COLORADO — This week Governor Jared Polis released a plan to make college more affordable for Colorado students.
Among one of the priorities, is having more students participate in Concurrent Enrollment programs- where students can get both high school and college credit at the same time. In many cases, these students leave high school with an associates degree in hand.
In Colorado Springs, Harrison School District 2 has ran a concurrent enrollment program for several years. Giving students an opportunity to get a head start on college, before they receive their high school diploma.
Students like Dailen Terry, who this May will be graduating Valedictorian from Sierra High School- with an associates degree weeks before graduation, and without having to pay for it.
"It's just something I can really be proud of because my parents didn't have this opportunity my sister didn't even have this opportunity back then," said Terry.
Terry learned about the program by chance, when a friend's mother was going to a meeting for it- he decided to give himself a challenge and help out with the cost of college.
With costs rising throughout the nation, and the state, it's becoming increasingly difficult for families to pay for college.
According to the Governor's office, more than 66,000 students graduated from Colorado institutions with more than $1.5 billion in student loan debt; many more failed to graduate but still incurred debt.
Woody Longmire is the director of the program, he says it's made a big difference for students.
"It has given these students and their families to get an education that they otherwise wouldn't have an opportunity to do," said Longmire, "many parents tell me they wish this would've been around when they were in school."
Governor Polis is asking for $14 million for a studen loan repayment program in the next fiscal year budget.
If you'd like to see Governor Polis' full plan, visit the following link: College Roadmap to Affordability