A new Idaho State Department of Education program, Fast Forward Idaho, gives public high school students across the Gem State access to 600 dollars to cover costs of dual enrollment courses and AP exams.
Each student must apply within their school district, which will then be reimbursed through the state.
“In the past, many students have had access to these courses but they had to pay for them out of their own pocket and that created a financial barrier for many students to take advantage of these opportunities,” state superintendent Tom Luna said.
Each high school junior now has access to 200 dollars, and each senior an additional 400 dollars to cover these costs.
The money will cover CLEP tests, AP exams, dual enrollment fees and even technical certifications.
“You may have a student that is in a welding course at their high school and they're preparing to take a certified welding exam,” Luna said. “That’s a very marketable skill and a very marketable license. Students can use these dollars for these types of exams and certifications."
It’s all in an effort to encourage students to graduate high school with college credits or field-specific qualifications already under their belt.
“When it comes to public education we need to measure whether our schools are successful not just by how well our students are doing while they're in school, but how well and how successful they are outside of school in the real world where they will live and work,” Luna said. “This is a program that helps prepare them for the real world and it's a necessary component, and a key component, to having students be successful after high school.”
Click here to learn more about Fast Forward Idaho.