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Smart Scholars Early College High School

Empowering High School Students With College Credits

Smart Scholars Early College High School

Through the Smart Scholars Early College High School Program, institutions of higher education (IHEs) partner with public school districts to create early college high schools that provide students with the opportunity and preparation to accelerate the completion of their high school studies while earning a minimum of twenty-four but up to sixty transferable college credits at the same time. 

This program is targeted to students who are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education.  Students receive additional academic support from the school/college partnerships to ensure they are at grade level and ready to participate in rigorous high school and collegiate courses.  This “dual or concurrent enrollment” program serves to increase high school graduation and college completion rates while reducing student tuition costs as a result of the compressed time needed to complete a college degree.

Smart Transfer Early College High School

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) seeks to extend the work of the Smart Scholars ECHS Program through the creation of the Smart Transfer ECHS (ST-ECHS) Program. The Smart Transfer ECHS Program will provide students the opportunity and support to complete sixty transferable college credits or an associate degree by the time they graduate from high school, and the opportunity to transfer to a partner four-year IHE where they will continue to receive academic and social support to complete a bachelor’s degree within two years of matriculating at the IHE. This is a degree completion program.

Recent Communications

Attached for your records is a memo providing new guidance for the Smart Scholars ECHS Program and the Smart Transfer ECHS Program.

Please be advised that New York State’s 2020-21 Enacted Budget provided the Director of the Budget with the authority to reduce aid-to-localities appropriations and disbursements by any amount needed to achieve a balanced budget, as estimated by the Division of the Budget (DOB). 

The DOB is currently preparing a detailed financial plan, scheduled to be delivered to the State Legislature sometime in May 2020, itemizing the specific appropriations and disbursements that will be reduced or withheld in order to achieve $8.2 billion in recurring reductions in aid-to-localities spending. This plan may include budgetary changes that will limit the funding available for the Smart Scholars ECHS Program and the Smart Transfer ECHS Program in 2020-21 and subsequent fiscal years.

We will continue to keep you updated to the best of our ability as we move through these truly extraordinary times.

2020-21 Project Period End Date Extension Memo

2020-21 Planning Period Extension Date- SS Cohort 5

Smart Scholars Presentation for Coding Students 


Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act

For more information on the Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act, visit

Contact Information:

Office of Postsecondary Access, Support, and Success Smart Scholars ECHS/Smart Transfer ECHS 89 Washington Avenue, EBA 960 Albany, New York 12234 (518) 474-3719