Select Page

Early High School Graduation Policy

Eastern Kentucky University Admission Requirements for Early High School Graduates

  • Applicant must meet full admissions requirements to the university:
    • Minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
    • Minimum Kentucky college readiness standards on ACT: English 18, Math 19, Reading 20
    • A complete application consisting of:
      • EKU application (online or paper)
      • Official high school transcript
      • ACT or SAT scores
      • $35 application fee
  • You must have a date of graduation prior to the start of your intended term of entry. If your high school transcript does not include an expected graduation date, we may need additional time to follow up with your high school.
  • When you apply, your transcript must reflect that you have completed at least 75% of our recommended high school course work (equivalent to completion of your junior year) before we can make decision. For most early graduates, we expect to see at least six semesters of high school work completed, though we may review transcripts with just five semesters completed for applicants graduating a full year early.
  • You must send us a letter from your counselor, on official letterhead, stating that early graduation has been approved by the high school. If you are completing early graduation through the state of Kentucky, a Letter of Intent must be completed as well.
  • Admission is conditional until a final, official high school transcript has been received. Admitted students are not able to register for the second semester of enrollment until a final, official transcript has been received.

What to Know about Early Graduation in Kentucky

  • All early graduates must be flagged by October 1 of the academic year in which they wish to graduate. There are no exceptions to this deadline which is mandated by legislation.
  • All early graduation students must pass ACT CPE Benchmarks. Other readiness exams will not be accepted.
  • A student who meets the early graduation requirements may earn an Early Graduation Certificate or Scholarship to be provided by KHEAA and will be eligible for a one-time scholarship award to be used at a Kentucky two- or four-year public or independent non-profit SAC’s accredited college or university the year immediately following high school graduation. The award shall be equal to one-half (1/2) of the SEEK statewide per pupil guarantee for one year.
  • Students who graduate from high school in three years may also receive a Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) award equivalent to completing high school in four years.

Application Deadlines

Fall Admission: August 1
Spring Admission: December 1
Summer Admission: May 1

Important Aspects to Consider

  • Before you apply as an early graduate, verify that your high school is actually GRADUATING you early and not just releasing you from a semester of required enrollment. Some high schools allow students to leave high school after the first semester of their senior year if all graduation requirements have been met, but the school or district policy only offers graduation in May/June. We consider these students “early release” students, not true early graduates.
  • In the case of “early release” and not “early graduation,” applicants typically cannot be considered for spring semester admission. In order to be eligible for spring admission, students graduating a semester early must have a graduation date prior to the start of the spring semester on their final, official high school transcript.
  • If you will have met all graduation requirements at semester but will not graduate until May/June (with your class), we hope you will apply for admission to the fall term and pursue other educational or non-educational opportunities during the spring.
  • If you are an early graduate applicant eligible for spring entry, we hope you will be mindful of the unique challenges of starting at EKU mid-year. Moving into an established community in the residence halls, transitioning without the benefit of a welcome program such as fall semester’s Big E Welcome, and jumping very quickly from a high school environment in December to a university environment in January require additional student initiative, tenacity, adaptability and maturity. Consider carefully whether this is a good option for you.
  • While students earning a Kentucky Early Graduation Certificate could be considered for scholarship awards, most institutional and private scholarships/awards are based on fall semester entry. Please visit the Scholarships website for more information.
  • If you will officially graduate at semester end (December/January) and plan to attend another institution for the spring before entering EKU in the fall, you should apply as a transfer applicant.