Georgia Teen Earns Associate’s Degree Before High School Diploma

At just 17 years old, Georgia’s NeeAli Scott earned an associate’s degree from Savannah State University nearly a month before receiving her high school diploma from Savannah Arts Academy.

Scott’s achievement is more impressive as she balanced accelerated college coursework with her high school studies, extracurricular activities, and a job at Savannah’s Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club. It was no easy task. “Definitely, some classes gave me a little more of a challenge than others,” Scott told WJCL, Savannah’s ABC affiliate.

The multi-talented scholar walked across the stage at her high school graduation May 20. She completed both her high school and associate’s degree requirements with honors, according to her personal Instagram account.

Scott was able to complete the first half of her associate degree credits for free under Georgia’s Dual Enrollment program, which, according to the Georgia Department of Education, funds the first 30 semester hours of college credits for students.

For Scott, it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. “I really just wanted to get as much education, a college education, as I can now for free,” she said.

Scott’s impressive achievements also include being recognized as “Youth of the Year” by the Boys and Girls Club, where she usually worked after school before dance rehearsals at Kelly & Company Studios, where she dances competitively. An April 17 Instagram post from the Boys and Girls Club congratulated her, noting that she had already been accepted to Clark Atlanta, Florida A&M, Georgia State, Mercer, Howard, NCAT, Penn State, Rutgers, and UMass.

According to WJCL, Scott had not decided where she wanted to attend though she would like to attend an HBCU. Her dream is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon with plans to work in an inner-city hospital. She’d like to gives back to the youth in Savannah or wherever her life leads her.

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