By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Early college programs provide college-level material and free college credits to high schoolers on college campuses with aggressive support, group work and interactive strategies to meet the challenges of college work.

The culmination is usually an associate’s degree, saving 60% tuition. According to Jobs for the Future, more than 75,000 high schoolers nationwide are participating, most from underserved populations, taking courses along with their high school classes.

Data show that 93% graduate from high school versus the 73% national average and 93% immediately enroll in college, again, eight percent higher than the national averages – 14% higher for blacks, 16% for Latinos and 26% higher for low income students.

Of those numbers, 77% of the students are of color, 57% from low income families and 45% are first in their immediate families to attend college.

Check out the Jobs for the Future website for a listing of early college high schools and information on a national conference planned for the fall.

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