High school graduation is a momentous moment in a person’s life.
It often marks the transitional phase between childhood and adulthood.
It’s also something that is celebrated the world over, but at what age exactly do each region graduate?
The age at which a person graduates from high school is completely dependent on the country in which they come from.
Most people, particularly in America, will graduate at 18 years of age.
Some countries however, will have their graduation age set much earlier, some at only 16.
To find out more about each of the different graduation ages in different countries, as well as some frequently asked questions, keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
Graduation Age In The UK
Let’s jump straight in and take a closer look at the graduation age in Britain.
In the UK, teenages will graduate when they are 16 years of age.
Many people will go ahead and join the workforce after graduating, but most will opt for further study opportunities.
These will usually consist of BTEC courses, which teach vocational subjects, or A Levels, which teach academic subjects such as mathematics and English.
These qualifications will allow them to attend University in the future, where they can pursue a degree. Most UK students will be 18 years of age when they attend University.
Graduation Age In The US
In the United States, teenagers will graduate much later than they do in the UK (see also “40 Fantastically Fun Ideas For Your High School Graduation Party“).
Graduation will take place in this country at the age of 18.
However, in America, the age range changes more frequently based on whether or not you’ve skipped a grade or fallen behind.
For example, some teenagers might graduate as early as 17, whilst others might not graduate until they’re 19 years old (see also “18 Essential And Fun Things To Do As An 18 Year Old“). It’s all dependent on the individual.
American schools are interesting in the sense that the different grades are divided up and given specific names according to the student’s age.
For example, when they’re 14 years old (see also “Making Money As A 13-Year-Old: A Complete Guide“), they’ll be able to attend school as freshmen.
After they’ve been freshmen for a few years, they’ll become Juniors, then after that, they’ll be considered seniors at 17 years of age until graduation.
There are also several different names for the schools in America.
When children first attend school at 5 years of age, they’ll go to what is called, kindergarten.
After kindergarten, they’ll go to elementary school, followed by middle school.
High school is the final part of the schooling system in America before they graduate at 18 and attend college.
Graduation Age In Australia
In Australia, some students might fall into the bracket of being included in first grade, despite not quite being five years of age.
This means that some Australian students will graduate their version of high school when they’re 17 years old.
Most of the time, however, students will graduate at 18 years of age like they do in America.
Very few students will graduate any later than 19, and additionally, skipping grades isn’t as common in Australia as it is in America.
Graduation Age In Canada
When it comes to graduation age in Canada, most students who reside here will graduate when they’re 18.
Similarly to American students, some may graduate earlier at 17 years of age if they’ve managed to do exceptionally well in their studies and skip a grade somewhere along the way.
This means that they can also attend college earlier too.
Canada has its own version of high school, which they rename secondary school, a name which originally comes from the UK and is used to describe students at this stage there today.
The grades in Canada for secondary school will run from 9 – 12.
Graduation Age In Germany
In Germany, students will typically graduate at around 18 years of age if they wish to attend University after high school.
Some students, however, decide that they’d rather pursue vocational subjects, and as a result, finish their schooling at 16 years of age.
There are some special exams that German students need to sit at the end portion of their schooling if they want to go to University.
Graduation Age In New Zealand
In New Zealand, just like in America, students will begin their studies at five years of age in kindergarten type setting.
After this, they will finish their studies when they are 18 years of age.
Some students living in New Zealand who wish to attend University after they’ve completed their studies, will need to undertake a special assessment, just like in Germany.
This assessment will determine whether or not they’ll be able to pursue further education.
Can American Students Drop Out Of School?
Some people might be wondering whether or not it’s possible for American high school students to drop out before their graduation date.
In countries such as the UK, students aren’t expected to pursue further education if they don’t want to.
As a result, UK students will finish their major studies when they’re 16 years of age.
Following on from this, there is a choice of whether or not the student wants to join the workforce, or attend further education in sixth form.
America is different from the UK in the sense that dropping out of school before the age of 18 is frowned upon.
Rather than having the option of pursuing further studies from the age of 16 – 18, they must undertake all of these years of schooling.
Some American students do drop out of school at 16 if they are able to obtain permission from a parent or guardian, but this very rarely happens.
In addition to this, some states actually strictly prohibit dropping out of high school before the age of 18.
What Is The Maximum Graduation Age For Students In The US?
As we mentioned before, it is not uncommon in America for students to either skip a grade, or be held back.
Some students might even be held back a few grades if the teacher deems it necessary for their learning process.
This does mean however, that the graduation age at the culmination of high school will be different for these students.
Some students might graduate when they’re 18, but you will get some students who are 20, or even 21 when they graduate.
It’s important to note that 21 is the cutoff point for high school graduation in the US.
You cannot graduate from an American high school if you’re over this age bracket.
This is the rule for most high schools in America, but there are a few exceptions.
In Texas, for example, you’re allowed to graduate up to the age of 26.
So if a student has been held back, or has dropped out then re enrolled, they have plenty of time to complete their high school studies.
Similarly, West Virginia allows students to graduate up to 22 years of age.
What Age Are You In Middle School?
Students in America will attend what is called middle school, before they are able to attend high school to complete their studies.
In middle school, students will be anywhere from 11 to 13, depending on where they are on the grading system.
They will have several different teachers in Middle School, all of whom will be responsible for teaching different subjects.
What Age Are You In High School?
High school follows directly from Middle school, and children attending high school will be 14 years of age as a result.
In high school, students will learn a more broad range of subjects, including calculus, geometry, algebra, chemistry, physics, biology, world history, civics, and politics.
There are four different grades in high school, freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.
To sum up, most high schools the world over will have students graduate at 18 years of age.
One of the few exceptions is the UK, where students will typically graduate when they’re 16 years of age.
If they want to join the workforce, they can go ahead and do so once they’re 16, or, they can pursue further education in order to attend University.