Selecting the right courses in high school and planning ahead is more important than ever. Qualifying for graduation, Bright Futures Scholarships, and state university admission all include meeting specific course requirements. To prepare for your career and education goals after high school, be sure to select the diploma type and graduation plan that best meet your need.
The standard diploma consists of a minimum of 24 credits, completed over 4 years (the traditional route). There are two accelerated versions available consisting of 18 credits, completed in 3 years (parent and counselor approval is required). Graduation requirements vary depending on year student enters 9th grade, as follows:
While there are rules on the minimum number and type of credits required for a standard diploma, there are also specific requirements for scholarships and college admission that must be met. The following graduation plans will help prepare you to meet your goals.
If you want to attend college after graduation, you must take certain courses to meet state university admission requirements. The course requirements for state university admission are the same for two Bright Futures Scholarship awards: the Florida Academic Scholars and Florida Medallion Scholars. So, by following the college prep curriculum, you meet the course requirements for high school graduation, state university admission, and two Bright Futures Scholarship awards. This option is required for state university admission and recommended (but not required) if you intend to pursue an Associates in Arts degree at a Florida college (previously know as community colleges) and then transfer to college or university to complete a Bachelor's Degree.
The college prep curriculum consists of a minimum of 18 credits, so it can be completed within the traditional 4-year standard diploma or accelerated 3-year standard diploma options.
You can focus on a career technical program in high school to gain skills for work or continue after graduation at a Florida college (previously know as community colleges), technical center, or registered apprenticeship program. By following the career prep curriculum, you meet the course requirements for high school graduation and the third Bright Futures Scholarship award: the Gold Seal Vocational Scholars. This option is recommended if you intend to pursue a technical certificate/license, Associate's Degree, Bachelor's degree, or simply wish to gain specific career training.
The career prep curriculum consists of a minimum of 18 credits, so it can be completed within the traditional 4-year standard diploma or accelerated 3-year standard diploma options.
College and Career Prep
This combination provides an opportunity to meet course requirements for state university admission and all three Bright Futures Schlarship awards (which gives you a good shot at getting one of them). This option gives you the most flexibility and fits with any post-graduation goal.
The college and career prep curriculum consists of a minimum of 18-21 credits, so it can't be completed in less than 4 years.
Standard Graduation Prep
This option will provide you with the minimum 24-credit course requirements for high school graduation, without including state university admission or Bright Futures Scholarship award requirements.
In Florida, students with disabilities may choose to work toward a standard diploma or a special diploma (option 1 or option 2). There are resources to help you learn more about what is required for these diplomas and how your diploma selection will affect what you can do once you graduate (e.g., work, military, career and technical school, community college, university).