Over the past couple of months, I have used this space several times to talk about how to afford college education. I thought I might continue this week with an emphasis on dual credit programs. Open to all high school students, these courses allow them to earn high school and college credits at the same time — all before graduating. It is similar to dual enrollment and Advanced Placement classes, but unlike those offerings, students always receive high school credit for course work and these grades are recorded on their college transcript.

With 8.5% inflation and the national economy teetering on recession, families face higher price tags every which way they look. However, we cannot let our students’ worries about affordability stand between them and building meaningful careers. What makes this program so great is that learners can receive scholarship funds for up to 12 dual credit courses, essentially giving them the chance to earn two semesters worth of college credit at no cost. Students can take these courses conveniently in person at their high school or college campuses, online, or a blend of the two.

Kentucky’s workforce needs to be comprised of problem solvers and innovators to remain competitive, which is why the legislature invests in ways that create a clear pathway to high-paying jobs. Our goal is to help Kentuckians enter the workforce at an expedited pace. So to bolster our state’s skilled talent pool, the classes go beyond just general education requirements. We expanded this initiative to include additional career and technical trainings in the Commonwealth’s high-demand industries, including healthcare, business and information technology, advanced manufacturing, construction and trades, and transportation and logistics.

Participation in this program continues to rise in the Commonwealth and across the nation. Over 37,000 high school students participated in dual credit during the 2020-2021 school year. The results paint a clear picture: these courses buoyed student success. Dual credit students are more likely to earn a 3.0 or higher grade point average in their first year of college and are also more likely to complete a college credential.

With all this said, you may be asking how to enroll in a dual credit course. It’s best to start off by talking to one of the best resources on high school campus, your school guidance counselor, to determine what courses are available and how to apply. They can also help start the process and complete the necessary paperwork.

You can also visit www.kheaa.com to learn more about the dual credit scholarship as well as many other grant and scholarship opportunities in Kentucky.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or issues. I can be reached on my mobile at 502-639-7079 or through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also email me at James.Tipton@LRC.KY.GOV. If you would like more information about any commit-tees or legislative actions, you can visit the Legislative Research Commission website at legisla-ture.ky.gov.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or issues. I can be reached on my mobile at 502-639-7079 or through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also email me at James.Tipton@LRC.KY.GOV. If you would like more information about any commit-tees or legislative actions, you can visit the Legislative Research Commission website at legisla-ture.ky.gov.