Grant allows high school students to earn more college credits at NE State

Published 2:12 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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High school students looking to jump-start their college careers early now have the opportunity to take up to five courses at Northeast State Community College at no cost.

Director of High School Programs, Shelby McKenzie, said that changes to the Dual Enrollment Grant in Tennessee allow Northeast State to offer more free college courses for upperclassmen in high school as they continue to pursue their diplomas.

“Students can now get their first five dual enrollment classes at Northeast State for free,” McKenzie said. “Their tuition and fees are covered; they just have to pay for textbooks.”

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The Tennessee Lottery-funded grant is administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. Students can explore specific career paths through Northeast State’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Dual Enrollment or earn transferable college credits in the University Parallel Dual Enrollment (UPDE) program.

“The grant pays up to a six-credit-hour course,” McKenzie said. “So, a student who takes a four-credit-hour course such as welding or machine tool receives that class for free if it’s within their first five classes offered through the grant.”

More high school students than ever can take advantage of earning college credits after changes were made in the requirements to qualify for the courses.

“The state did away with some of the requirements they used to have, such as GPA or ACT score requirements for the Dual Enrollment Grant,” McKenzie said. “However, there are still ACT and GPA requirements to enroll in some coursework.”

Dual enrollment courses meet the same academic standards and quality as all other courses offered by Northeast State. College faculty travel to area schools to teach high school students in a familiar setting, or upperclassmen can travel to Northeast State’s campus.

High school students interested in taking up to five college courses for free should email for more information on the University Parallel Dual Enrollment Program or the CTE Dual Enrollment Program. More information is also available at