Teen Receives College Degree Before Graduating From High School

A determined 17-year-old Ohio teen just graduated from college with a degree before obtaining her high school degree.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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ohio teen

Abbie Campana got a head start on achieving education goals. While the Ohio teenager was a student at Lakefield High School, she also began taking college courses at Youngstown State University. She worked hard and earned her college degree just before gaining her high school diploma and got to proudly display this at her graduation. 

During the pandemic, the Ohio teen’s school switched to virtual learning. As she finished her work early and maintained good grades she qualified for her high school’s College Credit Plus Program. She enrolled in this during her sophomore year and continued to study both high school content and work through her college classes as well. 

Campana is the first Ohio teen at her school to receive her 2-year college degree before finishing high school. Her college courses were finalized before her high school graduation affording her this rare opportunity. During her high school graduation ceremony, she held up both diplomas and has been an inspiration to students seeking education advancement opportunities that are not age-based. 

Unlike this Ohio teen, there are very few cases of college students obtaining degrees before receiving a high school diploma. Many include individuals who never finished high school and earned honorary degrees based on their workforce successes or other successful contributions to society. It is even unclear whether notable architect Frank Lloyd Wright actually completed high school, but he was able to earn his way through college as an honorary student because he worked for the University of Wisconsin and proved to be a scholarly individual.

It is the dedication of students like Abbie Campana which leads to these forms of success in the face of strange circumstances. Although her high school education was drastically changed in 2020 — and many students her age were held back due to learning loss from having to stay home and learn virtually — she chose to work harder and learn information that many of her classmates will not be introduced to until at least the fall. Although uncommon, this Ohio teen’s story is similar to that of students who are admitted to advanced education programs in private schools, as well as those of homeschoolers who accelerate lessons to allow their children to graduate years ahead — if they so desire. 

She plans to go on to Bowling Green State University and obtain a four-year degree. The Ohio teen is planning to pay her own way through the rest of her education career and hopes to inspire others. Her unique story holds much promise, and proves that everyone’s path to education does not have to follow the same standards. 

Ohio teen

There are more options for students than ever. Whether enrolled in public school, private school, or homeschooling, they have a multitude of resources available to meet success at whatever stages best suits them. Abbie Campana’s experiences have given her a better understanding of responsibility and preparing for the future. Her example is likely to offer other Ohio teens support should they wish to graduate early or obtain an associate’s degree while completing their high school experience.