Are you a student looking for how to graduate early from high school in Florida? Are you curious if the Florida high school requirements can be completed early? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, you have come to the right place.
Graduating early is a privilege given to students who do the needed work to meet Florida stipulations early. Within this article, we will not only answer the question of if you can graduate early, but we will also give you the information on how to do it. We will also provide information on if there are age stipulations for graduation.
If this sounds like the information you need, there is only one thing you need to do – keep reading.
Can You Graduate Early from High School in Florida?
The short and simple answer to this question is yes. In Florida, you can indeed graduate early from high school. Each school district has different stipulations they must adhere to and requirements to allow students to graduate early. For the goal of clarity, graduating early means reaching graduation within less than eight semesters.
Florida mandates that all high schools must have a policy that allows students to graduate early if eligible.
How Many Credits Do You Need to Graduate High School Early in Florida?
In Florida, students need 24 credits to graduate early. These credits require a different combination of courses in each of the traditional disciplines. For example, students will need four English language credits, four credits in math, three credits in science, and three credits in social studies. Students will also need one credit in performing arts, as well as physical education. Along with these core courses, students will need to obtain eight elective credits.
Outside of the traditional 24 credit route, students can also take a three-year, 18 credit program. This program can be either a college preparatory option or a career preparatory option. The career prep program is designed to get students prepared for a vocational or technical school and the workforce. Additional classes are instead supplemented for vocational or technical training.
Like the career prep program, the 18-credit college prep option prepares students for post-secondary education. This track focuses more on academically rigorous courses. The credits for this program in tandem are the minimum requirements needed to attend a state university. Students on this track also have the added stipulation of earning two foreign language credits.
What are the Requirements to Graduate Early from High School in Florida?
Along with the credits previously listed as a necessity, several stipulations must align with these courses. Of the elective credits, students must take at least one online course to meet graduation requirements. You may be wondering what GPA you need to graduate high school in Florida. If you’re on the traditional track, the answer to that is easy. You need at least a 2.0 GPA to earn a diploma on the conventional 24 credit track.
Students in the career and college prep programs have separate GPA stipulations. If you are looking to graduate sooner rather than later, the stipulations are a bit different. For students looking to graduate from the college prep track, you will need a GPA, cumulative, of a 3.5 within your required courses, as well as at least a 3.0 within each of the required 18 credits. This GPA is weighted or unweighted.
If you are a student in the career prep track, you will need a cumulative weighted GPA of 3.0. You will also need at least a 2.0 in all 18 required credits. This is also weighted or unweighted. All of the GPAs are on a 4.0 scale.
To receive a full high school diploma, you will also need to pass any assessments mandated by the Florida board of education. These assessments include but are not limited to the items listed below:
- The standardized Geometry EOC assessment – This assessment is 30% of a student’s final course grade and is required for all students.
- The standardized grade 10 ELA assessment
- The Algebra I EOC Assessment – To receive a passing grade in the course, a student must pass this exam, no matter what their course grade is.
- The Biology EOC Assessments – This assessment is 30% of a student’s final course grade required for all students.
- Assessment of civic literacy
- United States History EOC Assessment
- The FCAT 2.0 Reading – This assessment is given during 10th grade, and students must earn passing scores on this exam.
Outside of these assessments, students who are eligible to graduate early will be notified that they can do so by the school. No school can hold a student back from graduating early if they choose to do so.
Students in the three-year courses have stipulations that are slightly different from students on the traditional track. Students in these programs are not required to earn credits in fine or performing arts or physical education. They also have a different number of required electives. For college prep, students only need two elective credits, whereas career prep students must have 4, with 3 in a single vocational track.
Another major stipulation different for any student taking the three-year track is that the courses needed to complete their track requirements must also satisfy admission into Florida State universities. These requirements are referred to as the State University Admission Requirements.
These minimum requirements include the following stipulations
- 4 English Courses
- 3 Social Science Courses
- 4 Math Courses – These courses must be Algebra 1 or higher.
- 2 Foreign Language Courses – Both Courses must be in the same language.
- 3 Natural Science Courses – These courses must include at least two lab components.
- 2 Approved Electives
One great thing about graduating early from a Florida school is that students will still have the option to participate in activities. One downside that many individuals face when graduating early is that they may miss out on school events and even the graduation ceremony itself. Florida gives students the option to participate in events as if they are still enrolled. Though different schools may have different stipulations surrounding the access they are given to the school grounds, that is decided based on the school you attend. However, even if a student graduates early, they will still be included in any class ranking, awards, or honors calculated for their graduating class.
Though these are the standard stipulations for graduating with a high school diploma, students may also receive course substitutions and even dual credits based on their classes to meet their school district’s requirements.
One crucial thing to remember is that at any point, if you fail to meet the stipulations of your program at the required checkpoints, you will be put back onto a regular graduation track. In addition to meeting the stipulations mentioned above, students in the three-year track must also adhere and be mindful of the following:
- High school athletes will lose a year of athletics eligibility. Students are not allowed to attend high school after graduating with a three-year program.
- Three-year programs are only available for students who would otherwise earn a standard diploma.
- Students should check with out-of-state universities to ensure that their curriculums are acceptable and meet their admission requirements.
Can You Graduate at 16 in Florida?
Yes, you can graduate high school at 16. Students are even given the option to drop out of school at 16 if they choose. However, students will likely need parental consent to opt for a three-year accelerated graduation program. Students 18 and up do not need this consent.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Graduate Early from High School in Florida
Overall, if you know you want to graduate early and you live in Florida, the option is certainly there and available for you. These programs are excellent options for students who are sure about their next steps in life and want to get ahead of the game. Students do not need to elect a three-year track at the beginning of their high school tenure. However, they are not exempt from meeting any requirements if they come into the program later.
If you are thinking about graduating early and aren’t interesting in the standard 24 credit track, these accelerated programs are the perfect option.
If you are interested to know how to graduate early in other states, check out our other guides here: