VICKSBURG, Miss. — A new public high school has opened in Vicksburg that is offering students the opportunity to take college courses as part of their high school curriculum at no cost.

River City Early College High School enrolled its first 60 students this year to create its first ninth grade class, The Vicksburg Post reported ( ). It’s housed in a building on the Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus.

The students will take all the typical classes of ninth- and 10th-grade students during their first two years plus one additional college class each semester, Principal Tammy Burris said. College professors will come to their classrooms to teach the first two years, she said.

During students’ junior and senior years, students will be able to take college courses with community college students.

“I would have jumped at this chance when I was in high school,” principal Tammy Burris said. “You’re taking college classes as a junior and senior, and it’s free of charge. … Some of them may graduate with two-year degrees, some might have transferable credit, some of them might want to go into welding. Everything is open.”

Ninth-grader Jacob Storey praised the school Tuesday during a meeting of the Vicksburg Kiwanis club.

“We have so much more freedom,” he said. “We know we are being heard and that we matter — and that what we want and what we need matters.”

Information from: The Vicksburg Post,