To make it possible for more low-income high school students to get a head start on college, the U.S Department of Education is investing about $20 million in the 2016-17 school year on an experimental dual-enrollment program available through 44 colleges nationwide.
“The hope is that this investment will accelerate students toward completion,” said ED Secretary John B. King Jr. in an article that appeared in eSchool News.
The program will allow participating institutions to begin offering Pell grants to eligible students in July. High school students have to complete the Free Application for Federal Aid form to determine eligibility. Students who qualify can receive grants for up to 12 semesters with a maximum award of $5,815 for the 2016-17 school year.
According to the department, fewer than 10% of children in the bottom fourth of household incomes earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 25.
“The courses students take while in high school and the support they get to succeed in those courses are major factors in not only whether students go to college but also in how well they will do when they get there,” King said in an article for U.S. News & World Report. “The more rigorous and engaging the classes are the better.”