By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Nicholas Myers, of Fishers, Indiana, took his senior classes early, some online, finishing high school in three years. While he missed his senior prom and a trip to New York, he worked hard to gain a year and received $4,000 from the state to attend one of a dozen state-approved colleges.

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Myers is not unique. In an increasing trend, Minnesota, Utah, South Dakota, and Idaho give scholarships as an incentive to accelerate high school diplomas, cutting public school costs; twenty-four other states allow various ways to finish early.

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Proponents look to cutting high school and eliminating senioritis, when many seniors “slack off.”

Critics wonder whether students are “emotionally ready’ for full time college.

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Sue Shellenbarker, in a recent Wall Street Journal article, “High School, Only Shorter,” cites difficulties for those applying to Ivy League colleges, where meeting admissions standards involves burdens of heavy course loads and advanced placement exams. She makes the case, however, that the choice is highly individual.