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Now’s the Time: Early College and Dual-Enrollment Programs in the Higher Education Act


Early College High Schools (ECHSs) and dual-enrollment programs allow students to take college courses while still in high school. Research has shown that students participating in these programs are more likely to enroll in college, post higher college grade point averages, persist, and ultimately graduate from college. Too often, however, the costs associated with these courses are prohibitive for students from low- and middle-income families.

To reduce the cost burden associated with these courses, while increasing college enrollment and persistence rates for students from low-income families, students of color, and other historically underserved students, this report recommends that Congress consider a pilot program that would allow high school students to use federal Pell Grants to pay for college courses.

About Dual Enrollment and Early College High Schools

Early college high schools and dual-enrollment programs offer students the opportunity to pursue college-level credit-bearing course work while still in high school. Find out how these programs are impacting students and why it’s critical to continue supporting them in our fact sheet of ten fast facts.

Ten Fast Facts About Dual-Enrollment and Early College High School Programs