do PSEO!!!’. If they said it literally is taking college instead of high school I think I would’ve signed up a year earlier!

And they don’t mention that all of that schooling is free. You can easily shave off so much money from your student loan debt by doing PSEO.

Get ready for this type of intense studying. You asked, Is PSEO Worth It?- Let me tell you, it is invaluable. Do it!
Get ready for this type of intense studying. You asked, Is PSEO Worth It?- Let me tell you, it is invaluable. Do it!

W\ait, So PSEO Is Just Going To College Instead of High School?

Yeah. So I took a few AP classes and I just assumed PSEO was similar to that. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I knew there were some College In-School (CIS) Classes and I also just assumed it was like that. And honestly, I still don’t blame myself.

I just assumed PSEO was like going to high school normally, but like one of your classes would be at a college or something. And to me, that’s not that appealing.

Like look, anything helps, but a lot of times those CIS/AP classes barely even transfer anywhere- so they’re kind of useless.

Anyways my friend Ian told me to sign up for PSEO. I was straight up like, ‘why? there’s no point’. And he told me that his girlfriend was doing it, and she was actually enrolled at the University of Minnesota.

I was like ‘what???????’. And he explained that she had now officially completed one year of college towards her degree, for free, and doesn’t even go to our high school anymore (essentially).

He went on to explain she is a student at that college and drives there every day to attend classes. And it’s not ‘possibly transferring to the university’- but it’s literally taking classes AT the university.

Whhhaaattt? So You Literally Go To College?

Yeah. That’s what I said too. You’re actually literally going to college.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know I want to become an emergency medicine medical doctor.

Wow, cool brag Tommy!

I’m just sharing that to show that I have a LOT of schooling ahead of me. 8-10 years’ worth. And no, I don’t like school.

So when Ian started explaining this to me, I was instantly intrigued. Like, I could cut off a full year of school and become a doctor even faster. And for what it’s worth, my senior year didn’t really have many classes to even take. Just World History, so in a way- senior year was kind of a waste.

Still, I thought this was some big hoax. And, I also missed the deadline. But, my school guidance counselor is incredible (I cannot thank her enough for her help) and I still made an appointment with her.

I was honest straight up and said, ‘look, I know I missed the deadline, I was wondering if there’s any way I can still look into this or get more information?’.

She got me hooked up and literally explained that it is just taking college. And no, I wouldn’t have to show up at the high school anymore, I would go to the college instead.

And she told me it’s all paid for.

Wait? When You Do PSEO- It’s ALL Free? Like, They Pay For Your College?

Yep! This is something I feel they don’t always make clear either.

As I mentioned earlier, the only quote that stuck with me was: “it’s literally free college”. It was said by my coworker at McDonald’s, Avery.

He was going on a rant about how things in high school were useless. But- he was incredibly adamant that PSEO was the ONLY thing worth it.

But, why? Well, PSEO is completely free. Even the textbooks, online things, and everything else is free.

The state pays for literally everything when you’re in a PSEO program.

Is PSEO Worth It? Well, The State Pays For EVERYTHING.

Let’s be honest, a lot of college classes have useless charges. And textbooks are expensive too. Luckily, the state pays for EVERYTHING.

It’s infuriating to say the least when I have to pay money for a useless textbook.

For instance, this English class I’m in forced me to buy ‘A Writer’s Reference’, which will set you back about $30. While it’s not horribly priced, this is just one example of a book I literally do NOT need.

I mean, I haven’t even opened the book. Furthermore, the book contains very little information that can’t be found in a google search.

Instead of my wasting my money (and believe me, when you’re in High School you’re usually not rich) the state takes tab for me.

This extends to literally everything in the class. If you took the total of all my books, the state paid for nearly $1,000.

If you take the payment of each class, the state paid for $5,000. And I go to a pretty cheap public college, if you go to a private university it will cover that too. (Although I have heard in some instances the state will make you pay a small chunk if you go to a private university)

You can go to ANY college/university.

A common misconception with the PSEO program is that you can only go to colleges or universities that are owned by the state.

Generally, you’ll find that most of the institutions that offer PSEO are through the state, but this isn’t always true.

You can go to private universities as well. The only caveat is that the university has to have an open PSEO program setup.

While I can’t find a PSEO program for Harvard University right now, give it a few years and one might just come. (we allllll know they’d accept me)

I Go To Private-School, Is PSEO Worth It?

I honestly thought PSEO was only offered through public schools, but I was proved wrong. My girlfriend told me she did PSEO at her private school (and one of the super catholic ones) and also said a HUGE amount of students did PSEO.

The PSEO turnout at my public school is to be honest, pretty low. But, not a lot of kids at my rural middle-of-nowhere farm boy school are interested in attending college.

Private schools are different. I will say a vast majority of kids attending private school are intending to go to college or even get graduate degrees.

Furthermore, private schools are far more rigorous than public schools. So some people ask if PSEO is worth it if they are attending a private school.

Here’s the deal on that:

Colleges Are More Rigorous Than Private Schools, You Can Attend Non-State Colleges Aswell

So, remember how I mentioned earlier that you can go to any university or school you want?

