NWFSC students get a head start on college

Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 07:54 PM.

What if you could skip your first two years of college?

Since 2000 bright, driven students graduate from Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College, doing just that — earning a high school diploma as well as an Associate of Arts. When they meet back up with their peers in college, they're juniors in college, graduating with a four-year degree before they're old enough to drink.

And it's free.

"The program leads to so many opportunities, and opens so many doors," said Bob Schrader, coordinator for the Collegiate High School Services.

On May 22, 93 seniors of the overall 285 collegiate students graduated from the collegiate high school program. In its inception, the program had 50 students. Slowly, it grew to the point where the college had to enlist the use of an admission lottery.

"You might get lucky," Schrader said of admission. "We've had students apply with a GPA of 2.2, and with a little guidance, they graduated with their AA."

The Collegiate High School begins at 10th grade. Getting admitted to the program requires the PERT entrance exam and at least five ninth grade credits.

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