Whether you are a high schooler with senioritis or a parent trying to help your child finish his/her degree, chances are that you’ve wondered how important it is to earn a high school diploma. Perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “If I don’t care about college, why do I need to get an accredited high school diploma?”
Why do I Need a Diploma?
The reality is that a high school diploma can make the difference between you getting into college, the military, or a job after high school. No matter what direction you go after high school, many organizations expect you to have completed grades K–12. Even if you are only applying to work at a local fast food restaurant, managers like to see that you have earned a high school diploma.
Why Does the World Care That I Finish High School?
The main reason so many people prefer high school graduates is because it shows that you can finish what you start.
Colleges, the military, and employers look at you as an investment. Before pouring lots of time, resources, and energy into you, they want to make sure that they will see a return on their investment. Finishing high school demonstrates you can be trusted to follow through on assignments, orders, or projects.
When do I Receive a High School Diploma?
In order to receive a high school diploma, you must fulfill the requirements from your specific state or school. Students enrolled at Enlightium Academy must complete a minimum of 21 credits, which their counselor will help them achieve.
What Does it Mean if a Diploma is Accredited?
Accreditation is an evaluation of a school by a third party organization to ensure that students are receiving a quality education. If you receive a degree from an accredited school, your diploma represents that you have received a quality education and are qualified to move forward in your schooling or career.
Having an accredited degree also protects you. It ensures that you can qualify for federal financial aid such as scholarships and Pell grants through FAFSA. Moreover, it certifies that your degree is meaningful and required a demonstration of your skill and ability.
Does Enlightium Academy Offer an Accredited Diploma?
Yes. Enlightium offers its seniors the opportunity to receive an accredited high school diploma. EA is accredited by AdvancED and the Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI). For more information, view Enlightium Academy’s Accreditation page.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a High School Diploma?
On average, it takes students four years to earn a high school diploma. High school students enrolled at Enlightium Academy may be able to earn enough credits to graduate in less than four years by completing courses quicker and/or working during the summer. Families should speak to the student’s counselor when considering these options.
How Old Can You be and Still Receive a High School Diploma?
The average high school in the U.S. will allow students to earn a high school diploma until they are 21 years of age. However, the acceptable age varies from 19–22, with the exception of Texas which allows students to be 26 years old. For more information about your specific state, view this article by ecs.org.
Can a Student Graduate if They Are One Credit Short?
If you find yourself in this position, you have a few options. The three most common options are summer school attendance, community college credits, and a blank diploma.
Summer school provides students with the opportunity to make up classes they either failed or did not have the opportunity to take sooner. Many community colleges offer dual enrollment credits. This means that they will give you both high school credits and college credits for completing a course through them.
If you choose either of these options, your school may be willing to give you a blank diploma. No, this does not mean you can write whatever you want on your certificate. Instead, the school permits you to “graduate” with the rest of your class. You will receive your actual diploma in the mail once you complete all of your courses.
How do You Graduate Early From High School?
There are several ways to graduate early from high school.
Many high schools offer students the opportunity to work on both a high school diploma and a college degree at the same time.
Enlightium Academy has partnered with Northwest Nazarene University to offer its students Concurrent Credit courses.
Many institutions in secondary and higher education offer summer term courses. Not only does this allow students who are behind to get back on track, but it also enables students who want to graduate early to get ahead.
Students enrolled in Enlightium Academy can take courses during the summer to move towards graduation quicker. Students simply need to speak with their counselor to see if this is the best fit.
Families can work with the student’s counselor to determine if creating an accelerated schedule will be in the best interest of the student and his/her post-high school plans. This typically means taking courses in less time (often by working additional hours each school day and/or during the weekends) and reducing the course load while still meeting graduation requirements. Due to the counselor’s experience and understanding of complex course schedules, the student’s counselor has a final decision in whether or not a student should start an accelerated schedule.
Students enrolled in Enlightium Academy who are interested in an accelerated schedule should speak with the student’s counselor and discuss why they are interested in the schedule.
Do High School Credits Expire?
No. You will never lose the credits or grades you received during your time in high school. Although this includes AP courses, some colleges prefer these credits to be received within the last five years.
For any other questions about homeschooling or Enlightium Academy, please call 866-488-4818, or visit EnlightiumAcademy.com. Enlightium Academy is an accredited alternative education option to public school. Our program offers the comfort of a homeschool education environment, and quality, private education. Enlightium is a Christian school, offering a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher supported, affordable option to public school. Enlightium Academy meets all accreditation and state education requirements for all 50 states, while neither using the state curriculum or Common Core.