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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:

Blog

Monday June 27, 2016
Rethinking 12th Grade
Orginally posted on Impatient Optimists, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation blog. Millions of high school seniors across the country are graduating this spring and celebrating their accomplishments and the beginning of the rest of their lives. Most—about 68 percent—will enter college immediately in the fall. That’s important, though the number should be even higher, because they are entering a world where most people need a postsecondary credential in order to find a decent job that pays enough to support themselves and their families. The problem is that, while some of that 68 percent...
Tags: Early College, Dual Enrollment
Tuesday May 17, 2016
Paying for college just got easier, with the Obama Administration’s announcement of the 44 institutions chosen to participate in the Experimental Sites Initiative that will allow high school students to use federal Pell grants to pay for credit-bearing college courses. Currently, Pell grants—the most important source of federal financial aid for low-income students aspiring to a college education—are not available to high school students. This $20 million initiative will expand access to college courses for over 10,000 students at 44 colleges in 23 states.  This initiative will help support...
Tags: Early College, Dual Enrollment, Federal K-12 Policy, Federal Higher Education Policy
Thursday March 24, 2016
By Mamadou Ndiaye and Rebecca E. Wolfe, for Phi Delta Kappan Science teacher Cierra Swopes has a unique perspective on taking college courses while still in high school. In 2008, she was in the second graduating class of Dayton Early College Academy (DECA). Six years later, Swopes got the job of her dreams: teaching chemistry at this nontraditional charter high school in Dayton, Ohio. “As an early college student, I was privileged enough to graduate from high school with an associate degree,” said Swopes, who started taking college courses at Sinclair Community College during her freshman...
Tags: Early College, Dual Enrollment
Wednesday March 23, 2016
Lexi Barrett is JFF's new director of national education policy. Over the last few months, the Early College High School design earned remarkable recognition and support from leaders in Congress and the U.S. Department of Education (ED). ED’s experimental sites authority and the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) opened new federal funding sources to support school districts looking to implement Early College Designs. In October 2015, ED launched an experiment to expand access to college coursework for high school students from low-income backgrounds. Through this pilot program...
Tags: Early College, Dual Enrollment
Tuesday March 22, 2016
Graduating students
By Joel Vargas and Hannah Smith Originally posted on the Getting Smart blog and on Huffington Post in the GenDIY series on March 12, 2016.  Hack: a clever solution to a tricky problem There is good news and bad news about today’s high school students. The good news is that more students are finishing high school. Graduation rates have increased over four years to a high of 82 percent in the 2013-14 school year. And as college credentials have increasingly become a necessity for getting onto a career path with good wages, high school graduates get the message. Aside from a few dips during...
Tags: Early College, Dual Enrollment