The Georgia Senate passed a bill Tuesday, Jan. 28, reducing the amount of dual enrollment credit hours high school students can take that is paid for with state funding, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Passing with a 34-18 margin, supporters of House Bill 444 passed the bill to lower the rising costs of Georgia’s dual enrollment program.
House Bill 444 limits high schoolers in the 11th and 12th grades to taking 30 total credit hours at Georgia colleges and universities. If a high schooler would like to take more than 30 credit hours at a college or university, they will have to pay out of their own pocket, rather than receive state funding, according to the AJC.
The bill does not apply to current dual enrollment students. Current dual enrollment students can a total of 15 credit hours per semester at Georgia colleges and universities, according to the AJC.
After Tuesday, Jun. 30, students who are enrolled in dual enrollment classes on a career track will receive a total of 30 state-paid credit hours. Georgia’s HOPE Grant program will help dual enrollment students on career tracks become eligible for an added 30 credit hours.
Georgia’s House of Representatives now must vote on the bill and if passed, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp would decide whether to veto or sign the bill into law, according to the AJC.
While Kennesaw State officials declined to comment on the pending legislation, they did provide information about the dual enrollment program at KSU.
Currently, 905 dual enrollment students are taking classes at KSU, KSU Executive Director for Undergraduate Admissions Jacqueline Quiroga said.
Quiroga also said that most dual enrollment students at KSU come from Cobb and Cherokee County high schools. Some of those schools include Carl Harrison High School, Alan C. Pope High School, George Walton Comprehensive High School, Carlton J. Kell High School, North Cobb High School, Etowah High School and River Ridge High School.
Quiroga said the KSU dual enrollment program has been in place since 1994.
Georgia’s general budget pays for dual enrollment students to take classes, according to the AJC. Georgia’s dual enrollment program has a budget of about $100 million. Colleges and universities receive funding for the program when the state pays them.
For fiscal year 2019, the dual enrollment program budget was approximately $105 million, according to the AJC. Georgia’s dual enrollment program began in 1992, under the name “Move On When Ready.”
One of the aims of the Move On When Ready program is “to expand dual enrollment opportunities by increasing the number of courses students can take for college credit and removing financial barriers to student participation,” according to a GFSC document.
Now called the Dual Enrollment Program at KSU, DEP also markets itself as an opportunity for high school students to get ahead in their post-secondary education, according to the KSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions website.