Shelby: Summer is right around the corner, and that means high school seniors across the country are celebrating the end of high school and the beginning of a new chapter in life. Scott Evans has the story of one girl in the class of 2014 who is well on her way. Check it out.
Scott: Like many seniors, Grace Bush will be getting her high school diploma on Friday.
But unlike most seniors, this 16-year-old from Florida already has a college degree.
Grace Bush: It’s kind of weird that I graduated college before high school.
Scott: Yep, Grace earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice last week from Florida Atlantic University. She did it with a 3.8 GPA and completed the four-year degree in just three years, taking high school and college classes at the same time.
Grace: I started when I was 13 at Broward College and I also took my classes throughout the summer, so I was able to finish it before four years.
Scott: Grace’s parents wanted their nine children to earn college credit in high school because they can’t afford to send all their kids to college. Grace is the third oldest in the Bush family.
Grace: My two older sisters are doing it and I’m the third to do it. My oldest sister already graduated and my second-older sister is graduating in the summer.
Scott: With the average yearly costs of college ranging from $14,000 to $38,000, earning credit while in high school can mean big savings. And there are a lot of ways to get a head start on a college degree.
First, you can do what Grace did. Many schools now offer dual enrollment – high school courses that count for college credit. Second, take advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses. And if you pass the tests, you can earn college credit. And last, you can take CLEP exams. The College Level Examination Program offers a test in subjects that you take in high school and, depending on your score, you can also earn college credit.
After graduating from high school and college in the same month and playing flute in two orchestras, Grace says she is finally ready for a break. She is going to spend the summer studying for the law school entry exam, or the LSAT.
Grace: So I can get my scores as high as possible as I can get. Hopefully get a ride.
Scott: Getting her even closer to achieving her dream.
Grace: I would eventually like to become chief justice of the United States.
Scott: A high achiever bound for the nation’s highest court.
Scott Evans, Channel One News.