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Ala. House OKs Bill Offering Tax Credits to Support Dual-Enrollment Programs

As dual-enrollment programs expand and evidence mounts that the approach helps with college success, states are continually looking at ways to support them.

Lawmakers in the Alabama House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill this week that would provide $5 million in tax credits for individuals or businesses that contribute to such programs, according to local news reports.

The measure would grant a tax credit up to $500,000 to anyone who donates to a new scholarship program for dual-enrollment students —those who take college courses while still in high school. Contributors would get a tax credit equal to half the money donated. The hope is to generate as much as $10 million to support dual-enrollment efforts.

The proposal now heads to the Alabama Senate.

Dual enrollment is gaining in popularity, with programs now offered in 47 states and the District of Columbia, a report released in December found. A database maintained by the Education Commission of the States that tracks dual-enrollment policies shows that many were modified in recent years to improve delivery and quality.

The ESC released a report this month chronicling model components of state-level policies on dual enrollment. It also summarizes research on the benefits of the educational strategy. Students in dual-enrollment programs are more likely to meet college-readiness benchmarks, have higher grades in college, and complete college, the ESC finds.  Another study, by Jobs for the Future, looked at the success of students in Texas dual-enrollment programs. It found that early exposure to college provided similar advantages.

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