Early Graduation

Published: 8/27/2014 1:51 PM




Students in Early Graduation who wait to take their final EOC and exam spring (MAY-JUNE) of their last year may miss most higher education application deadlines (JAN-FEB) and will miss deadlines for scholarships and financial aid. It is recommended any Early Graduation student take their last EOC the semester, quarter or trimester before graduating to take full advantage of post-secondary schedules and deadlines.


​The Early Graduation regulation is a result of Senate Bill 61 (2013) and is a companion to Senate Bill 97 (2013). To summarize the regulation, beginning in 2014-2015, Early Graduation will be possible for students who intend to move on an accelerated timeline through high school and graduate college ready before the typical four years of high school or age 18.

Early Graduation is a deliberate pathway for students that wish to move on when ready, receive a diploma from the district and be eligible for acceptance into a SACS accredited Kentucky public or non-profit two-or four-year college. The regulation provides a financial incentive, known as the Early Graduation Certificate, for the student to support this action.

Clarifying Points:

  • The regulation goes into effect during the 2014-2015 academic year.
  • The Early Graduation regulation and statute state that the requirements of Early Graduation supersede any district requirements and the districts may not add on additional requirements.
  • Early Graduation is an amendment to 704 KAR 3:305; Minimum requirements for high school.
  • Students in the Early Graduation pathway DO NOT have to meet the minimum 22 hours (Refer to Section 6 of the regulation).
  • Early Graduation is defined as a student meeting the performance criteria outlined in the regulation and doing so in three years or less from the date of first enrolling in grade nine of high school.
  • The Intent form must be filled out and entered into the Individual Learning Plan no later than October 1st of the year the student’s declaration. The student status must also be flagged in IC.
  • Early Graduation students will require monitoring and counseling to ensure they are on target and on track, student schedules may be affected by this intent.
  • The Intent is not binding; students may revert to regular student status with the knowledge they have to meet the District’s minimum requirements and will not be eligible for the Early Graduation Certificate.
  • To meet the criteria, students that intend to Graduate Early must meet minimum proficiency benchmarks for the four End -of- Course exams required for state accountability and meet CPE benchmarks for the ACT.
  • Students may take the state administered ACT earlier than their junior year as provided by the regulation.

Student Incentives:

Early Graduation Certificate

  1. One-time scholarship award to be used at a SACS accredited Kentucky two-or four year public or non-profit college.
  2. May receive the equivalent of four years of (Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship) of KEES as calculated and administered by KHEAA for students who graduate in three years.
Kelly Clark
Office of Next-Generation Learners
Division of Program Standards
500 Mero Street, 19th Floor CPT
(502) 564-2106
Fax (502) 564-9848