While most students still have a couple of weeks left before school begins, some buses were on the road in Beaufort County Thursday morning.
Students in the Beaufort County College High School start about a week ahead of other students in the county. In Washington, early college is held at Beaufort County Community College.
The curriculum puts high school students ahead of the typical college timeline.
"You take college classes throughout and when you get out you have your 2-year degree," says high school junior Sierra Hawkins. "When I get into college I will be well into it and well adjusted to the college atmosphere."
Which is what happened for Kimberly Jackson's daughter, Taylor, who graduated in 2013 from early college and went on to ECU as a junior.
"This program has been wonderful for her," says Jackson. "It affords an opportunity for a her to over $40,000 worth of scholarships upon completion... She is a senior already at ECU and has only finished her first year."
Beaufort County College High School Principal Emily Pake says they had more applications this year than in the past.
"We've seen the interest has grown in Beaufort County and we're always excIted about that," says Pake.
There are 76 early college high schools in North Carolina. Potential students apply for these schools but don't have to pay anything to attend.
While most students still have a couple of weeks left before school begins, some buses will be on the road in Beaufort County Thursday morning.
Students in the Beaufort County College High School will be heading back to class Thursday. They start about a week in advance before other students in the county.
Early college is held at Beaufort County Community College in Washington.
The rest of Beaufort County Schools and many other systems in the east, including Pitt, Craven, Carteret and Lenoir counties begin classes on Monday, August 25.