Fort Bend ISD students to benefit from expanded tuition-free college courses

Beginning in the fall of 2016, all Fort Bend ISD high school students in the Dual Credit program will have the opportunity to enroll in tuition-free courses through Houston Community College (HCC).

Students who pass the classes earn college-level credit – a big savings for them in the future.

FBISD students have been taking advantage of earning college credits while fulfilling their high school course requirements through the Dual Credit program for years.

In the past, students living in the service area – where taxes were paid for HCC and students attended Elkins, Marshall, Hightower, or Willowridge – were eligible for the free tuition. Starting in the fall, all Fort Bend ISD students – attending any of FBISD’s 11 high schools and regardless of their community college service area – will be able to take the tuition-free courses. The Dual Credit program is a partnership between Fort Bend ISD and HCC that enables students to be enrolled in tuition-free college classes, which can be either taken at their high school or on the HCC campus.

“HCC is extremely proud to be the only community college in the area to offer dual credit classes completely free of charge to all students – whether students live in the service area or not,” said Dr. Catherine O’Brien, HCC associate vice chancellor of college readiness. “We want to see all high school students take advantage of the opportunity to earn college credit without any cost barrier.”

HCC recently held a groundbreaking ceremony in Missouri City for a new $21 million, 69-000 square-foot facility, which will be The Center for Entrepreneurship, Technology & Health. The campus is expected to open in the fall of 2017.

“We are very excited about the free tuition waiver provided to our students through HCC,” said Steve Shiels, FBISD director of college and career readiness. “This will give all students access to dual credit courses now and will provide significant college tuition savings to our families in the future.”

The free tuition is only waived for current FBISD students taking dual credit classes through HCC at a high school or HCC campus. Upon graduation from high school, students enrolling in any additional courses will pay all applicable fees like any traditional college student.

For more information, please visit the Fort Bend ISD website’s Dual Credit webpage or the HCC Dual Credit FAQ webpage.

Parents and students may also contact their school counselor or college and career readiness advisor for details.

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