College Prep

Prelum™ Students Test Out their Futures

High school students researching pre-college programs

What is a Pre-College Online Program?

The race to gain admittance to a student’s college of choice is increasingly more difficult. Not only have the number of applicants risen sharply, but colleges are also getting more competitive as a means to attract the upper echelon of students. 

Now more than ever, It’s vital for students to set themselves apart. Although the average four-year college in the U.S. accepts nearly 60 percent of applicants, many schools indicate they increasingly practice more “holistic” admissions, considering factors beyond grades and test scores. For those who are highly motivated, school clubs, after-school internships and other extracurricular activities help them get noticed by the schools to which they wish to apply. 

Another option students should consider is trying out college subjects while they’re still in high school. Many notable universities offer pre-college online programs that allow high school students to discover potential college subjects from the comfort of their own home, allowing them to study anywhere, anytime, at their own pace. 

What is a Prelum Student?

Pre-College Online programs give high school students the opportunity to enroll in online courses that help them prepare for what they may want to study in college. We call these “Prelum” students (short for “Pre-Alumni”) to represent future university, college, or school alumni students.

Created by each university’s expert professors, the online courses are highly interactive, with many featuring tech-forward interactions that present Prelum students with unique features, including navigating an animated timeline, clicking through various life cycles, or matching course concepts with examples. This is a valuable opportunity for Prelum students to test out a subject before college.

Here’s what one Prelum had to say after taking an online course in medicine with Wake Forest University…

“I thought this was a great way to experience the medical field as a high schooler. We were able to witness a man going through a heart attack, and the steps needed to help him overcome it and become healthy again.”

— Mallory Q.

How Prelum Students May Save Money in the Long Run

One huge advantage that Prelum students have is first-hand experience in learning about subject matters that may shape their collegiate futures. Considering that 80% of students change their major at least once (if not more), this can add up to financial savings and shorten the amount of time students require to finish their degrees. Surprisingly, the average student now takes six years to graduate, so these savings can be significant.

Prelum Program Includes Some of the Nation’s Best Universities

The roster is impressive. Prelum students are able to take courses, such as surgery, law, and cybersecurity from Georgetown University. For those who have their sights set on the fashion industry, Parsons Paris allows Prelums the chance to try their hand at fashion design, sustainable fashion, and fashion branding. For aspiring doctors, Wake Forest University offers medicine, sports medicine, and women’s medicine. And for those with a desire to learn more about the environment and its impacts on health, Brandeis University offers an online course on climate change and one on global health.

Making it Fun to Study Online

If Covid-19 taught us anything, it’s that people need more than zombie Zoom calls to remain engaged. High school students, in particular, need more interaction. Pre-college online courses are designed with this in mind. They’re highly interactive, producing video content that draws in students with faculty and guest speakers, delivering real-life experiences. For instance, the Wake Forest medicine course that Mallary Q. references takes students from the ambulance to the emergency room and through the testing and treatment experience of a heart-attack patient—all the way through aftercare. Students study first hand what the patient is experiencing. They learn the various team members, their roles, and the potential career options in the field. 

Becoming a Prelum Student 

With eight of the top university partners, Kaplan is a leader in this emerging pre-college experience. It not only allows Prelum high school students to test out their passion for a subject, but encourages them to start considering potential majors and career options. And with so many courses, Prelum students are welcome to try out a variety of topics at any point during the year.

To learn more, visit each of our university partner‘s websites:

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*Kaplan may receive compensation upon student enrollment in one of our partner programs.*