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New State Report Reveals More High Schoolers Earn College Credits Early

iu-campus__pbr_.jpg

Indiana University campus in Bloomington. (FILE PHOTO: Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

Nearly two-thirds of Indiana’s high schoolers earn college credit before they graduate, and the state’s Commission for Higher Education (CHE) sees it as a key step toward closing achievement gaps for low-income and minority students.

According to a new report from the commission, the rate of students earning college credit in high school increased by 15 percentage points over the past four years, and currently sits at 62 percent.

CHE communications director Kate Stuard says more students enrolling in dual credit courses could save the state millions – because college courses cost more than dual credit high school classes.

“When students are utilizing dual credit in high school the difference will save the state all of that $62 million annually,” Stuard says.

But the report highlights several trends among early college credit earners. It shows low-income students make up about one third of all dual credit earners, and increased rates of dual-credit earning for low-income students, and across racial and ethnic groups. 

In 2013 the commission set a goal to close the state’s achievement gap for low-income and minority students by 2025. Stuard says more early credit earners can help the commission meet that goal, because it increases a student’s likelihood of attending college, doing well, and graduating on time.

“We’re actually seeing that their early college success is higher than that of their peers who do not participate in early college credit,” Stuard says.

Stuard says the commission plans to study and share a report on the transferability of college credits sometime in the next year.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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