Early grads prepare for the future

Charlie Morris, Features Editor

On January 21, at seven o’clock, about 55 students will walk across the stage in the auditorium and officially be high school graduates.  Dr. Laura Inscoe, Dean of Students, organizes this ceremony every year.

“In January, there are two groups of students that graduate,” said Inscoe.  “There are the students who have chosen to leave a semester early and the students who still had to complete another semester of school to be eligible to graduate.”

This small ceremony adds a great personal factor to these students’ graduation.  Parents and students get to enjoy this ceremony and celebrate in a unique way.

“It’s super intimate,” said Inscoe.  “We actually are able to read scripts from the parents to the graduates as they walk across the stage.  It’s a neat touch.”

The reasons that students may choose to graduate early tend to vary.  Dr. Inscoe has seen students graduate early for a variety of reasons.

“Students that graduate early have had their normal four year plan condensed into three years,” said Inscoe.  “Either they want to go to work, they have a family business, they have a child at home they need to take care of, they want to start college a semester early, or they want to go into the military.”

This year’s early graduation is planned to be about the same size as usual.

“This year, we have about 55 early graduates,” said Inscoe.  “Usually the number hovers around 60, so this will be a pretty normal sized ceremony.”

Students who wish to graduate early have to make sure that they fulfill all their credits that are necessary to graduate.

“I have to meet with the students and their parents the summer before they graduate,” said Inscoe.  “We sat and we made a plan to make sure that they had all of the classes that they need for graduation during the first semester.”

For some, meeting these requirements may be easier than it is for others.  Elaina Cogliadi has experienced the payoff of preparing for early graduation and plans to attend Cape Fear Community College as soon as she graduates.

“I’m finishing up the last requirements I have and them I’m set,” said Cogliadi.  “It was pretty easy.”

While some early graduates choose to start college early, others choose to work during the spring to help pay for college in the fall.  Jack Groh, an early graduate for 2015, has chosen to take the working path.

“Most people are going to Wake Tech after they graduate early,” said Groh.  “Instead, I’m going to work all spring to help pay for college.  I also plan on taking some stock market classes and begin investing in stocks with my dad.”

Depending on the credits that students may need to fulfill, graduating early can be a daunting and stressful task.  This was not the case, however, for Groh.


“Honestly, it was the opposite of stressful,” said Groh.  “It was really easy.  I just talked to my counselor and they gave me a form to fill out and I signed up for four classes and that was pretty much it.”

Although meeting requirements may seem easy, Cogliadi has experienced the disadvantage of having so little time before graduation.

“The hardest part of this whole thing has been the shortage of time,” said Cogliadi.  “You think you have time; then you don’t.”

However stressful graduating early may be, levels of excitement among early graduates continue to grow.

“I’m super excited,” said Cogliadi.

Early graduation is an option for those who need to work or go off to college early and it offers a unique graduation experience for those who are able to do so.

“It’s really nice,” said Inscoe.  “It’s a neat touch and it’s intimate.  We also have a big reception in the commons after the ceremony.”