ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) - Ferris State University and Rockford Public Schools are offering students as young as sophomores access to classes for college credit.
Rockford and Ferris State's new concurrent enrollment program, unique in the state, is free for students and their families.
"It can't hurt. It doesn't cost anything for me to apply, so I just might as well do it," Rockford senior Aimee Hite said.
The district picks up the $130 per credit hour cost -- about a third of Ferris State's usual tuition price.
The savings come, at least in part, from the fact that qualified Rockford teachers instruct the classes at the high school alongside other high school students. Another added benefit for students is the safety of being able to do college level work on campus, so no extra transportation is required.
"I'm happy to do this in high school so I feel a little bit more comfortable and I already feel I've learned what a college class is going to be like," Rockford senior Hannah Fawcett said.
Nearly all universities in Michigan accept the Ferris State credits as transfers, but families should check with an individual college just to be sure. Rockford officials said the Michigan Transfer Network is a good resource when starting this process.
"We're building a template, working closely with Ferris State University, and hopefully other districts will learn take the template, take the model and be able to utilize that," Lisa Jacobs of Rockford Public Schools said.
About 50 students are participating in the first year of the pilot program. The cap is currently at 90 students.
Gov. Rick Snyder is interested in the program, asking both the president of Ferris State and the Rockford superintendent for a summary of how it works.
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