In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey, who was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. He is a Democrat. (stock photo)
WASHINGTON DC – This month, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) led their colleagues in introducing The Jumpstart on College Act, a critical component of House Democrats’ Aim Higher initiative, that would improve student access to college, increase its affordability, and lead to higher degree completion rates by expanding dual enrollment and early college programs.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic making college less accessible for so many, it is even more critical that we support dual enrollment and early college high school programs that allow juniors and seniors in Massachusetts and across the country to take courses and earn credits at nearby colleges and universities.” said Senator Markey (D-MA). “For many of these students who, like me, are the first in their family to go to college, these courses are an essential jump start to their college careers. I am proud to introduce this legislation in the Senate and look forward to working with Congressman Espaillat and my colleagues to get this bill signed into law.”
“For many students – especially those already underserved – their path towards economic mobility starts in the classroom and is dependent on getting their fair shot” said Congressman Espaillat (NY-13). “That’s why I’m introducing the Jumpstart on College Act – to ensure we invest in dual enrollment and early college programs that’ll help close the higher education gap for our low-income and underserved students. Democrats promised to make quality higher education more accessible and affordable for every American, and it’s our duty to deliver – and we will by sending this bill to President Biden’s desk.”
The prospect and reality of paying for college while attaining academic success can be daunting, particularly for students who would be the first in their families to attend university. Dual enrollment and early college high school programs are one part of the solution to increasing access to higher education, tackling college costs, and improving graduation rates – particularly for the students who need the most help.
We must close the access gap for students across the nation and expanding dual enrollment programs and early college high schools is one way to do it.
Specifically, this bill:
- Invests $250 million each year to establish and support six year-grants dual enrollment and early college high schools that primarily serve low-income students;
- Creates a competitive grant program for colleges and universities to partner with local school districts to support the development of these programs;
- Provides financial support to states in order to develop and implement a state-wide strategy for increasing access to dual enrollment programs for underrepresented students; and
- Improves college affordability by ensuring students pay nothing to earn college credit while in high school and by allowing students to complete their college degree or attain credentials from an institution of higher education.