University of California to Offer Online College-Level Courses to Low-Income High School Students

Two college-level courses designed by University of California faculty will be offered to students at Title I high schools across the country starting winter 2024.
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Published on September 29, 2023
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  • The National Education Equity Lab offers college-level courses for credit to students from low-income backgrounds.
  • The University of California will offer two courses to high school students starting winter 2024.
  • The classes will be offered to students at Title I high schools across the country at no cost to the students.

The University of California (UC) is partnering with the National Education Equity Lab (NEEL) to offer free, online college-level courses to high school students from low-income backgrounds.

The online, for-credit classes will be offered to students at Title I schools where there is a high percentage of children from low-income families. Two initial courses will be available in winter 2024, designed by university faculty and co-facilitated by high school teachers.

UC hopes that the program will help students from first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented communities prepare for college, according to a memo to members of the UC Board of Regents academic and student affairs committee.

The University's partnership with National Education Equity Lab is intended to expand opportunities students' access to a rigorous curriculum by joining with other institutions across the country to provide University-level courses to high school students for credit, the memo read.

Each course offered by NEEL has an average of 25 students and is free for students to take. Schools, however, pay the organization $250 per student to cover administrative and support costs.

UC is the first public research university system to collaborate with NEEL and joins the ranks of top universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton University.

Currently, NEEL offers college-level courses to 15,000 students in 29 states. Courses offered include an environmental studies class at Howard University, a sociology course from Arizona State University, a poetry course from Harvard University, and a bioengineering course from Stanford University.