High School Age Limit

My Daughter wanted to go to a guy friends house from high school. when I asked her who he was and where he lived and how old he was she replied “He’s twenty years old.” HUH? “Twenty” I asked. She is fifteen and I said NO, of course. But what I can’t believe is that a twenty year old is still in high school, public high school no less!

What is the age limit on students in high school? I couldn’t find anything on the U.S. Department of Education on this subject. Does anyone know?

I can see if someone is slow or mentally retarded there might be an exception. If the student has had discipline problems when he or she turns eighteen is it time to go? I had no idea that if you don’t graduate by eighteen or nineteen in some cases you just keep going. When is it that someone is to old for high school, Twenty, Twenty-five?

If you have a comment or any info on this subject let me know.


121 thoughts on “High School Age Limit

  1. as soon as you turn 21 years old you have to start paying money to keep attending high school even if you are the middle of a year. For example if your birthday in may 31and you turn 21 and you have until june 10 to get out of school you have to pay the last of the days you that you go there. Also that would only really be failing twice and most people who are going to be that old when they graduate or have failed that many times would drop out. So atleast he’s smart enough not to do that.

  2. ~ok… i have a friend who is a sophmore in high school but their 17… our principal told them that they would have to quit school!!! i dont think thats right! he has a right to learn!!!!!~

  3. I have a question? I am 17 i am a sophmore and i don’t like school. I would like to take a classes online and get a diploma. I dont what i should do. My dad will not let me drop out. Should i try to get kicked out of school. I need some ideas.

  4. 17 and a Sophomore? You only have 2 years of school left, make the most of it. I know that at 17 school seems aweful, but 2 years in the grand sceme of things is a very shot period of time.

    If you were to Drop out now you’ll never do the online diploma thing. If you drop-out now you are going to set yourself up for failure.

    I commend your father. His not letting you drop out of high school is his way of showing he cares and that he wants you to succeed. At least you have a father that cares, many high school students don’t.

    In the working world, after high school, you need to be able to say that you completed high school and got a diploma, not an online diploma or a GED. You don’t want to get kicked out of school for any reason, you may live to regret that decision. We make life long decisions everyday- things that will effect you for the rest of your life… talk to a drop-out I’m sure they truely wish they had stayed in school.

    Hang in there, there’s always a way to find something positive in any situation. I hope this helps, I’m always around here somewhere if you need to drop me a note.


  5. Hey joey! I’m 18 years old and I dropped out of school in sophmore, I don’t know where do you live at but here In Miami there’s this Great school which I joined last year, without any credit after a year of attending school I already got 16 credits! ….It’s amazing because this school has an accelerated high school program where u get a FULL Credit in just 40 days of school!!! If I keep myself going I will be able to graduate by February from Next year. It’s very easy. Look up some information in the city where you live at and ask if there is any Accelerated High School Program. I guess you need to be 16 years and older to get in, but u’re already 17 so it doesn’t matter.
    When you graduate you would get given a HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, just as in a regular school.
    this is the web site from my school http://sdec.dadeschools.net/
    maybe there is one near you…

  6. i had a child when i was 18 in my 11th and 12 grade year. i did the most stupiest thing in the world…………….I DROP OUT!! and now my brother told me that i could go back [im almost 20] i really wish i could. trust me joey you dont want to drop out. your parents arent going to be there for you forever, it’s really hard. i wish so much that i could go back and change all the stupied things that i did. i never tried, i was always getting in trouble, i wanted to party and never go. gosh i was really stupied huh? but if i ever get a chance to go back i would in a heart beat.

  7. im 18 and i was hoping i could go back to high school next yr i dropped out near the end of my senior year…what a stupid thing i ever did but now i really want to go back and finish up and i also wanted to play tennis for the year cause i never had the chance last year…

  8. Hi Keven, I think that is a great Idea.

    I am sure if you talk to the school they will let you come back and finish.

    Don’t give up and don’t take no for an answer… you have made the first step to finishing. Maybe you could do summer school and complete some courses before school starts next year?

