Guide To: Graduating Early

When I had began High School all I could think about was the quickest way to get out. I had scoured the internet in search of an answer, but constantly fell short of finding at least one viable way to do it. The internet had failed me but certainly my counselor would steer me in the right direction? Wrong. I heard the word “impossible” and the phrase “not likely” more than I had ever heard before in my entire life. I eventually accepted my fate,  I came across information that could help students who want to close the high school chapter of their life sooner rather than later. Listed below are a few ways to finish high school early or at least jump start your college career while you finish up high school.

1. Summer School

I think most of us can agree that we prefer to keep anything school related far away from us during the summer months. Unfortunately, if you want to pass go without having to spend four consecutive years doing so, summer school becomes a necessary evil. Most schools who have summer school programs allow students to take up to two classes per summer. K12 based schools (check their website for the ones in your state) are fully accredited schools in which you can get your summer courses done from home during the summer.

Some K12 based school do require you to pay for their summer classes. The only way to escape the fee is to be a student with low income ( or one who is using government services such as food stamps ). Just be sure to check with your counselor to be sure your school will accept transferred credits from the k12 based school of your choice and that you are taking whatever class you hadn’t taken that you will need to to graduate.

If you live in the state of Arizona, primavera is another online school that offers summer course, but unlike some K12 schools, they offer them for free to all interested students. To make things even better you can earn a whole credit for a course during that summer rather than the half a credit you would earn at other summer school establishments.


2. Take on more courses/online school


Tacking on at least one to two extra courses each semester can be strenuous ,but well worth it if you have any plans to graduate early.Let your counselor know that you are interested in taking on more course work.As long as you have done well academically the previous card marking,they should let you.If you weren’t able to do well academically last card marking you can do well on your current semester and use it to prove to them that you are capable of taking on an extra course.I recommend taking on the easy classes, for example, gym and art , so it won’t be as hard to get through the extra course load.Then,take your harder course classes such as Math and English , during summer break.


Now, taking extra courses may not be possible for students who attend a brick and mortar school ( a school you physically go to ) ,because those schools normally cease classes after eight school hours.Luckily online school could be an option for you providing your parents allow you to attend.As a former online school student I can guarantee you that they will allow you to take extra classes as long as you have at least a c or higher in all of your previous courses.If you don’t it won’t hurt to ask just to be sure.


Warning Note: Make sure that any online school you attend is an fully accredited school.If it is not then any credits earned through that school will be null and void.


3. Attend an online school that works on quarters


Most schools operate on a semester system.The Semester system,which i’m sure most of your are familiar with, is where students take a year to study and complete their courses.After successful completion of those classes  the student will have received one credit (for each course) for that school year which will go towards earning their diploma..The Semester system is the biggest reason it takes four years ,opposed to two to three years , to finish high school.Evading this type of system can drastically decrease the time in which it takes you to get your diploma.Instead,attend a school (preferably online) that uses a quarter system.


Like its name suggest the quarter system breaks the school year into four quarters.Students can earn half a credit for each school quarter.This means that by the end of the second quarter a student has earned one credit for each course successfully completed.So, if one of those courses is algebra for example,a student who attends a school with a quarter system will have received a whole credit in the first half of school while a student taking the same course at a semester operated school will have only earned half a credit.


Make no mistake,though students will be earning credits much faster than they would on a semester the quarter system it is no walk through the park.The short time allowed for students to complete their course work can be stressful for some students .Its leaves very little room for errors (aka missing assignments) .students using this system will have less time to study and understand a course topic,which could be a big issue during midterms and finals week.

Note:You could also use these tips to graduate college early.


If you are capable of it,take on all the steps listed above and you should graduate in two years (maybe even less).Now that I’ve exhausted all the ways you could graduate high school early ,here are  few ways that you could use your time in high school to finish college early


 4. Advanced placement classes.


AP classes are something that I think most of us are aware of. AP classes are high school classes you can take that will prepare you to earn college credit while allowing you to earn high school credit at the same time. In order to receive college credit you must pass the AP exam given at the end of the year.


5. Dual enrollment


Now, this is a subject matter I don’t know too much about, but in case you all were interested I decided to add it to the list. Dual enrollment allows a high school student to attend high school and college at the same time. They would take the course that would double as both high school and college credit either at their high school or on a college campus. You do have to pay tuition and for your books when you do dual enrollment, but some colleges will lower the tuition for dual enrollment students.


6. Early college


Early college is a program that more and more colleges are starting to offer. The early college program allows high school students to attend college with tuition free. The students will take both college and high school classes at the college. This goes towards earning their diploma and their associates degree. So do your research to see if these kinds of schools are near your area. 


This list may seem daunting, but if graduating high school early while earning your college degree early is something you want, then we encourage you to do so. Don’t be afraid to just go for it, because it’s the only true way to know what could be.



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