I am writing to inform students and families about the benefits of Minnesota’s PSEO program and my experience as a PSEO student.

PSEO stands for Post Secondary Enrollment Options, and the program allows Minnesota’s high-schoolers in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade to take college courses while in high school at little to no cost. One would assume free college would have great appeal in our communities, but from my experience many students and parents don't know about the program. The general lack of awareness and information about the program puts students at a disadvantage when considering their education options.

My experience with the program has been thoroughly positive from when I started in 10th grade at Century College to now attending the University of Minnesota full-time as a PSEO student as a junior in high school. PSEO has allowed greater freedom in my education as in college I have been able to take classes that I am more interested in that my high school didn't offer. Furthermore, I earn both high school and college credit for the classes I take for virtually free. I estimate that upon high school graduation I will have around 70 college credits that I can use towards my degree to possibly graduate early and greatly reduce my student debt.

I am grateful that I knew about and joined PSEO along with thousands of other PSEO students across Minnesota. But more students stand to gain from this wonderful program, and I hope that sharing my experiences will prompt more students and parents to look into PSEO with great resources at the Minnesota Department of Education's website: https://education.mn.gov/MDE/fam/dual/pseo/ and PeopleforPSEO.org also has great information, events, and resources to help those interested in transforming their education.

Derek Williams, Blaine