    Don’t consider that you did a stupid thing we all make some mistakes in our lives… I could start a blog about myself on that alone, so don’t let it get you down, be positive and go for it!!!

    All the best

  9. For those of you who are thinking you are running out of time or that dropping out might just be easier, I have a solution to suggest. I am a TEACHER at an online school, and my specialty is working with students who need to catch up in credits. Our school is different from a lot of regular schools because we don’t limit the number of courses you can complete in a semester, and we have a flexible model that allows you to work on as many or as few classes at a time as you need/want to handle. If you live in Washington or certain parts of California then our school is “public” and therefore free of charge. If you live anywhere else in the world, we can still serve you, but you would have to pay some tuition. Check out the school’s website if you want to find out more. You can even enroll through the site. http://www.achieveonline.org is where to go.

  10. hey my name is michael.

    i didn’t drop out of school but i failed eighth grade like three times, i am supposed to be a senior this year i failed because i had family problems i tried enrolling back in i am only seventeen they said no, I WANT TO GO BACK SO BAD.

    what should i do?

  11. Hi Michael,

    I am no expert but I can say if you want to go back to school there is always a way!
    I feel bad for you and your situation, somtimes life can throw us a curve and we think all is lost. Remember the light will eventually turn green and you will be on your way again. Don’t let things get to you.
    Do not be disapointed you can go and get your GED and then off to community college. You will have to work hard but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I have made my way through life on my own working hard sometimes that’s all it takes… You just have to want it bad enough and it sounds to me like you do.

    All the best

  12. hi, im 20, proped out when i had to do a 5th year when i was 18 (kicked out for missing 10 full days in a row actualy) i didnt care then, but when i was going to go into the army (changed my mind, and not going to change it again) i took a test that was much shorter and easier than the GED tests, but to get the deploma i have to pay $450, i dont have that and dont want to pay it. i moved down state near Salem, OR and im living with my girlfriend and her parents. i have a job as a stage hand for a great company, but with the hours i get im lucky to get $100 check, even at $10/hr pay. i about to go job hunting again, but cince my girl has been back in school from summer i kinda want to go back to real high school and get my deploma. does anyone know what i have to do, or even if i can go to public school at my age?

  13. What is the age limit on students in high school? I couldn’t find anything on the U.S. Deptartment of Education on this subject.

    Education standards are set by the states, not the federal government. That’s the reason for the variety of answers, as well as absence of info on the D of E web site. Check with your state’s education agency.

  14. i droped out ar almost 17yrs old in the 10th grade it was not worth it since i was in special ed because behavior issues i had an I.E.P. so no schools well alternative extra credit schools acsepted me even some ged programs i cant join the military or do anything a few doors closed so dont drop out itsnot worth it it sounds good sleep all day n have fun and wrn it gets played out then way allot of jobs requier a h.s. or ged diploma

  15. Hi, i got a friend who dropped out at the age of 17. I was wondering if she can still go back to high school. She is about 19 this year. I really want to help her and get her life back to the road it was on before…and she still doesn’t have her license. So can she still go back to school? We live in Michigan =)

  16. I have not been in school in a long time because i didn’t have a school to go to and i have to catch up…which will take a while…and i was thinking if i could get caught up and then go to high school and get my diploma then i would be all set…but there is one problem! the age! Im 20 and wondering if it takes me till im 25 to be caught up, will i be able to go to high school at 25? im hoping there is a way for me to be taught like in a normal school so i wont have to go through studying for a GED

  17. I feel for all of you here! My daughter is now 18 can you beleive this and we still have no real answer.

    I started this thread on my blog with these questions and I had no idea that this was such a large topic.
    I really wish someone from a governmental organization could give us some real answers but the only replies we seem to get are someone trying to spam a ged class not a real comment. and then all of you wonderful people just trying to better yourself.

    when I get a chance I am going to write the dept of education and send them this thread in the hopes I get a real responce.

    I am shocked at how many times a day this thread is read by people all over the U.S. and we have no real answers and I still can’t find any… go figure!

