Versailles, Ky. Beginning this fall, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will offer a free dual credit class to Kentucky public high school juniors, allowing them to earn high school and college credit at the same time. The KCTCS program for juniors aligns with Gov. Matt Bevin's new dual credit initiative primarily for high school seniors, which provides them the opportunity to take two college courses via the new Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship.

All KCTCS colleges will participate in the state's scholarship program. There is no cost to students for either the KCTCS Junior Dual Credit Scholarship or the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship. If students chose to take more classes than are covered by the state scholarship, which is primarily for seniors, they would pay $52 per credit hour.

The governor's goal is for graduates to leave high school with a minimum of nine postsecondary credit hours. By committing $600,000 to a scholarship program for juniors, KCTCS is helping students meet that goal.

"We believe it's important for high school juniors to take the first step in transitioning to college work by taking a free class through one of our colleges," KCTCS President Jay K. Box said. "As the dual credit leader in the Commonwealth, KCTCS is very appreciative of Gov. Bevin's commitment to providing college-level coursework to high school students. We believe that by taking a class during their junior year, students will build confidence and feel comfortable attending a KCTCS college close to home after high school graduation."

Providing dual credit opportunities to Kentucky high school students to reduce the cost and time required to get a college degree has long been a priority for KCTCS. Whether students want to quickly earn a credential and go to work or transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelors degree, the nine free credit hours earned in high school will give students a head start.

More information will be available on the KCTCS Junior Dual Credit Scholarship by July 21.