June 15, 2020

Despite a rough end to the 2019-2020 academic year for area high school students, there was still no shortage in their desire to complete college credits this summer.

East Central College again offered the Summer Three for Free Scholarship program, which this year allows students graduating in 2021 and 2022 the ability to take one course tuition-free.

There was a 22 percent increase in enrollment this year compared to the 2019 session, according to Megen Strubberg, director of early college programs.

There were 122 students enrolled this year, which is 22 more than the 100 enrolled last year.

“I am thrilled to say that we were able to increase our headcount this summer,” Strubberg said. “The promotion and success of this program is due in a large part to our area high school counselors encouraging students to take advantage of the opportunity. Word of mouth among high school and homeschool parents also contributed significantly to this number.”

The intent of the program is to encourage students to continue taking dual credit classes during the summer. The program is part of an ECC strategic plan goal to increase opportunities for college credit for students in the community.

The Three for Free program provides students with a chance to take one tuition-free summer course. The name of the program suggests only classes worth three credit hours are available, but the program applies up to a five credit hour course, Strubberg added.

Students are encouraged by the Early College Programs office to take Core 42 courses, which are state-approved general education courses that will transfer to any public institution in Missouri.

This is the second year of the program that provides an additional opportunity for students who do not have access to traditional financial aid.

Students were only responsible for general fees, which were $22 per credit hour, plus books.

Free Digital Books

ECC is also continuing its initiative to offer additional open educational resources for students by way of free digital textbooks, so many of these students in the Three For Free program had an added bonus of free course materials and only paid $66  total.

Free digital textbooks are only offered for select courses at this time, but the plan is to increase this effort. Additionally, students who are still in high school qualify for the dual enrollment rate of $51 per credit hour, which is half of the regular in-district tuition of $102. That rate does increase to $53.00, beginning with the fall 2020 term.

In addition to offering the Three for Free program to reduce the financial burden on students, the college also waived online fees for students this summer.

Enrollment for the summer program is now closed. However, students interested in taking dual enrollment courses during the school year, around their current high school and home school schedules, are always welcome.

Fall registration is already underway. For more information, please contact Strubberg at earlycollege@eastcentral.edu or 636-584-6723.





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