    All I can say from my experience in life is be passionate about what you want to do, give it 110 percent and you will find a way to succed in life.
    Dream it, feel it, make it happen you can do it.


  18. You all sound like a bunch of idiot retards, I can tell by your spelling and sentence structure in your posts that you didnt finish high school. High school is easy and there is no excuse for not finishing what most people consider to be the minimum educational requirements. Good luck at McDonalds.

  19. Lets examine “idiot retards”. Now that would be a retard that is stupid? Or are there smart retards? Maybe you’re a smart retard and just don’t know because you are to stupid to know that you are to stupid to know… Hmmmmm

    Any Ideas on this one?


    PS. Ryan, it isn’t nice is it!

  20. Interesting post and responses (can’t believe I missed this one!). I hadn’t realised that there were students in schools beyond the age of 18-19yrs. (the latter I assumed was due to age when they started school, completion of twelfth grade etc.). At the same time, I look at HS students of 18yrs. and often it’s hard to believe they are still attending school. And I’ve wondered what the reason would be for not having a multi-tiered system. Pre-cursor to college or Uni, remain until 18yrs. and if choosing not to attend further education, graduate at 16. In some systems (not here) one can attend until 16yrs. but if, between the ages of 11-16, they show potential for University or decide they want to continue on, they can be transferred to schools with accomodate the 18yrs. old. There are also colleges 16yr. old graduates can attend, such as Technical and Business colleges. Of course, the entire system is different to start with. No kindergarten but start full day school at 5yrs. of age, from 9am.-4pm. Much less holidays with only seven weeks during the summer etc. Seems to work pretty well…worked for me. One of my friends was assistant Administrator at Mt. Holyoke College for Women and I remember, many years ago, her telling me they had a number of Euro students attending. When I asked how they fared she told me each one of them came from Euro HS equivilent and skipped freshman year at this college so I guess it worked for many.

  21. I think there should be a limit on how old you are in high school. I hope there is because if there isn’t lets get one put into place. If they don’t graduate by the time they are 19 they should have to go to a continuation school not a regular high school.

    Love and Blessings,

  22. My daughter is 13 in the 6th grade she isn’t doing well. If she doesn’t fail she will be 21 in the 12th grade. I feel bad for her.

  23. haha your daughter is stupid, maybe you should ask if she can join the special-ed class or put her in a home.

  24. It’s my understanding that you can attend high school until the end of the academic year in which you turn 21.Not really familiar with cases where your birthday is during summer holidays though.I graduated at 20 myself.

  25. I’ve got a question that I’m not sure anyone can answer, but I’ll go ahead and shoot anyway: I’m actually a sophomore at a Community College. I never had a real high school experience, and receive my formal education at a Private Christian School. Unfortunately the level of education at the aforementioned institution was on the weaker side, and I feel like I may have been shortchanged a bit. I never took a formal Lab Science, which left me in complete choatic confusion upon enrolling in Biology and Chemistry classes at my Community College, and I have done very poorly in those classes to say the least. I feel that if I had had a public education, I may have received a more well-rounded education. Would it be at all possible for me to enroll at a local high school and take classes there? I am 20 years old if that helps.

  26. if your still 21 years old, can you still go to high school
    i’m 21 years old and i’m going to move south corlina, so can someone
    tell if i’m 21 years i can still attend high school in south corlina.

  27. When I was 15 my boyfriend that I was very close with died and after trying to stay in school for a year I couldn’t. But I found an Outreach High School Program that allows you to take and finish any high school courses that you need to get your diploma. There are teachers that help you through the material and give out classes for certain courses. It’s alot like a high school and they usually allow anyone over 16 to join. There might be one in your area. It really helped me I’ll be graduating next year. I’ll be 20 but atleast I’ll be getting my diploma.

  28. Please tell everyone where this is!
    I am sure there are some that could benefit from this…
    I am sorry for your loss that had to be hard to take… Hang in there you are doing the right thing.