It’s the same thing here. If you’re a private school student that is super interested in getting an education at a private university as well, you can do that also.

However,the university will need to have a PSEO program in place.

Statistically, most state colleges do not provide a worse education than a private school. But, I know many people who go to private schools like the structure, increased workload, religious aspects, and community more.

Regardless, a state college or a private college will give you a harder workload than your private high school. So, choosing the PSEO route will not leave you stranded behind your peers, but instead, launch you forward.

Rest assured, taking the PSEO option will continue to push you in your learning journey.

It Takes Years Off Your College Journey

I can’t be the only one sick of learning. I mean, from the age of 5 you are rocketed into this 12-year schooling process that basically never ends.

Once you graduate high school, you just find out it gets even harder and you need to spend more money on it. For the next 4 years, you’re probably going to be accruing massive student loan debt, mental fatigue, and a bunch of wasted time.

So, if you take PSEO starting your junior year in High School (year 11) and continue it throughout your senior year (year 12) you can shave off 2 whole years of college.

While this isn’t always exact, you can usually save a whole year minimum. Luckily for me, I was one of those people.

In my senior year of high school, I only had 2 classes I had to take to graduate. (And I did choir/band, so I was behind the rest of my class for graduation).

I wanted to get my bachelor’s degree in nursing. Luckily, my local community college required one of those classes to get a degree in nursing anyways.

This meant that instead of wasting time taking useless electives in my last year of high school, I took 28 credits towards my nursing degree instead. It saved a total of two semesters (1 year) for my nursing degree.

That’s not to mention the amount of money it saved me. Look, I want to finish medical school one day. Any time at all I can save from this 12-year journey of schooling is MUCH APPRECIATED. (I’m sick of school!!!!!)

College Is Way Better Than High School

Look, I’m fortunate to have gone to a good high school. But, when I was growing up, my family moved a lot.

I’ve gone to about five different school districts. I say about because there was a time I went to two different schools for one day and didn’t like them, so I withdrew.

Needless to say, I know high school isn’t that fun or interactive. Sure, we will all end up missing it. But college is WAY better.

At the college I am currently at, they have tons of services my high school doesn’t. Plus, it’s way more relaxed.

My favorite high school history teacher talked about this, but high schools are designed to prepare you for a factory job. That’s why they have bells, strict on-time procedures, strict procedures making sure you aren’t goofing off, etc.

Most colleges are not like that. And I find my college way more enjoyable than high school. The professors are better, the workload is more spaced out, the time requirement works better for my schedule, etc.

If you’re sick of the high school routine of waking up early and being bossed around for the next 7 hours, making the switch to college can be nice.

Colleges LOVE Having PSEO Students

Here’s the fact: colleges aren’t looking for the most ‘extraordinary’ students with a 7.5 GPA that invented the lightbulb. Colleges are looking for students that are actually going to ATTEND and COMPLETE college.

If you look at the facts, many colleges get their money of students actually attending and completing their courses. If they have the option between a 4.0GPA honors student that isn’t ‘sure’ what his degree is, or the option between a 3.0GPA student that is dedicated to nursing, it’s the latter every time.

It’s simply because they know the student is actually dedicated to college and won’t drop out.

PSEO prepares you for this. Not only does it give you a literal college workload (because you are in college…) but it helps you find out what your degree is.

PSEO Gives You A Free Opportunity To Learn Your Career

This is the biggest reason PSEO is worth it to me. Let’s say you’re super interested in nursing.

You do PSEO, and get into a nursing class. And let’s just say you find out you HATE it. It turns out you HATE everything about it, you want to get out, you finish the class, and just never take another nursing class EVER AGAIN.

And you know what? You didn’t spend any money on that. And you didn’t really waste time either.

If you weren’t in a PSEO program, you would’ve wasted thousands of dollars and ultimately, wasted time.

You get the opportunity to try these classes out and figure out what you like, free of charge.

So How Does This Relate To PSEO and College Admissions?

College admission officers seeing that you’ve done PSEO tells them two things:

  • You’re ready for a college workload.
  • You know what degree you want and won’t drop out.

This boosts your chance (or risk haha) of getting accepted drastically.

If you don’t believe me, listen to these experts on CollegeRaptors.

Can I Do Sports While Doing PSEO?

Yep, you can still do them. If you’re a PSEO student you can do the sports and activities at your current high school. Many colleges even allow you to join their sports/activities if you’re a PSEO student as well.

Honestly, though, it will get pretty tough to manage it unless you’re doing all online courses. I would make sure to plan ahead to make sure you can get to those activities in time.

So, The Verdict: Is PSEO Worth It?

So, what’s the verdict on: Is PSEO Worth It? Yes! Let’s recap:

If you like: free college, lowering your total amount of time in school, saving thousands, essentially graduating high school earlier, and getting a more flexible schedule, then yes, PSEO is worth it!

I recommend just having a talk with your school’s guidance counselor or class scheduler and see what your options are. See if they think it’d be a good fit for you, and what options you have based on your class schedule.

If you have the opportunity to do it, it’s literally free college. So get after it!

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