If you could go back in time, would you skip your entire senior year of high school and graduate a year early? New statistics show that a growing number of teens today are doing exactly that. And they’re pulling it off by taking extra online, weekend, and summer courses starting their freshman year of high school.

Why? Because a lot of students think that senior year is a waste of time, since they’ve already been accepted to college, or locked in a job. So, they often develop a serious case of senioritis. And either don’t take school seriously, or skip classes altogether.

Early graduates love that they can use that year to do whatever they want, like traveling, getting a head start in college, or entering the working world. One Utah teen we read about wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after graduating early. So he spent what would have been his senior year interning for the Utah State Legislature. And he loved the experience so much, he now plans to make politics his college major and his career. 

School officials love the trend.

And they’re teaming up with state governments to roll out special college scholarships worth thousands of dollars that only 3-year high school grads are eligible for. That’s because they save school systems hundreds of thousands of dollars a year since that’s one less person using school resources, like teachers, books and supplies.   

But critics say that a lot of 17-year-olds aren’t emotionally ready for the real world. And that senior year is packed with important milestones, like the prom.

So, high school students, would you graduate early? And how would you spend that extra year? Post a comment on Facebook.com/JohnTesh.