The New Jersey Office of Higher Education is working with a nonprofit organization to launch pilot program that will allow Garden State students and adults to get a boost in their college careers.

Brian Bridges, the state secretary of higher education said as part of the pilot, the Modern States Educational Alliance has agreed to provide a thousand college-level courses, without charge, to students at Mercer County Community College, Thomas Edison State University and Centenary University.

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According to Bridges, the program is designed to help all students, “from those who are in high school seeking to go to college, on up to the adult learner who is looking to return to college to further their career.”

He explained this will allow a wide range of students to save time and money as they move forward in their college careers.

“New Jersey’s vision is that every citizen, every New Jerseyan regardless of life circumstances should have the opportunity to obtain a high quality credential," he said. “Especially as we come out of the global pandemic, which has exacerbated inequalities and created additional barriers, this is a program that helps reduce those barriers and helps more students get to and through college.”

Once students complete an online course at their own pace, Modern States will give them a voucher to take a College Board exam for free. The exam normally costs $89.

Bridges said the initiative will contribute to the state’s goal of getting 65% of all adults earning a high quality education credential or degree by the year 2025.

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