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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the early college school model, students can earn up to two years college credit or an associate’s degree in partnership with nearby colleges and universities. A study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with close to 2500 subjects, shows that early college credits in high school pay off.

Compared with 5% of their peers from other high schools, in the early college model, 25% of graduates from early colleges earned a college degree (typically an associate’s degree) two years after graduation.

Eighty-one percent of early college students enrolled in college, compared with 72% of students attending traditional schools.

The initiative started in 2002, and now with 240 early colleges, shows data looking good. Read more in Education Week.

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