Students at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis will soon be able to begin their college education as high school freshmen. A partnership with Vincennes University and the University of Indianapolis will allow qualifying students to graduate with 30 college credits.
The 1+3 Program will enable students on Perry Meridian’s Early College track to graduate with a general studies certificate from Vincennes University. Those that complete the program and meet admission standards will be accepted into UIndy with at least one year of general education credits.
That gives students the chance to earn a bachelor’s degree after three years. Students would also have the chance to pursue additional credits while in high school, giving them the chance to earn an associate’s degree.
"Making postsecondary education more affordable and accessible is an ongoing initiative at the University of Indianapolis, and we specifically are committed to elevating the quality of life for our neighbors in this part of the city," said UIndy President Robert Manuel. "This partnership provides tremendous value for local families and we look forward to replicating the model with other high schools."
All students at Perry Meridian are eligible to apply, however Vincennes says the program "specifically targets those who have the potential to succeed in college, as indicated by reading scores and other skills, but may not consider themselves suited for a traditional four-year experience."
The program costs $25 per credit-hour if the student is instructed by a credentialed high school teacher. The program is free for students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The university says some courses may be taught by VU instructors at $75 per hour.
The 1+3 Program is one of 14 early college partnerships that VU has throughout the state, all of which are customized to each school corporation.
"This is a unique, three-way partnership, to have a four-year institution like the University of Indianapolis partner with us and Vincennes University to help students take a major step forward on their path to a college diploma," said Perry Meridian Principal Rolland Abraham. "This program will actually help some students, who hadn’t considered going to college, to get a college degree. It can really broaden their horizons."