"I graduated early when I was 13, but it really was just to avoid the on-set tutor thing."
Graduating from high school is a rite of passage for any teenager and while most grads are around 18 when they walk across the stage, a few exceptional students are given the honor a little early. Whether they skipped a grade or tested out of their high school curriculum, some students graduate even before they can legally drive.
These early grads often include young celebs, who are given the chance to excel thanks to private tutors and extra educational courses. Despite the difficulty of juggling a career and going to school, these stars have impressively shown their skills and received their cap and gown way before most of their peers.
Penn Badgley graduated an impressive five years early when he was just 13 years old. The actor explained that once he started acting as a preteen, he was able to acquire his high school diploma so that he could avoid having to be tutored on set. He went on to take community college courses but ultimately decided he didn't want to pursue higher education.
"I graduated early when I was 13, but it really was just to avoid the on-set tutor thing. I was taking community college courses when I wasn't working, so I'd spend six months working and six months going to school, on and off. I would take all the gen ed courses that you had to transfer. I was accepted to USC, but I never went. I was working as well, and I realized at that point I didn't want to go to film school, I just really wanted to work and do what I was doing," he told the New York Daily News.
"Modern Family" star Nolan Gould also graduated at 13 by testing out of high school. At the time, Nolan revealed he had an IQ of 150 and was a member of Mensa, a high-IQ society.
"Over the summer, I did a lot of studying and I took an exam and tested out of high school. So I'm hopefully going to go on and do some online community college courses," Nolan said on "The Ellen Show."
Kat McNamara was homeschooled as a teenager and by the time she was 14, she had graduated high school. She didn't stop there though and went on to attend Drexel University, although she took most of her classes online. She received a degree in Business Administration, graduating when she was only 17 -- right when her peers were just applying to college. She went on to pursue a master's degree in literature from John Hopkins University.
"I did something very analytical for my undergrad so why not do something creatively educational [for my master's]," Kat said during an interview with KTLA.
Back in 2010, Keke Palmer graduated high school at age 16, a year earlier than most students. She reportedly received her degree from the Home School Program Options for Youth curriculum. Her early graduation allowed her to focus more on her music career as well as her starring role in "True Jackson, VP."
"Stargirl" actress Brec Bassinger was 16 when she graduated from high school, celebrating the milestone years ahead of most of her classmates. After receiving her diploma, she took a little bit of time off, before enrolling in college a year later. She says she considers her early graduation one of her biggest accomplishments.
"My biggest achievement so far would have to be a tie between 'Bella and the Bulldogs' and graduating high school 2 years early. A lot of the hard work went into 'Bella' and I am very proud of the final product. I did online school throughout high school and ended up taking no summer breaks so I was able to graduate early and focus more on my college education and career," Brec shared in an interview.
Nickelodeon star Kira Kosarin graduated from high school when she was just 16 years old after skipping two grades. She was named valedictorian of her class and went on to be accepted to Stanford University but ultimately didn't attend when "The Thundermans" got renewed for several more seasons.
"Keeping up with my academics while working was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Just being a high schooler is hard. And just being an actor on a TV show is hard! So doing both really increases the difficulty," Kira told Teen Vogue at the time.
In 2020, Storm Reid graduated high school an entire year earlier than most of her peers. While she said her graduation wasn't quite what she expected due to Covid, she shared her excitement about her accomplishment with fans online.
"Ya girl is done with high school. A month early. And I am graduating a WHOLE YEAR early. This is not how I envisioned celebrating this milestone, but I'm still immensely proud of myself. Thank you to my amazing family, friends, and loved ones who helped me get this far. More celebrations and pictures to come (including my actual graduation), but I just wanted to let y'all know I'M DONE, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Onward," Storm wrote on Instagram.
After having grown up on the set of "Mad Men," Kiernan Shipka graduated from high school when she was just 15 years old. Thanks to her home school and on-set education, she was even able to earn some college credits before she got her high school diploma.