Believe Circle City helps high school graduates save time, money by earning college credit


INDIANAPOLIS – Graduation season is approaching quickly! It’s an exciting time, but families across Central Indiana are also having to look closely at their finances and how that impacts their graduate.

“I’ve been thinking about different places like Howard,” said Taryn Bebley, a 9th grader at Believe Circle City when asked what she thinks her future looks like after high school.

“I want to go to college for architecture,” said 9th grader, Elazia Davison.

These students at Believe Circle City are creating vision boards and are working towards their college and career goals, already. They’re taking classes with college credits.

10th grader Isaac Foster added, “It’s given me the experience on what to expect when I get to college.”

At Believe, students graduate with a Core 40 academic or technical honors diploma and an associate degree or career certification. They hope by offering this, they can save families from having to answer this question.

“How are we going to pay for this?” explained Jawn Manning, the Dean of Student Services, “If you are working intentionally on your future diploma as a 9th grader, as a 14–15-year-old, you’re saving so much money.”

Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education released its 2021 Early College Credit Report. Data shows, that dual credit can save not only students but the state roughly $160 million. In 2018, nearly two-thirds of Indiana students earned early college credit.

“Our goal is that our students are able to earn a livable wage once they leave us. For some students, that pathway is going to be through college,” said Manning, “What we want to do is make that as easy as possible for them.”

The report does point to disparities. Only 38 percent of Black students and 50 percent of Hispanic or Latino students earn dual credit, compared to 65 percent of White students.

“Every student is an early college student,” said Manning, “Regardless of if it’s your goal is to go to Purdue and major in engineering, early college is for you. If you’re a student who is super interested in welding or a technical skill, early college is also for you.”

At Believe they want to save students time and money as they make the next step. And teach that believing in yourself is also part of it.

“It helps me excel and know what to expect when I get to college,” added Bebley.

“Graduating with an associate degree a two-year step ahead,” said Davison.

If you’re interested in early college credit for your student, be sure to check with their school to see what options are available.

For a full look at the 2021 Indiana Early College Credit Report, click here.

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