    All the best

  29. i think its wrong for people to hate on those with learning disabilities. ya the dudes wrong for lettin a 15 yr. old come to his house, thats what you should be focused on not the age limit. as long as hes in school and getting an education, hes not doing anything wrong.

  30. hey im 19 and i dropped out of high school last year. the reason why i dropped out is because i was held back twice in elemenntry school and i wouldnt graduate til the age of 20 and i didnt want to be embaressed. my plan was to get my GED and fullfill my dream to join the MARINES. but my recruiter called me just this morning and told me the military just closed all GED slots, which means i cant join without either 15 college credits or simply get a deploma. I could use my dads GI online college privliges but i think i wonna get my deploma. does anyone know what i should do? if i go back to school i wont graduate til 21! if go to college i wont get my 15 credits for a year.

  31. Well you are only 19 years old so 1 year isn’t long!
    If you complete the 15 credits and it puts you on the path you want to be on then I would say do the 15 credits.
    We all create our own destiny, you have your whole life ahead of you!
    You should grab the bull by the horns and do the very best you can do for yourself, in the long run you will be glad you did.
    Always remember the best investment you can make in you life is in yourself, I say go for it!

    All the best,

  32. I have to agree, Hate is not an option as far as I am concerned, especially towards those with disabilities.
    I am disappointed when I hear such things, everyone has something to give in this life and everyone should be given an equal opportunity.


  33. I dropped out of school in the 70’s and wished I finished my last year. I missed out on so many amazing things in school. I did go on and received my GED, and was fortunate to obtain a very good career, but I still think back how 1 year was nothing! Time goes by so fast. Just do it and stay in school. I feel bad for the guy in one of these posts that failed 8th grade 3X and the school should of stepped in and helped. Now, you can get home schooled and pass, even for high school. Best of luck to you all

  34. A lot of dropouts don’t drop out because they don’t get it, a handful drop out because of personal reasons, so calling them stupid because they have other reasons to do so is not a very intelligent move on your part. Merely makes you look like the retard. I’m sure you don’t like looking like an idiot to the many people who have read this.

    And for those who are interested, the reason I’m even here at all is I’m trying to see if I can get back into public high school. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to just go ask them huh? Worst they can say is no and I fall back onto the GED thing. I’d really like my diploma instead. If only so I can rub it in the faces of those who have told me time and again I’ll never get it. But if I end up GED’ing it anyway, oh well. Better than what I’ve got, which isn’t a lot.

    – Vier.

  35. Hi I’m 19 and a junior next year ill be turnung 20 in highschool I’m wondering if I should just. Get a ged or stick it out another year I feel like time is wasting. The reason I’m in my sitiation is because my mother held me back on porpose in 5th grade because she felt I didn’t learn and wasn’t ready for the next grade plus I got held back in as a sophmore for moving back in forth too much that year. I’m not sure what I should do ahould I do one more year and graduate when I’m 20 or get a g.e.d. I’m confuse. I really wanna be successful in life but don’t kno what I should make my next move.

  36. @dorel jamal washington

    Stick it out dude! It is not a waste of time! I just went to my daughters graduation, prom and all the things we do as seniors in high school.
    Now she is off to senior week! Don’t miss out on all the fun and education you can receive from high school.
    You may think it is wasting time now but do you really want to miss out? Life is made of memories make them good ones and make good choices…
    Don’t be the kid in the crowd wishing you were up on the stage with the rest of your class!

    All the best,

  37. yeah just try to stick it in..time goes by super fast next thing you know you’ll be walking on stage getting your diploma..i’m a senior just had prom a week ago it was fun just to be with all your friends in two weeks i’m graduating
    i couldnt be any happier and just to think that 4 years ago i was just out of middle school wishing that i didnt have to go to high school and look now i’m done with it… yeah theres gonna be up and downs on the road but you’ll get thru them 4 years seem long but trust me they’ll go by fast and this is for your future this is your time to do things right your young than you’ll be wishing that you could start it all over again and done things right but it might just be to late to do things…so you can graduate with your friends and share that moment with all of them and to know that you did it.. if i could start high school all over again i would without a doubt..its sad but good at the same time knowing that you only have 2 more weeks left of a place that you were every day from 7 to 3 month after month 4 years and now leaving it hope you choose the right thing =]
    wish you well class of 09..

