Students at 10 rural Illinois high schools now have access to online advanced placement classes to help them better prepare for college.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti leads the Governor's Rural Affairs Council. She says 75 students will take part in a new pilot program that will test the feasibility of expanding the online classes to students across rural Illinois.

Pope County High School is the only school in Southern Illinois in the program.

Sanguinetti says the classes can make college more affordable but access to them is "extremely limited" in rural areas.

Other schools participating in the program are Kankakee, Altamont, Knoxville, Quincy, Illini Central, Tri-Point, Orangeville, Central A&M and Georgetown-Ridge Farm high schools.

— Associated Press

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