EHS student families excited about new dual enrollment grant

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

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Students enrolled in the dual enrollment program at Elizabethton High School may qualify for a financial grant to help offset the cost of earning college credits.

The Elizabethton City School Board this week approved a Gap Grant to help offset the cost for qualifying juniors and seniors enrolled in course three and four studies.

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“Students who are eligible for the dual enrollment grant through the State of Tennessee qualify for $500 per course the first two courses they take and when they get to their third course, they qualify for $200 of aid, and their fourth course they qualify for nothing currently – it’s all out of pocket,” said Dr. Jon Minton, principal at Elizabethton High School.

Under the new plan, the school system will contribute funds that will be matched from the XQ grant to create what Minton said is being called a “Gap Grant. ”

“It fills in the gaps for students in courses three and four so that they will be able to get courses three and four done and will have $500 for each course, he said.

The new grant allows students to receive an additional $300 in course three to supplement the $200 state grant and a full $500 in course four.

“The costs can be a barrier when students get into courses three, four, five, and six because you start to have out-of-pocket costs when you are in high school,” Minton said. “We just wanted to create something to help cover some of the family cost at least through courses three and four.”

Qualifying students who have already paid out of pocket for this school year will receive money back for those courses.

The Gap Grant helps the district provide support for a growing dual-enrollment focus. “The high school experience is becoming more designed year after year to accommodate the post-secondary experience whether it’s dual enrollment through a post-secondary college or getting a head-start at the Tennessee Technology Center,” Minton said.

The dual enrollment classes are offered in conjunction with Northeast State, ETSU, Milligan, and Tusculum who partner with the Elizabethton School system.

By participating in the dual enrollment program, students like senior Cyclone football player Owen Slagle can earn significant college credits while in high school. In Slagle’s case, his college credits will almost qualify him for sophomore status when he graduates.

Senior cheerleader Cagney Bennett said having the extra money for classes three and four will be welcomed by her family.

“I know that I am taking five dual enrollment classes so the price difference from having two courses covered by the $500 to having four classes covered by $500 is going to be significant for my family as well as others,” said Bennett. “Instead of just taking Computers Apps and Speech dual enrollment, you can also take Comp I and Comp II which is what I am doing.”

For other students, the program takes some stress off having to take basic classes when a student enters college.

“It’s helping me not worry about taking those basic classes to start college,” said EHS senior Maddie O’Quinn. “I will be able to spend that money (I have set aside for college) on something else like tuition or books when I get to college.”