Bicameral bill aims to improve and expand access to Dual Enrollment, Early College programs for high school students


Washington (August 1, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) were joined by Reps. Dan Kildee (MI-05), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) to introduce the Jumpstart on College Act, legislation that would improve student access to college, increase affordability, and lead to higher degree completion rates by expanding dual enrollment and early college high school programs.


“It’s never too early to introduce young people to the limitless possibilities attainable through education,” said Senator Markey. “The Jumpstart on College Act would be the first significant investment from the federal government in dual enrollment and early college high school programs, allowing juniors and seniors in high school in Massachusetts and across the country to take courses and earn credits at nearby colleges and universities. For many of these students who, like me, are the first in their family to go to college, these courses provide a jump start on their college careers. I am proud to introduce this legislation in the Senate and look forward to working with my colleague to get this bill signed into law.”


“For many students – especially traditionally underserved students – the path to success in higher education and economic mobility includes the ability to get a head-start on college course,” said Rep. Espaillat. “Dual-enrollment and early college programs are a proven success, and they should be available to more kids. That’s why I am introducing the Jumpstart on College Act. The bill will invest in critical dual enrollment and early college programs to help close the higher education gap for low-income and underserved students.


“I am proud to work with my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to make quality higher education more accessible and affordable, and I hope this will be a part of the discussion as Congress turns to the long-overdue reauthorization of federal higher education programs,”Rep. Espaillat continued.


A copy of the Jumpstart on College Act can be found HERE.


“Student debt is crushing Michiganders, preventing them from owning a home, buying a car or saving for retirement,” said Rep. Kildee. “This important bill would expand Pell Grants for high school students dual-enrolled in college at local universities like Mott Community College, Delta College, Saginaw Valley University and the University of Michigan-Flint. We need to make higher education, including apprenticeship training and community college degrees, more affordable. I am proud to join Representative Espaillat and Senator Markey to re-introduce this important bill.”

“A college education should open doors of opportunity, not create shackles of student debt,” said Rep. Hayes. “By prioritizing dual enrollment and early college high school programs, The Jumpstart on College Act will reduce the skyrocketing cost of higher education, increase access for disadvantaged communities, and increase graduation rates. Congressman Espaillat, Senator Markey, and all involved are to be commended for their efforts in this regard.”

“Higher education and skilled training are pivotal steps in the path from cradle to career that many cannot afford,” said Rep. Fudge. “I believe the Jumpstart to College Act is a life-changing piece of legislation that will encourage the development of more early college and training programs providing additional options for students and their futures.  I am proud to co-introduce this and any legislation that will improve college retention and completion rates.”

“While a traditional four-year college degree may not be for everyone, a high-quality postsecondary education or credential has to be,” said Rep. Krishnamoorthi. “I am proud to co-introduce this legislation because it will strengthen and modernize dual enrollment programs between secondary and postsecondary schools, putting more students on an early path to an in-demand job and a family-sustaining life in the middle class.”

“Southern Nevada is home to many institutions that will benefit from these investments in our young students,” said Rep. Horsford. “Removing barriers, financial or otherwise, to dual enrollment programs can help to close the gap for historically underrepresented student populations. Improving access to dual enrollment and early college high school programs for students is one concrete solution for tackling college costs and improving graduation rates – particularly for the students who need the most help.”

The Jumpstart on College Act has garnered the support of several organizations, including JFF, Advance CTE, National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, National Association of Secondary School Principals, Chiefs for Change, KnowledgeWorks, City University of New York (CUNY), and the Middle College National Consortium.

“Dual enrollment programs continue to be an increasingly popular strategy among students, parents, education leaders, and policymakers because they make college accessible and affordable for students,” said Joel Vargas, Vice President, JFF. “JFF applauds the Jumpstart on College Act for providing states and institutions of higher education with the much-needed support to scale high-quality dual enrollment programs which continue to contribute to better high school graduation rates, college enrollment, persistence and completion. We are pleased this effort will explicitly focus on expanding opportunities for low-income and underrepresented students, which will help close current equity gaps in these programs.”

“A quality Career Technical Education program of study provides a clear path from secondary to postsecondary education, providing learners with both the academic knowledge and technical skills necessary to succeed in college and a career,” said Kimberly A. Green, Executive Director, Advance CTE. “College in high school opportunities are one way to provide a flexible and affordable pathway to postsecondary attainment. We commend the Jumpstart on College Act for supporting access to high-quality college in high school, dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment programs for each learner.”


“The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) applauds the Jumpstart on College Act,” said Amy Williams, Executive Director, National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. “The legislation charges states to work intentionally toward equity of access and engagement in high quality concurrent and dual enrollment and represent a significant investment in programs proven to have a transformative impact on students’ lives.”

“Our nation’s prosperity depends on our ability to maximize the human potential available to us. Yet principals see every day how much potential goes unfulfilled because students’ personal circumstances and the high cost of postsecondary education prevent them from pursuing their dreams,” JoAnn Bartoletti, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals. “Concurrent enrollment accelerates those pursuits, especially for students from low-income families, and increases the chances of not just college attendance, but college completion. These students are the next innovators, the next leaders, the next creators. The policy interventions proposed by the Jumpstart on College Act will serve not just participating students and their families, but all of us who will benefit from the great things they accomplish.”


“The Jumpstart on College Act would do exactly what it says: give students from low-income families a jump start by expanding opportunities for them to earn tuition-free college credits while still in high school,” said Chiefs for Change. “As a bipartisan network of state and district education leaders, we are pleased to support the act because it would help to reduce the cost of college and increase the likelihood that students graduate with a degree and the skills they need for a fulfilling career.”


“While a university president, I saw how dual enrollment could reduce the cost of college, reduce the time to a degree and significantly reduce student loan debt,” said Chuck Ambrose, President and CEO, KnowledgeWorks. “At KnowledgeWorks, we’ve seen the power of early college firsthand. It results in students who are the first in their family to go to college, who graduate from high school with both a diploma and an associate degree and students who get a jump start on pursuing their dreams. The Jumpstart on College Act can provide a multiplying effect to students and their families on the basis of costs and an opportunity to earn a degree. This truly makes the opportunity for college real for many more students and the dream of degree a reality.”


“Dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools are proven strategies to improve students’ access, affordability, and completion of college,” said Félix Matos Rodriguez, Chancellor, City University of New York. “We thank Congressman Espaillat (D-NY) and his colleagues for introducing the Jumpstart on College Act, which will provide a significant federal investment in expanding access to these programs, particularly for low income and underrepresented students, and for ensuring high quality.”


“The Jumpstart on College Act will benefit a tremendous number of first-generation students to pursue a post-secondary degree,” said Scott Springer-Executive Board Member, Middle College National Consortium. “Research is clear that students who successfully complete 12 college credit hours while in high school are much more likely to persist and complete a 2-year or 4-year degree. Starting college course work in high school, with strong support services, is a game changer for low income and first-generation students.”