Federal and State Policy

Bard College has been working to ensure that federal and state education policy supports early college programs across America.

Pell Grant Experiments

At the start of the 2016-17 academic year, Bard High School Early College Newark was chosen to participate in a federal pilot program to expand college access for low-income students by allowing high school students taking college courses to access Federal Pell Grants. The pilot program signifies a federal policy shift that recognizes early college and dual enrollment programs as eligible for funding as postsecondary institutions. Harnessing Pell Grant funding is an important step in bringing financial stability to programs like the Bard Early Colleges, enabling more early college and dual enrollment schools to develop across the country.

Dual enrollment programs are powerful ways to introduce rigorous coursework to students and show these students that they are smart enough, talented enough, and prepared enough to tackle higher education. [These] programs are game-changers for all students – especially those are first-generation or from low-income families.

-Ted Mitchell,
U.S. Under Secretary of Education

The Every Student Succeeds Act

Bard College was very pleased to see the inclusion of early college provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These provisions provide important opportunities for states to leverage federal funds to support and scale early college models.

State Policy

Bard works to promote a state policy climate conducive to the sustainability and growth of high-quality early college models, taking into account local needs and legislation.

For information about state policy work in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and Ohio, please contact Clara Haskell Botstein, Bard’s Associate Vice President for Early Colleges, at cbotstein@bard.edu.