High school seniors getting their college degrees ahead of graduating high school

A group of high school seniors will be graduating with a college degree before they even get their high school diploma. (Source: KHNL)
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 9:57 PM EDT
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HONOLULU (KHNL/Gray News) - A group of high school seniors will be getting their diplomas along with a college degree.

KHNL reports that eight Farrington High School seniors will be getting their associate degrees from Honolulu Community College during commencement this week.

And a week later, they’ll graduate from high school.

“It feels surreal to me that it’s actually happening,” said senior Cardenas Pintor.

The high schoolers are enrolled in the early college and running start program. It allows high school students to take college courses for free.

Over the past seven years, 80 high school students have earned associate degrees.

“It’s so amazing because I got to save a lot of money and a lot of time for my future,” said Rachelle Anne Manuel.

The students say juggling classes and their time wasn’t easy.

“I think the hardest part was the time management because I needed to complete these credits in high school and at the same time, I needed to complete the college credits,” Dela Cruz said.

The road to a college degree started when the students were in the ninth grade.

“They take one or two classes and then by the time they hit junior or senior year, they are pretty much going to college full time,” said Regan Honda, Farrington High School college and career counselor.

The eight Farrington students say they are already looking at careers in business, politics and the food industry.

“I think we are definitely going to have a great future because our associate degrees can help us get into jobs easier,” said senior Cadyn Ramos.

Honda said in a typical year at Farrington High School, about one student gets an associate degree.

Eight is a record this year, and Honda expects more next year.