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Deal signs dual credit incentive

New law aims to boost college completion rate

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation aimed at boosting Georgia’s college completion rate.

House Bill 131 gives high school students more incentives to take “dual credit courses” — those where a student enrolls in a college course and earns college credit and high school credit simultaneously. He signed the legislation April 19.

“By 2020, more than 60 percent of job openings in Georgia will require some form of post-secondary education,” said Deal in a statement. “Frankly, we need to boost the percentage of Georgians who hold a postsecondary degree in order to create a highly skilled workforce.”

Under the new law, grades in these classes will give bonus points to a student’s grade point average, just as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses do. He said dual credit classes will count toward the “rigorous coursework” that the HOPE scholarship requires.

“These partnerships allow high school students to earn college credits before graduating from high school, making their transition to postsecondary education smoother and their likelihood of graduating from college greater,” said Deal. “In the long run, this new law will give college freshman a head start and, we hope, will encourage more to stay until they attain their degree.”