IDOE brings back free college tuition for high school students

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Education is bringing back a program that offers free college tuition to high school students.

Crossing the Finish Line was launched in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers students summer courses through the Ivy Tech Community College and the University of Vincennes.

“Last year, COVID caused about a 7% decrease in dual credit enrollments,” said Rebecca Rahschulte, vice president of K-14 initiatives and statewide partnerships at Ivy Tech. .

Many students in the program last year took general education classes so they could transfer credit to other state colleges, Rahschulte said. According to the organizers, they can also earn credits for an associate’s degree or professional certificate.

“As a partner of high schools, we are very intentional about making sure the product they enroll in leads to a valuable post-secondary credential,” Rahschulte said.

The program, which is funded by the federal government, will be available to about 16,000 students this summer, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

“It definitely saved me a lot of time and money,” said Hannah Messer, a freshman at Indiana University who took two classes in the program last summer.

The credit for those courses will help her graduate a semester sooner, she added.

“I’m so thankful for that because I didn’t know what to expect when I went to college, like the transition from high school to college,” Messer said.

Nearly 1,900 students took classes when the program launched last summer, saving those students a total of $1.4 million in tuition and other related expenses, according to the Ministry of Education. Indiana Education.

Eligible students will be contacted about the program by their school, Ivy Tech or Vincennes, according to state officials.

For more information on the program, click here.

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