Early Graduation: How Fast is Too Fast?


Tim Buckley

Sophomore Taylor Kosiak dons a cap and gown in early December.

John Shay, Staff Reporter

Early graduation: a time of joy and relief for many. The realization for some students that they are finally able to be released from the grasp of high school. According to Director of Student Services Beth Augustine, around eight students graduate early per year, and it is all made official by a simple form signed by the student graduating, their parents, their counselor, Augustine herself, and Principal Kristin Smetana.

The actual requirements for early graduation are not as simple. The student needs to meet with their counselor second semester of junior year to make sure they are on track to graduate. The student also needs to have the required amount of credits going into senior year. Lastly, they must have 22 credits in the right areas by December of their senior year.

Early graduation comes with benefits, depending on what the student decides to do with it. Students can take the extra time to start at a community college for a semester, or they can use the time to earn money before going to college.

Early graduation sounds like a good deal to me. You can get out of school earlier than others, giving you automatic bragging rights over your friends. It also gives you an extra chunk of time to sit at home and pull all-nighters on the Xbox. I imagine you can also use the time for preparation for the big college journey ahead of you. Playing Xbox all night sounds a little bit more fun though.

Personally, I don’t really understand the purpose of early graduation. Though I can see why some might want to make money before college to fully prepare themselves, I think the best preparation comes from having experienced teachers helping you learn about the real world. If you stay in school for that extra chunk of time instead of graduating early, there are so many more things you can learn that you may miss out on if you graduate early.

I do understand that people graduating early are prepared for the real world, otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to graduate early, but I still believe that the extra time in school can really help. This is coming from a freshman, though, and I really don’t have to think about early graduation for a few more years.

Although the extra time in school could be useful, I still think that I would consider early graduation. There are many perks, besides extra video gaming time, that sound promising. First of all, you have more time to talk to the people you love about what your plans are. You can think more about what college you want to go to, and you can talk with your family about whether you are going away or staying at home.

You can also earn money for college by getting a part-time job. You can earn money to make sure you are able to provide for yourself and your needs during college, and this can help prevent unmanageable student loans. This can also help someone figure out the types of professions they enjoy, furthermore helping people decide what they want to major in and what they want to do after they graduate.

You are also able to test out a community college for a semester. This can help you find what types of subjects you like and it can help you realize whether or not you even want to go to college. Going to a community college for a semester could also help people settle into the atmosphere of college.

Overall, I would consider early graduation, although I probably would not do it. Although there are benefits such as making money for college or testing out a community college for a semester, I think that the importance of the extra time in high school can help someone out a lot. It all comes down to personal preference, and some may weigh the benefits greater than the downsides. I believe that the extra time in high school is crucial, and you will still have time to prepare for college either way.