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Northeastern University
For more college freshmen, an offer to start a semester late
For more college freshmen, an offer to start a semester late

As the fall semester began at Towson University last year, Erin Garnes settled into one of the dormitories and signed up for clubs and other school activities. But one thing separated her from Towson students: All of her classes were taught by community college professors. Under a program at Towson, if she did well, she would be admitted to the university in the spring. Her experience mirrors a practice that's been growing at colleges in Maryland and across the country in recent years — offering some students admission for the spring semester and providing a bridge during the fall to help them adjust to the rigors of college. University admissions officials say the practice...

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