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Merrimack’s Early College Program Expands Opportunities for Underserved Students

Merrimack College’s Early College program offers educational opportunities to students attending Lawrence High School.

Merrimack is one of 19 colleges and universities in Massachusetts offering disadvantaged high-school students the opportunity to earn free college credits while still in high school. These programs work to address educational equity and economic recovery.

98% of students passed Early College courses at Merrimack. 100% of Early College graduating seniors applied to college. 

When Simonai Santiago was a junior at Lawrence High School, she signed up for early college and took several classes, including biology, at Merrimack College. “My high school didn’t even offer a biology class, so my only real learning experience in biology was from Merrimack,” Santiago said.

In 2017, Merrimack College advanced its longstanding commitment to the City of Lawrence through the creation of the Early College Program, a unique dual enrollment program that enables high school students from Lawrence to earn college credits on Merrimack’s campus. 

According to Merrimack’s website, in 2019, Merrimack established a scholarship fund for Abbott Lawrence Academy students who have successfully completed the Early College Program. This Pioneer Scholarship provides up to ten ALA students with the opportunity to attend Merrimack College on a full scholarship, covering tuition, room/board, fees and books.