Hawaii public school students who earn college credits while still in high school are 1.5 times more likely to enroll in college than their peers, far surpassing state and national college-enrollment averages, a new report on the state’s so-called dual credit programs shows.

Ten percent of graduates in the class of 2015, or 1,058 students, participated in one of three dual credit programs that allow students to earn college credit toward a future degree through various University of Hawaii campuses while satisfying high school diploma requirements.

Among those students, 81 percent enrolled in college after graduation while 53 percent of their classmates who did not participate in dual credit programs enrolled in college. By comparison, the state’s overall college enrollment rate for public school graduates was 56 percent in 2015; the national rate is 68 percent.

Karen Lee, executive director of the nonprofit Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, which compiled the data, said the results show dual credit programs are effective at increasing college-going rates.

“We suspected this from the national data around momentum and self-confidence in going to college, and we’re actually seeing this realized here in Hawaii,” Lee said at a recent state Board of Education meeting, where the results were shared.

Next page: The three dual credit programs offered in high schools

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