TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - An East Texas college is doing what it can to make it more affordable and convenient for high school students to continue their education.
The Texas Pioneer Foundation donated a $465,000 grant to the Texarkana College Foundation on Wednesday afternoon.
The money will help high school students pay less for dual credit classes at Texarkana College.
Cole Denny is a student at Texarkana Community College, but his college education began in high school.
"I took at least 21, 24 credit hours over my junior year and my senior year," said Denny.
The college freshman is now on track to receive an associate's degree one year ahead of schedule.
Cole credits the Texarkana College dual credit program for his success.
"I actually didn't really plan on going to college. I really didn't know what my plan was, but since I had all those credits already and I also received the presidential scholarship, it just made sense for me to come here because it was almost pretty much free and I was almost done," said Denny.
The Director of the Texarkana College Foundation Katie Andrus says, "If a student takes a dual credit course while still in high school and completes it successfully, they are much more likely to enroll in college and complete college."
Leaders with the Texas Pioneer Foundation also believe the dual credit is a plus for encouraging students to attend college.
"What we found is we were underserving economic disadvantage students in Bowie County, and the primary barrier was cost so we have worked to reduce the cost of dual credit students in Bowie County and to do that. We needed some support from private resources," said Andrus.
A three-hour course at Texarkana College is about $330, but for high school students involved in the dual credit program, the cost is $50.