  38. hi my nameis chris im 20 yrs old and i regret dropping out very much…my birthday is augest 6th and as far as inowim out of luck as far as school goes……dont drop out it will be the biggest regret of your life..
    ps if anyone here can help me please do

  39. Hi, My names Kristina and I got pregnant at 16 my junior year and im now 17. I was very lucky to have a special alternative school available to me for pregnant high school students. Unfortunantly, my dad got a job offer in Puerto Rico so I had to drop out to move.. all the public schools here are in spanish and the only english speaking school is an hour away and is private, therefore requires a tuition fee that we cant afford. I plan to move back home with my daughter next year after i turn 18 in june, which means ill be back in time for the beginning of the school year. I just dont know if they’ll let me enroll as a junior at that age. Anyone know?
    Please help me with anything that you know, I need my diploma to go on to college to get a good job to support my daughter. And i dont want her to think her mother failed at something as easy as school… i want her to be able to look up to me or at least be proud of me.

  40. I don’t have any info I hope someone reading this will lend a hand with some information.

    I can understand how you feel and it’s a good thing you want to succeed that’s a good place to start.
    Just the fact you took the time to write shows you have the ambition to make it!!!

    Hang in there life has a way of working itself out…


  41. hello my name is Ricardo im just wondering if i can finish high school, i live in phoenix Arizona i drop out wen i was a senior i want to finish high school so bad but im 23 years old if someone has in answer please let me know

  42. Hi Ricardo,
    I guess what I would do is get a GED and head off to college and take the bull by the horns and fulfill your dreams.
    We have had this post up for years now and no real answers from any schools or anyone with answers to so many questions here.
    I hope that if this one post helps keep just one of you in school or gets you on the right track and you can follow your dream then this was well worth the time to post it.
    I wish you all the very best, never give up there is always a way to make your dreams come true.


  43. I’am 17 and I have failed twice.It’s not that I was behaving bad or hanged out with a bad crowd.I’am a loner in School.My plan’s are to drop out of High School get my GED join the Army become an MP.Does anybody else think’s this is a good Idea.Oh and I’am a Freshmen so you can Imagine.

  44. Hi guys =)
    I am 18 years old and junior. I’ll turn 19 soon, so I’ll be 19 year old Junior.
    This means I will graduate my high school being 20. I’ve seen some 20 years old ppl in my school.
    In my case, I came to U.S in 2007 from Korea, when I was 16 and a junior in high school. (I just wanted to get a better education in U.S 🙂 so I came here.) I was supposed to continue my junior year but after the interview with my counselor, they put me into ESL Course which stands for English as a Second Language. My counselor gave me ESL class and some 9/10th grade classes. Well I got out of there in 6 months but they put me back to 9th grade because I need to take English course for 4 years. (In my school, ESL class counts as 9th grade Eng)
    Well when first time people meet me, they always ask me this: “how come you are still in high school?????” or “How many times have you failed?”
    I really don’t care =] I got used to it now:) and people who know me explain to them so it is not a problem. Some people say my situation sucks and some say it is cool. In my opinion, I think being attended to high school for 6yrs like me is not a bad experience. Well I’ll be older than people in my senior year but once I go to University, Age doesn’t even matter.
    Oh I just want to let you know this – Being old in high school doesn’t always mean they are so stupid and have failed many times. I will take 4 or more AP classes next semester except Eng.

    Oh by the way, the age limit of high school is 21 years old.
    Once you break 21years old, you can still attend the high school but school doesn’t take care of you anymore – it doesn’t matter if you graduate or not to high school.
    I hope this helps you Wolf.

  45. Btw “being attended to high school for 6yrs like me” counts years in Korea too.
    As I told you I was a junior before I came to U.S.

  46. Btw “being attended to high school for 6yrs like me.” counts years in Korea too.
    As I told you I was a junior before I came to U.S.

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