(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Pennsylvania Department of Education has announced $6.5 million is now available in grants for high school students to enroll in dual credit programs.

These programs allow high school students within the commonwealth to earn high school and college credits concurrently. The grants will be awarded through a competitive process to create or expand dual credit programs.

“Dual credit programs provide learners with access to postsecondary coursework and experiences without accumulating future debt,” said Dr. Khalid N. Mumin, acting Secretary of Education. “These programs allow students to enter colleges or universities ahead of the curve, with credits in hand, ready to approach more rigorous classes earlier in their postsecondary career.”

School districts, area career and technical schools, charter schools, cyber charter schools and regional charter schools are all eligible to apply and must indicate their interest between Feb. 16, 2023, and Feb. 24, 2023. The form to do so can be found here.

The application submission window will open at 12 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, and will close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 10.

Proposals submitted should address the goal of the program: to create or expand equitable and innovative dual credit opportunities for all secondary school students.

One proposal will be selected from each school entity and can receive up to $75,000 for allowable expenses between Aug. 1, 2022, and June 30, 2024. Applicants may not apply as a consortium.