New Program Allows More Students to Earn College Credit

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Secretary Duncan unveiled the new plan during a round table with education stakeholders in Memphis.

For the first time, high school students will have the opportunity to access federal Pell Grants in order to take college classes offered through dual enrollment. During a recent visit to Memphis, U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan announced the launch of a pilot initiative that will expand access to postsecondary coursework for low-income high school students.

The United States department of education (USED) will invest up to $20 million in the 2016-17 award year to increase participation in dual enrollment programs for students from low-income backgrounds. Beginning this week, postsecondary institutions partnering with secondary public schools or districts will be able to apply to participate in the dual enrollment pilot program.

“A postsecondary education is one of the most important investments students can make in their future. Yet the cost of this investment is higher than ever, creating a barrier to access for some students, particularly those from low-income families,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We look forward to partnering with institutions to help students prepare to succeed in college.”

Dual enrollment is a postsecondary course, taught either at the postsecondary institution or at the high school, by postsecondary faculty or credentialed adjunct high school faculty. Students are enrolled at the postsecondary institution and earn postsecondary credit upon completion of the course, and high school credit is awarded based on local policy.

Read more about this historic announcement on the official blog of the U.S. department of education here.