How old were you when you Graduated from High School?

If you actually graduated from high school (and didn’t get an equivalency diploma of some kind), how old were you when you graduated? I’m curious about this because I have a niece starting school this year at the age of five and if she doesn’t have a hiccup, she’ll graduate when she’s 16-years old.

Graduation Ages in the US

American students graduate from high school at various ages, depending on what age they started school, as dictated by their specific school district. It varies by state, county and city. I graduated at the age of 17 (and joined the military while still 17-years old) because I started Kindergarten at the age of four. The rule for my school was that if you turned five by a certain date, you could start that year. Otherwise, you had to wait a year. That same school subsequently changed that rule. No one graduates at 17-years old from that school district anymore.

I don’t know if Kindergarten is required for all students, but I do know that all students are required to attend eight years of elementary school and four years of high school. Some of the elementary years may be called “middle school” or “junior high school”. In some places, a graduation ceremony takes place upon completion of the eighth grade, but not everywhere (Hawaii in 1974, for example).

My late father only completed six years of elementary school. I don’t know how far education went back then as it was in the 1930s. My mother, on the other hand, completed eight years of school and that was in the 1940s. At some point in time, high school started as secondary education much like college is secondary education today. I doubt that it was mandatory like it is now. Since a high school education wasn’t required for most occupations until after World War II (and only for certain age brackets), I often wonder what purpose it serves to go to high school. Why not complete elementary school and then go straight to college, if you can afford it? Half the classes in high school seem to be electives and the other half seem to be rehashing elementary subjects.

Graduation Ages in the Philippines

Filipino students graduate high school at various ages, but more than the age at initial school enrollment is a factor. Since parents have to pay for all education in the Philippines, it’s not unusual to find people who graduate from high school after they’re in their twenties. Years at a time get skipped.

What is the lowest age a Filipino can graduate from high school? It’s at 15, but only if they started school at the age of four (and it does happen). The average age is 16-years old. If you think that’s odd, here’s something a bit more odd: There are college graduates who are only 19-years old. Some are clinical instructors at my son’s nursing school.

Graduation Ages in Other Countries

I have to admit that I know next to nothing about education in countries other than the Philippines and the United States. I’ve read articles here and there, such as how Japanese education is more intense than the US, but that’s about it.

The Korean students coming to the Philippines for ESL (English as a second language) training look exceptionally young, but that could be just an appearance thing. In fact, most Asian students look younger than their non-Asian counterparts.

That’s it. That’s all I know. I’d be interested to hear how it works in the Middle East and the African countries.


18 Responses to “How old were you when you Graduated from High School?”

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  1. Spot says:

    I graduated when I was 17. I went straight to college from there, but in hindsight I wish I had taken a gap year and contemplated my options. After such a year maybe I would still have gone to college. But maybe I would have taken the military route, or settled on some other option.

  2. zeke says:

    i done studied my cphering and goesintas realy hard and gradiated at 31 but that theres faster en some n West bye god verginny.

  3. dovo straight razor says:

    I graduated from high school at the age of 17.

  4. Kadie Ong says:

    i was only 16 that time. and memories from high school years is very memorable it seems you are just thinking for happiness.

  5. ray says:

    I left at about 16 (English secondary school). When I went to school, you did nursery school up until the age of 5, primary school from 5-11 and secondary school (also called comprehensive school or secondary modern (smarter kids went to grammar school)) from 11-16. You could then, assuming you got good enough grades on your O-levels or GCSEs (O-levels were scrapped in favour of GCSEs in the 80s) you could do 6th form until you were 18 at either your school or at 6th form college. At 18 you then got your A-levels (hopefully) and went to university, military or a job … or onto the dole if you were very unlucky.

  6. BoA fan says:

    16 in the UK for school, but I think most study till 18 (A-Levels etc) and something like half go to university (which is probably too many really).

  7. hari says:

    Here in India, we don’t call it “Graduation” (if it’s high school). We call it passing out of school :)

    Graduation is reserved for college degree.

  8. Car Transporter says:

    I was 17 when I graduated high school, in 2000. It all depends on the school calendar year, and when they accept students into kindergarten. Your niece most likely fell into the small percentage of kids that get snapped up into kindergarten at 5 and then graduate at 17, but actually even more rare because the school year graduates before her summer birthday at 16!

    lol, she has a leg up because she will graduate college that much earlier too!

  9. StacceyT@cholesterol says:

    I was 17 when I graduated, but I turned 18 maybe 20 days later. Then I was married and had children. I wish that I had gone into the military or school instead. Hindsight it 20/20!

  10. I was 18 when I graduated from school. After that I went straight to college. I wish I would have went to a community college first just to give me time to really think and decide what I wanted to major in. So after 2 years I ended up changing my major.

  11. Engineered wood flooring says:

    I still have 1 year to graduate xDDD lucky me high school life!

  12. chi3nming says:

    in malaysia we finish primary at 12 and secondary at 17. After that only do we start our colledge

  13. Most people I know graduate from high school in the US between the ages of 16-17. I personally graduated when I was 16. There are also others who don’t graduate from high school and end up pursuing a GED (General Education Diploma). People pursue these at various stages of their life, some during their teenage years and others when they get older.

  14. ren says:

    i graduate high school at age 16

  15. Heber says:

    I graduate this June at 16 years old and enter college at 17 and plan to get my masters degree in computer science by the time I am 20 at the latest.