With the current switch from semesters (18 weeks each) to quarters (nine weeks each), McNary High School administrators are predicting there will be many students opting for early graduation this year. Rochelle Farris, the College and Career Center advisor, encourages students to contact her and their school counselor first before making a decision.

Students interested in early graduation might not be eligible for a lot of the scholarships they had in mind. For example, Chemeketa Scholars is only available for students attending Chemeketa in the fall of 2021 instead of this spring, and the Oregon Promise scholarship requires students to be enrolled in a college within six months of graduating.

Those wanting to attend school in the winter or spring will have to apply for the 20-21 FAFSA (financial aid) and the 21-22 FAFSA.

Farris wants to make sure that students who are graduating early and starting college in fall 2021 understand the risks. “If those students take any more than 12 total credits at a community college before they begin classes at the four-year university in the fall they may lose their freshman status and have to enter college as a transfer student,” Farris said. 

It can affect scholarships for students. Farris suggests that students should talk to their counselor about the scholarships they want and what would be affected.

Students interested in early graduation should discuss a plan with their parents, schedule a meeting with Farris, talk with their school counselor and do a lot of research beforehand.