LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — If you're worried about paying for college, we want you to know about a possible free solution. A local high school is Raising the Bar on education by making college accessible to everyone. At Nevada State High School, more than 700 students are taking college courses for free.
Nick Eagles is the first young man in his family's history to go to college. And he's doing it as a junior in high school.
"In high school it was hard for me, but when I went to Nevada State High School, things got better for me. I wanted to get serious. Going to college classes, you have to be serious."
Nick attends Nevada State High School. The school is for juniors and seniors who take all of their classes at the community college or online -- so they earn their high school diploma and college credits at the same time. And it's all free, which is huge since Nick has 7 siblings.
"I wanted to save money. Mom said she wasn't going to pay for college so I had to do it anyway."
The founders of Nevada State High School say they started this charter school because too many students were struggling to transition from high school to college. This ensure all of their students are college-ready.
Dr. John Hawk is the chief operating officer who says they need "Motivated students. You have to be an independent, resourceful learner that's motivated to be in this college environment."
In addition to taking college classes, students come to one of 6 Nevada State High School campuses for classes on study habits and college lift. Junior Kristen Dominguez says these classes have helped prepare her.
"Very helpful. Especially study skills. They teach us about scholarships, time management, living a debt-free life. It's very helpful. It prepares me for the future when I have to live on my own."
Nevada State High School has a 98-percent graduation rate. And students who start as juniors can earn an associate's degree. But administrators hope they'll continue on with their college careers.
Executive Director Mark Schumm says they help send kids wherever they want to go.
"We make sure they go through the application process, scholarships, FAFSA forms, and we do college research."
Nick and Kristen say it's built their confidence.
"I really was anxious about college," Kristen says, "But this experience I wanted to try it out and know what it's like already."