The “Early College” programs offered in public high schools offer the best solutions to equity gap problems. These programs allow high school students to take career-oriented college classes at a local community college for free and to earn college credit while they are still in high school. The best part: over 75% of these students enroll in college and complete the FAFSA (financial aid app) upon high school graduation.
In states like Massachusetts, the majority of the students who enrolled in the Early College program were Black, Latinx or from other underrepresented ethnic groups. By giving these and all students the opportunity to take a few college classes while in high school, they’re getting a taste for college and getting credits for free. Ambitious students can take several college classes, which can save them thousands of dollars.
These Early College programs are also pandemic proof. High school students can take online community college classes that satisfy high school graduation requirements and start chipping away at college graduation requirements.
It’s a win-win!