Rochester, N.Y. - Hundreds of city high school students are taking college-level courses for free thanks to a program through Monroe Community College.
It's funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and is meant to better prepare students for higher education.
Christina Aaron is still a junior at Rochester's Early College International High School, but she is already getting ready for college. She wants to be a buyer for a store.
"I want to go in, my major would be fashion and merchandising, and start from there. I'll have a year of college already done in high school, and a lot of students in the Rochester City District don't have that. So that's why you definitely have to take advantage of this," Aaron said.
Students earn general education credits that are easily transferable.
Kate Schiefen is the Dean of Academic Services at MCC's Damon City Campus and oversees the program. She says this head start will strengthen the education pipeline.
"Research has shown that if students earn approximately 20 college credits they will be much more likely to succeed in their first experience in college," Schiefen said.
This is the third and final year of the program, but MCC and the Rochester City School District are looking for another grant to keep it going.