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Lauren Trygstad - SAVED $14,000 and Earning Associate’s Degree

Meet Lauren Trygstad! She saved approximately $14,000 in tuition expense, earning 77 credits, from enrolling in the PSEO program at Inver Hills Community College and Normandale Community College -- starting her journey in 11th grade! Lauren’s current plan is to major in biology and minor in Spanish, anticipating attending Gustavus Adolphus College next year on a dean’s scholarship. Her goal after college is to get into medical school to become an Emergency Medicine Physician. By enrolling in the PSEO program she will be earning an Associate’s degree (AA) by the end of this semester (Spring 2021)! Here are some of her thoughts on her experience:

LAUREN: My best friend convinced me to do PSEO when we were trapped in a coffee shop during a severe hail storm. We were studying for our AP U.S history test and talking about how stupid the exam was. We had already done all the work and yet we still had to pass a randomized test to get credit for our efforts. She had already signed up for PSEO, and she convinced me to do it with her. And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I’ve been extremely active in my high school since my freshman year, with student council, theatre, nhs, athletic training, panther prep, and hosa-fhp. At my school I am the President for Hosa - future health professionals, but I am also a Minnesota Hosa State Officer. This requires a lot of days off school for travel and competition, and with PSEO it was so easy. I didn’t need to have my mom call me out of class, because I was in college and considered an adult. I could leave and easily complete my work online and worry about other things. By far the best thing about PSEO, in my opinion, was the freedom it offers, you are treated as an adult who controls their own life. Do you want to eat? Then do it (as long as your not in lab). Need to go to the bathroom? Then go. Stuff like this make you feel more respected in the environment you’re learning in.

Then there’s the added bonus of free college credit of course. I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 3 years old, and that requires a lot of school. So I decided I was going to make the most of my two years and earn 77 college credits along with my Associates Degree. I was able to get all of my undergraduate courses done, with the exception of one English class.

Overall PSEO will prepare you for the real world where you’re in charge of your life. Your classes will push you, but you will earn credit for your work. If you do PSEO, I would recommend you meet with an academic advisor, so that you ensure your class credits will transfer. PSEO is a great option for anyone with the drive to get ahead. For me, the courses resembled AP classes without all the busy work. In college, your grade is awarded based on a few tests, labs, papers, and quizzes. Which is hard for some and great for others. You just have to decide if it’s the right environment for you.

PSEO was the best decision I made during my high school career and I highly recommend doing it. Thank you for reading my story, I hope it inspires you to take the next step for your education.

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