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Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a two-fold problem.

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Online Program Offers High-Quality Free College Courses

Many Hoosier families can't afford the growing cost of sending kids to college. (Tatiyana Carter)
Many Hoosier families can't afford the growing cost of sending kids to college. (Tatiyana Carter)
September 28, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- Many parents struggle every month to make payments for their child's education, and every year the cost of college goes up. That means many young people never get the opportunity to go on past high school.

Tuition plus fees at four-year public colleges jumped by more than 70 percent over the last decade.

Modern States Education Alliance is a nonprofit that focuses on making a high-quality college education free of cost and accessible for everyone. Founder and CEO Steve Klinsky said the new "Freshman Year for Free" program lets students earn up to one year of college credit without tuition or textbook expenses.

"You can take chemistry from a Columbia professor, college math from Johns Hopkins, introductory business law from the former dean of George Washington Law Schools,” Klinsky said.

He said Modern States' 40 courses are designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement or College Level Examination Program tests offered by the College Board.

Klinsky said most universities offer online courses, but they're almost as expensive as attending class on campus, and most other free classes don't come with college credits. He said Modern States' classes are open to everyone.

"We've had home schoolers, working moms who work all day, put their kids to bed and can take these courses at night. We've had people in the military,” he said. "So it's for anyone, any age, from high school to college student to, it could be an 85-year-old retiree who just wants to learn chemistry."

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016-2017 school year in the U.S. was more than $33,000 at private colleges, almost $10,000 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,000 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN