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BR Students to Graduate High School with a College Degree

By: Ally Marvin/Junior Writer

Caila George will graduate from Blue Ridge this year with an Associates Degree in business. Senior/Photo by: Endless Mountains Studios
Luke Shea will graduate from Blue Ridge this year with an associates Degree in criminal justice. /Photo by: Endless Mountains Studios
Abigail Laude will graduate from Blue Ridge this year with an associates Degree in human services. /Photo by: Endless Mountains Studios

Three BRSD students are set to graduate this year with an Associates Degree. They have achieved this opportunity through the Level-Up program at Lackawanna College, which was created in 2018 to combat rising tuition costs.

The three started taking these courses around the summer of their junior year, and have amassed more than 60 credits each; the amount needed to receive an Associate Degree.

“I will have 62 total credits at the time of graduation,” states Caila George, a senior at BR.

Based on career paths, some students may find it necessary to take advantage of the chance to finish some of their schooling early.

“I am pursuing a career in corporate law as an attorney,” says Luke Shea, another senior at BR. It takes around seven years of schooling to become a lawyer, but by utilizing this option, he has saved himself a few years of education, and around $30,000 in tuition fees.

While still being in high school, it begs the question of how well students can manage to meet deadlines for both college and high school.

When Senior Abby Laude was asked this question she stated, “As long as I use my time wisely, it is manageable.”

But sometimes the workload is harder for others. George recalls having to take a break from her college classes because it was too much to handle at the time. “It was hard to balance my sport, high school work, and college work.” In response to this struggle, she tried her classes again in the spring, effectively creating a routine that helped her stay on track.

There are many different motivations behind why students choose to take this program. Typically it would be taken to save money but Luke Shea has a deeper motivation behind his decision. “I want to be as financially successful as quick as possible, so I can begin to support them like they did for me.”

Overall the Level-up courses at Lackawanna offer high school students the opportunity to begin their career early, and students should be encouraged to utilize this because of the chance to save money, which is usually the most abundant payments to make as a college student. Fortunately, there are no requirements to be admitted, but it is necessary to determine if you can handle the amount of effort that will be expected of a person.

Click here to learn more about the Level-Up program:

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