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Seniors: New Graduation Requirement by State of Illinois
Tue, Nov 17, 2020 8:54 AM
December 15, 2020

Mid-year/early graduates: The FAFSA or Nonparticipation Form submission is a graduation requirement.  All seniors must complete either the FAFSA or the Nonparticpation Form to meet this new requirement. This must be completed to be approved as a mid-year graduate on January 7, 2021.  

Original Notification: November 17, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Beginning this school year 2020-21, the Illinois State Board of Education requires the submittal of one of two forms by each senior.  This is now a graduation requirement in the State of Illinois. To receive a high school diploma, parents/students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or alternatively, a waiver must be filed to opt your child out of this graduation requirement by completing the attached Nonparticipation Form.

If you and your student wish to opt out of the Financial Aid Application graduation requirement, please complete the attached form and return to the Counseling Office.  If you are 18 years of age or legally emancipated you may complete the form yourself.  This form may be found as a link listed below.  All Nonparticipation Forms should be returned to OTHS by Friday, December 18, 2020.  

If you would like to complete the FAFSA, please go to and the site will direct you through the process. You may also go to which offers a large range of FAFSA information to help with the process. We are also available to answer questions.

In summary, to meet the ISBE graduation requirement, each senior must complete either:
1. Free Application for Federal State Aid (FAFSA), or complete
2. Nonparticipation Form (Attached) or click here for form:

This information and form have been mailed to all seniors.  Please feel free to reach out to your student’s counselor if you have any questions regarding this requirement.  Please call Mrs. Michelle Schoolman at 815.431.2448 or Mrs. Kim Swords at 815.431.2400.


Michelle Schoolman, Senior Counselor

Kim Swords, Special Needs Counselor