How old can you be and still attend high school in the US?

How old can you be and still attend high school in the US?

If you are in your senior year or Grade 12, typically age 17-18, if you fail some classes, are you allowed to go back ay age 18-19 as a regular student? Or even later?

I am a Swedish teen who likes to watch the new Spider-Man movies, and I am seriously confused how old you are when you go there. Some place I saw you graduate the year you turn 19. However, another place I think said 17? So I am confused. Would someone be so kind to help?


  1. Depends on the school district.

    I teach at a school in the Midwest. Students don’t fail an entire grade level. They fail individual classes and don’t get “credit” for those classes. No one is “held back” in high school; they just have to recover those credits (or enough to graduate, anyways) through summer school or credit-recovery type of classes.

    Unless they’re special ed, with severe learning disabilities, students aren’t typically in the building after they exhaust their four years of high school.

  2. Are there age restrictions when it comes to education anywhere?

    I didn’t know it wasn’t common knowledge.

  3. Generally on graduation one is expected to be 18, but 17 and 19 are also possible largely depending on when in the year you were born and where the cutoff line for your district is, I believe. You graduate the calendar year you turn 18 [or 19].

  4. its not that unusual to fall a year behind for whatever reason. those students would usually be allowed to keep attending the regular school while they are 19 to finish and graduate, though it may depend on the school/principle/guidance counselor.

    a lot of school districts may have some kind of alternate or special school for people who fall into this category, because they may not want to socially mix kids who are too far apart in age. sometimes these are accelerated classes just to get your out the door. they might also GED programs at these locations as well.

  5. I’m October, I was 17, my older brother is November and graduated at 18. The difference is that our parents stuffed me into school a year earlier to get me out of the house, so I was always younger than my classmates, my brother was always older than his. At least in our situation, the determining factor was at what age our parents enrolled us in school.

  6. The age guidelines usually provide some leeway for parental discretion especially for kids who are near the margins… so two kids with the same birthday may be a grade ahead (and younger than most of his peers in that grade) or the grade behind (and older than most of his peers in that grade) even in the same school district.

    There are also occasions where at the discretion of both the parents and school a child might skip a grade early on because they’re well ahead of their peers and already doing the stuff appropriate to the next grade up… or held back a year because they’re falling behind. So in high school sitcoms there might be a stereotypically super smart character portrayed as younger than his peers or the stereotypical “dumb kid” portrayed as older.

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