Everyone wins, it seems, when high school students enroll concurrently in college courses.

School districts make money, teachers get more involved with the young people in their classrooms, and students earn valuable college credit for next to no cost.Concurrent enrollment is provided through a relatively new state law and enables students to earn up to one year of college credit as they finish high school. Students who get a jump start on college coursework have better luck getting the right classes and finishing on time, advocates say.

"We find it to be a win-win situation," said Mike Bennett, director of Granite's high school services.

Bennett told Granite's Board of Education Tuesday students in the state's largest district earned more than double the amount of college credit hours in 1995-96 than they did the previous year. Granite also saw a 115 percent growth in the program by which high school students can earn credit for high school and college at the same time.

Concurrent enrollment programs are taught by high school teachers under supervision by local college staff. The teachers have master's degrees and generally participate in college in-service training.

When the Utah State Legislature first enacted the policy in 1992, students paid $10 per credit plus a start-up fee. The school district was reimbursed $15 per credit hour.

Two years later, legislators dropped the student fee but continued to reimburse the school district. In 1995, a state formula established that a $33 credit-hour allocation would be divided between the college, which received $11, and the school districts, which receives $22.

Granite students logged the second-highest amount of concurrent hours in the state, Bennett said, just fewer than the Alpine School District, where students earned 14,000 college credits last year.

Officials expect continued interest will generate about $300,000 for the district's coffers next year, he said.

There are some snags in the arrangements. Colleges occasionally find ways to get around accepting credits. State law generally requires local colleges to accept and transfer credits.

A college also can cancel concurrent programs at any time.

There was anxiety about the program at first. Critics worried participation in Advanced Placement classes would plummet.

"We're finding that's not true. Students will rise to a higher level of expectation if they find it benefits their future," Bennett said. Enrollment in AP classes has remained the same, while participation in concurrent programs has skyrocketed.

AP classes offer a high-school grade and then non-graded college credit if a student passes a separate test after taking the AP class.

People who opposed the programs also believed students would get substandard college course exposure. Tests prove students are learning what they need to in the courses, Bennett said. "Those myths have been dispelled."