Science — May 4, 2017 at 10:45 am

Indiana teen is a college grad at just 18-years-old


There are lots of bright kids in college and universty.  But then theirs Indiana’s Raven Osborne.

Osborne, who has been taking college classes part-time, is about to graduate from college — before she gets her high school diploma.

And now she is going to be a teacher at the same high school.

Osborne, a senior at the 895-student 21st Century Charter School in Gary, will earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in early childhood education from Purdue University Northwest on May 5, then graduate from high school on May 22.

“Yeah, they think I’m lying,” Raven told CBS News.

It’s true. According to the Big Ten Network (BTN), Osborne began taking classes at a local community college as a freshman and soon earned an associate’s degree in general studies. Then, encouraged by her mother, Hazel Osborne, and 21st Century’s president and superintendent, Kevin Teasley, she decided to become the first in the school’s history to earn a bachelor’s degree while still enrolled.

“When I was a younger, I was labeled with a learning disability,” Osborne told the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune in 2016.

Osborne told the Post-Tribune it was tough taking both high school and college classes and that there were times when she wanted to quit, but her mother constantly encouraged her.

“My mother always told me I could do whatever I wanted to do in life,” she told the paper.

While at Purdue Northwest, which is in nearby Hammond, Osborne stood out to faculty and staff, BTN reported.

Raven Osborne (photo via
Raven Osborne (photo via

“She not only is academically gifted, but has demonstrated amazing intellectual maturity in her pursuit of a baccalaureate degree at Purdue Northwest,” Purdue Northwest spokesman Wes Lukoshus told the Northwest Indiana Times.

Meanwhile, Purdue associate professor of sociology Ralph Cherry, who had Osborne last spring in a class on research methods, said he did not realize that she was a high school student.

“Research methods is the most demanding class that I teach,” he told the Times.

If all that wasn’t enough, Osborne, who will turn 19 in August, was also striving to earn money.

“At one point, I also tried to work a job,” she told the Times. “I was working a midnight shift at a day care center. I just had to watch the children while they were sleeping, then feed them breakfast when they woke up. It was a daycare for parents who worked a night shift. It just got to be too stressful, and I had to resign.”

But now she will be pulling down a salary: She has been hired by the school and will be an early interventionist with elementary-age children, earning more than $30,000 a year, the paper reported.

Not a bad paycheck for a recent college graduate and an even better one for a just-graduated high-schooler.

Sarah Colin

Sarah Colin is the senior editor of Strange News Chronicle, and can’t really think of a better job than one that lets her read and write interesting stories on everything from aliens and asteroids to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Sarah previously worked in magazines at Transcontinental Media and headed up the lifestyle department at Sun Media. Her Twitter bio describes her as a “reader, writer, eater,, fancy geek, summer cyclist,” which pretty much sums up how she spends her time outside of work.


  1. Glad she smart and doing what she is doing, but im sure mom had alot of help in her job placement and education choices. Good job parent, now she just need to prove to the community that she can handle the stress in becoming a teacher

  2. Huge props for her diligence and hard work, but isn’t graduating high school a requirement for entering college? Just curious.

    • in the U.S. at least, not necessarily. it varies by state and school district, but as long as your on track to graduate lots of places will let you dual enroll (both HS and college simultaneously). it’s not super uncommon. Admissions wise, it’s often more about your ability to handle the work and function in the college environment- if you can test out of the remedial courses, it’s usually not too big of a deal.

      If course, dropping out or not graduating is different. Some private schools will still let you in, and you can still get a GED, but still it does have a much more severe effect on your ability to attend college.

    • marcus collack

      not if your school has a program that allows you to take college courses while in high school. Then you can also use placement tests as well to bypass the basic admission stuff as well.

  3. That’s gonna upset a lot of white supremacists….especially the ones that never graduated high school themselves but still believe they are racially superior to black people.

  4. Wow! I didn’t realize that you could even do that! Kudos to this young lady! College graduate before high school? Wow!

  5. Raven Osborne will have her college degree before her high school diploma. Osborne will have you rethink what you’re doing with your life.

  6. I earned an associate’s degree while in highschool, granted there aren’t as many highschools that offer programs like that as there should be … but for those parents who have kids attending schools that do, do everything to encourage your kids to take advantage of it.

  7. my daughter

    My daughter is enrolled in SECHS dual program. She’ll graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree.

  8. Her possibilities are endless…I hope she doesn’t think being a school teacher in Indiana is the ultimate goal. While awesome for a HS student…she needs to explore her intellect…with peers on the same level of intellect.

  9. nnovation is the new word defining Indiana. These kids are not old school bookworms living in isolation. They will redefine the workplace and world.

  10. Why not cover the Poseidon High School program at Neptune High School. In an agreement between Neptune HS and Brookdale CC, students who successfully complete the program receive a high school diploma from the Neptune Township Board of Education and an associate’s degree from Brookdale. Local teens are successful. Please check out those stories.

  11. that is so impressive that she was able to do that at such a young age. I hope she can still manage to have a “normal” life for a girl her age and doesn’t grow up too fast.


  12. So what. I did that. I was in college 2 years before high school graduation. This is common in every school

  13. My kids all did that. CA called it the Soar program. WA calls it running start. Great programs!!!

  14. I am sure she will start by correcting the errors in this article.

  15. donvelander

    Did anybody proofread the initial comments? Reread the first line. Miss Osborne obviously did not read the post. Congrats to her, and her achievements. PROOFREAD, people….

  16. Norm Nason

    There is a grammatical error in the second sentence of this article.

  17. marcus collack

    Seems like a bright young lady, and everyone around her believes that she has great potential. Most people probably just said That’s so Raven, seeing obstacles, knocking them down, and blazing new paths.

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