Vermont Technical College has been offering its Vermont Academy of Science and Technology program for 25 years. Starting next fall, eligible high school seniors can also attend college while finishing high school tuition-free at Burlington College, Castleton State College, Community College of Vermont, Johnson State College and Lyndon State College.
Gov. Peter Shumlin and college officials announced the expansion on Thursday. Shumlin says early college programs ensure that more low-income students have exposure to higher education.
While Vermont has a high high-school graduation rate, officials say only about 50 percent of graduates go on to college, and half of those complete their education in four years.