A new partnership that gives high school students a college degree is paving the way for affordable college.
Dr. Emilio P. Castro, superintendent of Edgewood Independent School District, says that a program to give students a head start on college while still in high school will be free for the freshman who enroll.
On Thursday, Palo Alto College announced their partnership with Edgewood ISD to launch two new early college high schools at Jonh F. Kennedy and Memorial High School.
The schools will each offer college courses for up to 125 students.
This move allows students to earn a high school diploma and a college degree at the same time.
“Up to 60 hours, that includes 42 hours of what we call the 'core curriculum,' math, science, English, history, all of those things that are required. Those are 42 of the 60 hours. Then they look at what they want to major in,” said Dr. Mike Flores, president of Palo Alto College.
At the end of the four years, students can walk away with an associate of arts.
Alyssa Hinojosa is one many students that will join the program as a freshman this school year. She's so excited that she can’t wait to find out what’s in store for her.
“I could push further now since there are more opportunities,” she said.
Her parents add that’s it’s not only a great experience to prepare their daughter for college, but a financial burden lifted off their shoulders.
“They are going to save on tuition and they are going to save on fees, all that comes with it,” said Mary Hinojosa, Alyssa’s mother. “At least two years we are going to have savings.”
Alyssa admits that it’s going to be a challenge but she’s ready.
“Bring it on, bring it on,” she said.
School starts on August 28 and a spokesperson with the district says that there is still time for eligible students to enroll.