Juniors Receive Early Diplomas


Photo by Riley Croteau

Nancy Jackson celebrates after receiving her diploma a year early.

Riley Croteau, Staff Writer

Students have always been told that there are four years of high school, but what if you could do it in three? This is the reality for juniors who have the credits and decided to graduate early. These students complete all necessary credit requirements and are going into the next stage of life a year earlier than most of their peers.

Graduating junior Nancy Jackson is one of these students. She is moving away from Cape Cod and wants to get a jump on her upcoming engineering career at Wentworth Institute Of Technology in Boston where she will be majoring in civil engineering.

Jackson said she started talking about graduating early with her counselor during her sophomore year. In order to successfully be able to accomplish graduating she has had to double up in English and history this year. 

Although she does not regret this decision, It does come with its own hiccups. 

“The biggest challenge is that you are a lot more lost than everybody else because you are on your own. You’re in a junior English class so you don’t write your college essay with anyone. Everything else is just a little more confusing cause you hear about it less,” said Jackson. 

Some may worry about the psychological effects of graduating early but according to a 2020 study by Vanderbilt University, early graduates did not suffer from a decline in psychological well-being in later life due to academic acceleration. Although one downside is that it can get overwhelming quickly and cause isolation, according to a 2022 article by Psychology in Action.

  But graduating early might become a thing of the past, said Shawn Kingman, as the graduation requirements for classes 2026 and later will rise from 22 credits to 25 credits in order to graduate. This would make graduating early significantly harder.

Kingman only recommends this pathway for very specific students though. 

I typically recommend that for students that would like to graduate early that they consider doing their final year of high school through Dual Enrollment or Project Excel in their senior year. Now that we have become a Pathway School at BHS, I feel that students should really think about the Pathways we offer here at the high school and try to make school more relevant for them and their goals for the future.”