Graduate high school with a 2 year degree

Posted at 7:07 PM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 19:49:56-05

Students in Baltimore City have the option to apply to a unique new high school. It offers students the opportunity to earn an associate's degree by the time they graduate. And it's all tuition-free.

The kids may look a little young to be earning college credits, but that's exactly what they're able to do at Bard High School Early College. The college atmosphere, accomplished faculty with advanced degrees, and the discussion-based, liberal-arts curriculum were all big draws for 9th grader India Driscoll.

She tells ABC2 news, “”I feel like here, it's a lot more student-based and learning-based, rather than test-based and score based." 

After completing the 9th and 10th grades, students enter into a tuition-free, undergraduate course of study for the next two years. By the end of high school, they can earn up to 60 credits from New York's Bard College to transfer to a four-year institution.

Danielle Clapperton told ABC2, “It makes me feel happy because then I feel like I am ahead and not just for bragging rights, but it's kind of like I get a jump start on everything."

Not that she needs it. Homeschooled all of her life, Danielle was already planning to enroll in community college at 16 before she learned she could do the same for free at Bard.

She told ABC2 news, “Everything that happens later for a lot of people, we're kind of privileged and we can have that option now. It's comforting to know. It's a good feeling."

Bard Early College has six other campuses, including ones in New York City, New Orleans and Cleveland. 

The Baltimore campus opened in September for its very first school year here in the city.