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Early College

Early College is an innovative, national, high school model that allows high school students to earn up to 60 transferrable college credits towards an Associate Degree, tuition fee, while earning their high school diploma. Students complete rigorous academic coursework in ninth and tenth grade and a college curriculum on a university partner campus.

DCPS offers three citywide Early College application high school programs. To learn more about each program, visit the links below:

1. Bard High School Early College DC­

Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) DC offers students the unique opportunity to earn up to 60 transferable college credits and an Associate degree from Bard College alongside a high school diploma, free of charge. BHSEC provides a rigorous course of study across the liberal arts and sciences that emphasizes critical thinking, writing, and inquiry.

Program Specifics:

  • Minimum GPA: None. Transcript required for 11th graders only
  • Essay: Yes (to be completed at Bard, and not through the My School DC application)
  • Admissions Process: Application review; Essay (on-site); Interview
  • Recommendations (completed online through My School DC application): Math teacher
  • Grades Accepting Applications: 9th and 11th

2. Early College Academy at Coolidge H.S.

The Coolidge Early College Academy is one of DC's newest college readiness programs. Students will gain the valuable experience of attending classes on a college campus and earning both a high school diploma and up to 60 transferrable college credits towards and Associate Degree, tuition free.

Program Specifics:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 GPA (SY18-19 First Quarter) recommended
  • Minimum Standardized Test Requirements: Score of “met” or “exceeded expectations” in both math and reading on the PARCC exam or any state standardized test recommended
  • Essay: Yes
  • Admissions Process: Application review, Family Interview
  • Recommendations (completed online through My School DC application): English teacher, Math teacher, Counselor
  • Grades Accepting Applications: 9th

3. GW Early College Program

The GW Early College Program provides highly motivated and academically talented sophomores from School Without Walls the opportunity to earn an associate of arts degree from GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences while completing high school, tuition free. Admission to the dual-enrollment program is selective and limited to a maximum of 15 students each year.

Program Specifics (Application is not completed through My School DC portal):

  • Minimum GPA: Program reviews transcript
  • Minimum Standardized Test Requirements: Yes
  • Essay: Yes
  • Admissions Process: Application review, Interview with GW Admissions Director
  • Recommendations: 10th grade team
  • Grades Accepting Applications: 10th


What are some of the benefits of Early College?

  • Early College Exposure: Students will get a head start experiencing college-level course work, and gain access to other engaging experiences (e.g. workshops, campus speakers, and other campus resources)
  • College Credits at No Cost to Families: Tuition, fees and books are covered for all participating students
  • Increased postsecondary readiness


What is the difference between Early College and Dual Enrollment?

Dual Credit Early College High School
On average, students earn 3-9 college credits On average, students earn 60 credits – Associate of Arts degree
Students generally begin taking college classes during 12th grade Students take college classes in 11th & 12th grade
Student support varies Integrated academic, social, emotional and college/career support are required for all students.


How can students earn college credit through the Dual Enrollment Program?

Dual Enrollment offers eligible high school students the opportunity to take classes at a local university (American, Catholic, Georgetown, George Washington, Howard, and UDC-Community College) in addition to their high school classes. Dual enrollment is open to all DCPS high schools. Each participating university sets its own admissions criteria and selection process for dual enrollment. DCPS serves as the intermediary to facilitate the application process and to provide support while DCPS students are enrolled in the program. For more information about Dual Enrollment program and application process, visit the DCPS Dual Enrollment webpage.

Contact: D’Shaun Vance, DCPS College & Career Programs, Email: [email protected], Phone: (202) 535-1636