Will Pennsylvania High School Students Be Allowed to Enroll in College Earlier?

February 2010Alerts

Although Pennsylvania law already provides some ways for students to attend college while still in high school (and leave altogether in certain circumstances), the New York Times reported on February 17, 2010 that Pennsylvania and seven other states will pilot a program that will permit students to graduate after 10th grade and go on to college.


Although unusual, Pennsylvania law does not really prevent this now. Compulsory attendance ends at the point of graduation, which can be before age 17. Such graduation requirements are set by individual districts with only general guidance by statute and PDE. Further, PDE regulations contemplate both part-time high school / college attendance and also altogether dropping such kids from the high school rolls if they opt to leave high school before graduation to attend college.

In the article, this is a plan touted by the National Center on Education and the Economy and is aimed at raising various basic proficiencies. One wonders, however, how this plan will change the educational landscape. Since, according to the article, "Students who pass but aspire to attend a selective college may continue with college preparatory courses in their junior and senior years," who will actually go and who will remain a district's responsibility?

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Kyle Berman or any member of Fox Rothschild.