Early Graduation

Published: 6/7/2017 9:20 AM

2017-18 EOC Guidance for the Early Graduation Certificate
The following message appeared in the 6/5/17 Commissioner's Monday Email: Kentucky’s current use of Quality Core End-of-Course (EOC) assessments for Algebra II, Biology, US History and English II is discontinued due to elimination of the assessments by ACT, Inc. Although students can anticipate taking assessments in Algebra II, Biology and English II as field tests, student performance levels will not be generated. Requirements for students who enter into a formal agreement with the district on Early Graduation include meeting EOC benchmarks. Therefore, guidance regarding the EOC requirements for Early Graduation will temporarily change. As 704 KAR 3:305 requires a student to score proficient on EOCs, that specific requirement contained in the regulation will not be applicable until the return of an end-of-course assessment program as part of the accountability system in high school grades. All other requirements will remain in effect as part of eligibility for Early Graduation. 
  • Students must accumulate all credits as specified by the state minimum high school graduation requirements in 704 KAR 3:305, as well as any additional district graduation requirements.
  • Students must meet all graduation requirements in three academic years or less.
  • Students must declare an intent to graduate prior to October 1 of the year in which students make the declaration.
  • Students must meet the ACT benchmarks as set by the Council on Postsecondary Education in 13 KAR 2:020
For more information, please email Leann Pickerill at  leann.pickerill@education.ky.gov.

What is Early Graduation?

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 progress through high school on an accelerated timeline and graduate college ready in three years or less 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 Kentucky public universities and non-profit independent colleges and universities. The regulation provides a financial scholarship, known as the Early Graduation Certificate, to support this action.​

For guidance and information please see the links in the blue box to the right.

Important Notices

  • All early graduates must be flagged by October 1st of the academic year in which the student declares intent to graduate early. There are no exceptions to this deadline which is mandated by legislation.
  • All early graduation students must pass ACT CPE benchmarksOther "readiness exams" will not be accepted.
  • All incoming Early Graduates will need to take the online "student success survey"- This survey will be used to further refine and collaborate with schools and districts about supporting this legislation through trainings and/or communication.  The survey link is found on the Revised Intent Form.
  • Students and their parents should obtain college pre-admission requirements before meeting with counselors at the high school- Schools and districts are encouraged to meet with every potential student after the student and their parents meet with a college admissions counselor who will outline the pre-admissions requirements.
  • ​​​District decisions such as class rankings, commencement speakers, picture placement in the yearbook and privileges such as senior parking are decisions to be made when students apply for Early Graduation by school and district personnel and then communicated to EG students and parents. The regulation outlines the criteria for and method of establishing Early Graduation in school, but does not establish parameters around other such decisions.
  • KDE and KHEAA work jointly to identify and verify Early Graduation students. Schools may receive emails and requests for information about Early Graduation directly from KHEAA.
  • Danny Prather is KHEAA’s Early Graduation Scholarship Program Coordinator.  You may contact Danny with questions at danprather@kheaa.com or (502) 696-7399.
  • Please note that students entering Early Graduation are not required to complete the graduation criteria PRIOR to entry. Students enter the pathway and accomplish the four EOC’s and the ACT - WHILE IN the program. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Leann Pickerill
Office of Teaching and Learning
Division of Learning Services
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4970
Fax (502) 564-6470