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INDIANAPOLIS — A new school on Indy’s east side is helping area high school students earn a high school diploma while earning college credits.

GEO Next Generation High School is a public charter school that is working to prepare students for college by placing them in college classes while they are still in high school. Administrators say students have the opportunity to earn college degrees including associate and bachelors degrees while in high school at no cost.

Kelli Marshall, founding principal for the high school says 20% of its inaugural students passed the entrance exam at Ivy Tech, meaning they will be enrolling in college-level classes in the fall.

“Students are capable of doing so much more than traditional high school work these days,” said Kevin Teasley, president of the Indianapolis-based GEO Foundation. “With the COVID-19 crisis facing us and everyone talking about the widening achievement gap, GEO Next Generation High School will provide students the opportunity to jump the gap, not close it.”

The school will open to nearly 100 enrolled students in 2020 and is expected to grow to 600 over the coming years.