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      Early college education program awarded grant

      Jose Araujo is a senior in high school and one of a few that is part of Brownsville TMs Early College Education Program

      He is getting an associates in arts.

      When we do apply for the universities, we will already have the first two years finished" said Jose Araujo.

      The program blends high school and college courses into an educational experience that gives traditionally under-served students the chance to earn up to two years of college credit.

      As a 19-year-old, Jose will enter college in fall 2012.

      But as a junior.

      "Now we have a greater opportunity to proceed into the more upper level courses which we may need, to become someone better in life" said Araujo.

      As college tuition continues to rise, students are finding it harder to pay for school.

      But thanks to greater Texas foundation, students will have the chance to apply for scholarships from any of the five participating universities.

      It's about 3.5 million dollars state wide said Dr. Wynn Rosser. About 700 students will benefit over the next six years.

      Students like Jose can start applying for the scholarship now.

      Each university will be responsible for awarding the scholarship.

      The money will be available starting in fall 2012.

      If selected, Jose will not only start college as junior, but also knowing he's getting a free college education.

      Aside from UTB, the other four schools in the program include the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas A&M University, University of Houston and University of North Texas.