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Gray Collegiate offers Lexington County students something different

West Columbia, SC (Angelica Iglesias) – Gray Collegiate Academy has not been at 3833 Leaphart Road in West Columbia, SC very long, but they have begun to start quite the education and athletic empire. Gray is a public ninth through twelfth grade charter school that focuses on discipline, higher learning and elite sports.

Gray has been operating since the 2014/2015 school year. Enrollment into each class is at a first-come-first-serve basis because only 150 spots are available per grade. Once a student completes tenth grade and they have at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), they may begin taking dual credit courses during their junior and senior years. If a student does not meet the GPA requirement, they continue on their track without the dual credit courses.

Gray Collegiate offers an extensive dual credit program. The National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships defines dual credit courses as “the opportunity for high school students to take college credit–bearing courses taught by college-approved high school teachers.” Professors from the University of South Carolina teach the classes on Gray’s campus. The students do not pay anything extra, even for the expensive college-level textbooks.

Each student in this program will graduate with both a high school diploma and college associate’s degree for free. This is a great option for students who want to get a four-year bachelor’s degree,but may only be able to afford two years of college.

Gray Collegiate Academy also takes great pride in their athletic program. They are an AA high school with ten varsity sports, including football, volleyball, cheerleading, boys' and girls' basketball, wresting, baseball, softball, and boys' and girls' soccer. This coming school year they are adding golf and tennis to the mix.

Gray is one of the only Nike Elite high schools in South Carolina, and one of 290 in the United States. This means they are not only sponsored by Nike, but they get invited to special tournaments around the country and even the world.

High school basketball star Jalek Felton just graduated from Gray Collegiate Academy this year. He was named the South Carolina Gatorade Boys' Basketball Player of the Year. After transferring to Gray for his senior year, six-foot-four Felton averaged 26.8 points, 5.4 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 83 percent from the free-throw line. He has signed to play for the University of North Carolina.

Gray Collegiate Academy offers students in the Midlands a different school environment. They get a smaller atmosphere without having to pay private school prices. It is a high school that focuses on higher education and sports in a way that only they do.

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