This senior earned her college degree before graduating from high school

University Of Birmingham Hold Degree Congregations
Getty Images | Christopher Furlong

High school senior Raven Osborne doesn’t understand the meaning of “senioritis.” While other future graduates may struggle to stay focused in the last few weeks of school, Osborne kept her eye on one prize. Her college graduation on May 5.

Yes. Osborne graduated from Purdue University Northwest 17 days before her high school graduation. She now has a degree in sociology, but won’t get her diploma until May 22.

‘Yeah, They Think I’m Lying’

Osborne’s accomplishment was met with some raised eyebrows and skepticism. “Yeah, they think I’m lying,” she told CBS News.

You can’t blame people for their disbelief. Many high school students earn college credit before graduating. In fact, all students at Osborne’s school, 21st Century Charter High School in Gary, Indiana, must take college classes to graduate.

However, Osborne raised the bar with her efforts. She started taking college courses in ninth grade. She first enrolled in online classes and year-round community college. Ultimately, she transferred to Purdue University Northwest to finish her final two years.

“She not only is academically gifted, but (also) has demonstrated amazing intellectual maturity in her pursuit of a baccalaureate degree at Purdue Northwest,” Purdue spokesman Wes Lukoshus told the Northwest Indiana Times. “She is joining a small number of students who have come to our university at a relatively young age to complete a baccalaureate degree program,” he said.

Double Graduation Meant Overcoming Challenges

Even though she had big goals, Osborne admits it wasn’t always easy. “At one point, I also tried to work a job,” she told the Northwest Indiana Times. “I was working a midnight shift at a day care center. I just had to watch the children while they were sleeping, then feed them breakfast when they woke up. It was a daycare for parents who worked a night shift. It just got to be too stressful, and I had to resign in December.”

But the challenges were worth it. The charter school paid for Osborne’s education through a special state funding program. And that seems like a good investment for the school. Osborne plans to return to the charter school in the fall as an interventionist with elementary school children. She’ll earn $38,000 a year in her new position.

Not bad for an 18-year-old almost-high school graduate.

Life

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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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