Frequently Asked Questions


How Does The Gateway To College Program Work?

All new students start in a Gateway to College learning community at Hinds Community College on the Rankin campus.

  • A learning community is a group of 20-25 students who take all of their classes together the first term.
  • Learning community courses are reading, writing, math, college survival and success, and academic lab. In these classes, students work on building both academic skills and good academic habits.
  • Students earn both high school and college credits for their learning community courses.
  • Students are typically in class for 3-4 hours a day and also have about 3-4 hours of homework every day.

After successfully completing a Foundation learning community, students transition into regular college classes.

  • Students enroll in Hinds Community College courses and continue to earn both high school and college credit, as they work towards earning a high school diploma.
  • Students work with their Resource Specialist to select their classes every term, based on each student's credit needs and educational goals.

Is Gateway To College Right For Me?

Gateway to College works exclusively with students who have not experienced success in a traditional high school. If you are either no longer attending school or are significantly behind in credits and unable to graduate with your peers, Gateway to College may be for you.

How Long Will It Take Me To Earn My High School Diploma?

Most students are in Gateway to College for two to three years. The exact length of time to earn a diploma varies by a student’s course load and credit needs. Students remain in Gateway to College until they earn a diploma or before your 22nd birthday, whichever comes first.

Who Are Gateway To College Students?

Gateway to College is for students who are:

  • 16 to 20 years old.
  • Behind in high school credits for their age and grade.
  • Have fewer than 17 credits when they begin the program.
  • Live in a participating school district.
  • Reading at an eighth grade level or higher (English proficiency).
  • Able to complete their high school diploma by age 21.
  • Willing to make a long term commitment to work hard to complete high school and progress toward a college degree.

Gateway to College does not serve students who are doing well in high school and want to make an early transition to college. Gateway to College works exclusively with students who have not experienced success in a traditional high school or who are at risk of not graduating on time.

What Is Expected Of Me?

  • Students are expected to attend 100 percent of classes.
  • Students are expected to come to class on time, be prepared with class materials, and complete all homework assignments.
  • Students are expected to spend 3-4 hours a day working on homework, outside of class time. We strongly encourage students who have jobs to consider the time demands of the program.
  • Students are expected to adhere to all Hinds Community College policies and procedures

What Is The Cost Of The Program?

Gateway to College is a scholarship program. The scholarship pays for college tuition and books, and is worth about $2,500 per school year.

What Kind Of Support Will Help Me Be Successful In A College Setting?

All new Gateway students are paired with a Resource Specialist. Resource Specialists provide support and guidance to help students in the program to be successful. Resource Specialists can assist with:

  • Transcript reviews and academic advising.
  • A college study skills course, which helps students with problem solving, time management and stress management.
  • Referrals to resources, such as tutoring, counseling, student activities, health services, and more.
  • Support to students as they make the transition into college.

When Does The Program Start?

Start dates are the same as the Hinds Community College semester start dates, the beginning of every August and January.