Early Graduation


Early graduate Kyla Kingrey wearing her cap and gown

Kallie Rodda, Staff Writer

Some students graduate early because they want to move on with their lives, or they already have their lives planned out and are ready to move onto the next step. Maybe they want to get into college early, and high school was just in the way of that plan.

Graduating early is an option for everyone, but students will need to have at least 16 credits. There are two options for graduating early: a semester or a year.

Kyla Kingrey is a junior who is graduating a year early so she can go to college earlier.

Kingrey says that graduating early is tough. “It’s stressful because I have eight full academic classes,” she says.

Graduating early can add a lot of stress, especially for students taking dual-credit classes or summer classes just to graduate early. It may also cause missing events like going to Prom your senior year or graduating with your friends and classmates.

Vanessa Gibson is the junior class counselor. Students come and talk to her if they are planning on graduating early. They get all of their information from her, so they know what to do and what classes to take.

Gibson says that students graduating early still have to do a senior project. “So one thing just to consider is that you need to complete a senior project even if you’re planning on graduating early, and then especially that semester early grad. I would just make sure students are aware to plan early because they will be doing their presentation and have everything wrapped up in January prior to finals.”

Kingrey says that since the beginning of her high school career she wanted to get her diploma early. ”Since my freshman year, I kinda planned on graduating early.”

Gibson says that those students have to go through several steps.“There is a process where they have to actually write a letter and describe what their plans are, show that it’s possible, get a counselor recommendation, and then eventually it goes to the superintendent, so Mark Thane has to approve the one year early graduation route,” she says.

Kingrey says that she has to get good grades or else it looks bad for her. “I can’t fail any of my classes, I can’t have C’s in any of my classes. I can’t have C’s because of me going to college next year; it looks bad on my GPA. I have to keep a C or higher.”

Gibson says that it would be harder to get into a good out of state college, but if those students who are graduating early meet those college requirements, then they have a better chance of getting in. “If they were going to a competitive out of state college, I think it would be way more difficult. If you meet their requirements to get in, typically, and you score well on your ACT or SAT and demonstrate that you have the skills for college admissions, then you’re gonna be successful. You’ll get in.”

Many students graduate early every year, even though we may not know who those students are. Early Graduation is an option for everyone, but most people don’t know that it exists, or if they do know it exists then they don’t know that it is an option for everyone. If they want to graduate early, they should talk to their counselors about it, the students should talk to them at the end of first semester