In Oregon, a few high schools are offering an additional year of high school-or thirteenth grade. This year counts as a free first year of college for students that includes the support and oversight that high school provides. The program is possible even though students have technically completed high school, but since they are not given diplomas, they are still eligible for the state’s $6500-per-student allowance. After the students finish the 13th grade, they receive their diplomas and are able to enter college as sophomores instead of freshmen. Approximately 50 percent of students in Oregon who start community college do not make it through their first year. However, students who participated in the 13th grade program have demonstrated a 75 percent success rate. Other countries, like Germany, already have a similar program in place in order to ready their students for higher education.
Contributor: Johanna Hartman