What Happens If You Repeat A Grade In High School?

Explore how repeating a grade can offer a fresh start, with insights on credit recovery, summer school alternatives, and fostering academic growth
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What Happens If You Repeat A Grade In High School?

Explore how repeating a grade can offer a fresh start, with insights on credit recovery, summer school alternatives, and fostering academic growth
Apply Now
Career Prep Blog

Can You Repeat A Grade In High School in Ohio?

  • April 11, 2024
  • Admin
a student student with a tutor and studying a textbook

Struggling in school and not sure what to do?

You're definitely not the only one.

Many students are looking to catch up on their high school courses for various reasons. It could be because of illness, missing too much school, not passing your classes, or something totally different. But don't stress, there are ways to get you back on track, whether you're working on your high school diploma now or later in life. Let's explore how you can repeat high school, make up for lost credits, and more.

Can You Repeat A Grade in High School?

The short answer is that the board of education for each city has their own grade promotion and retention policy for their students. Students cannot move on to the next grade if they are absent without excuse for more than 10% of the required attendance days of the school year AND have failed two or more required subject classes.

Unless the student’s principal and teachers of any of the failed classes agree that the student is academically prepared to be promoted to the next grade.

More specific nuances are outlined by the Ohio Legislation here. Since Career Prep specifically works with students who have experience setbacks and complications, we know all about the best way to quickly graduate highschool!

Special Considerations

There are some important considerations to keep in mind when considering repeating a grade for yourself or for your children that outlined by the legislation.

  • Remediation and Intervention: High school students who struggle with reading or other foundational skills might still benefit from intensive remediation services, similar to those outlined for younger students. These could include tutoring, small group instruction, and summer intervention programs.
  • Assessment and Monitoring: The emphasis on regular assessments to identify students' skill levels and the subsequent tailored instructional support could also apply to high school students, especially in identifying areas needing improvement.
  • Parental Involvement: The policy underlines the importance of involving parents or guardians in the educational process, which remains relevant through high school. Engaging parents in their children's education can lead to better outcomes.
  • Special Education Considerations: High school students with disabilities would continue to have individualized education programs (IEPs) or plans under section 504, ensuring that their specific educational needs are met in a manner similar to the accommodations described for younger students.
  • Teacher Qualifications: The emphasis on qualified teachers, particularly those with endorsements or specialized training in areas of instruction (like reading), highlights the importance of skilled educators, which is equally relevant in high school settings.
what happens if your repeat in high school

What is Credit Recovery

If you didn't pass some classes but still want to move on to the next grade, credit recovery lets you earn those missing credits. The best part? You can make up for lost time and still graduate when you planned to.

The two most common ways that students go about recovering credits are Summer School or Online Credit Recovery.

Summer School

The classic way to recover credits is attending classes in the summer. You'll have to attend classes in person at set times. You might even have to go to a different school district, depending on where summer school is offered. If you do better with a regular schedule, summer school could be a good fit.

Online Credit Recovery

Not into summer school? Online classes might be your thing. They're great if getting around is tough for you. Plus, they're often at your own pace, which is perfect if summer school times don't work for you.

The Problem With Summer School and Online Recovery

Both of these options are well intentioned solutions that ultimately only address symptoms of the problem without actually helping the student. These options are more for the school to be able to check the box that they offered an alternative to the student and less about helping the student succeed.

Limited Help and Resources

Summer School and online recovery programs seldom provide the same level of help and resources you'd find in a regular classroom setting. Picture this: in a traditional classroom, you've got a teacher right there, ready to answer questions, guide discussions, and provide feedback, you meet regularly and they have office hours available for additional help.

In summer school or online courses, though, you might find yourself watching pre-recorded videos or navigating through a bunch of text on your own. It's like trying to learn how to swim without a lifeguard. You might get the basics, but the extra support and engagement that help ideas really "click" aren't available.

Persistent Challenges

If a student didn’t pass certain courses the first time, it is typically for a reason or a few reasons. they don't just pack up and leave when summer rolls around or when you log into an online course. These could be personal issues, learning challenges, or just the chaos of life.

When it's time to retake a class, those same old problems are still hanging around. Without new strategies or support to tackle these challenges head-on, students might find themselves stuck in a loop, facing the same obstacles with the same likelihood of stumbling again. Some students just need another try to get through it, but many require a new approach to move past some difficult subjects.

Surface-Level Learning

With summer school and online credit recovery, there's a big push to "just get through it." This often means students are left to figure out tricky concepts on their own, with much less guidance.

As a result, learning becomes more about cramming to pass a test than really understanding the material. This cramming might get you past the finish line, but it's like building a house on a shaky foundation—it doesn't set you up for long-term success or deeper understanding. True learning is about connecting ideas, thinking critically, and applying knowledge in new ways. Without this depth, education becomes a series of hoops to jump through rather than a journey of growth and discovery.

While summer school and online credit recovery can be helpful for some students, they don't always address the root of the issue or foster a rich, engaging learning experience. It's important to look for ways to support students that go beyond just getting them through the material and instead help them to truly learn, grow, and overcome the challenges they face.

Career Prep High School - A Better Solution

Some students struggle to understand the difficult concepts in school and many students struggle not because they are not capable of understanding the concepts but oftentimes circumstances of life have gotten in the way of being able to complete coursework. Ideally, students would be able to dedicate themselves full-time to their education but that is not always the case. Some have to care for a child or work full time to care for loved ones.

Career Prep is dedicated to creating an environment where students get more hands-on support they need to be able to graduate high school and get set up for long term success in life.

We enable students to be able to complete coursework on the days that best fit their needs and the times of day that they have available. We are also dedicated to helping students overcome the barriers in their lives that get in the way of completing their education, anything from 1:1 tutoring to providing available transportation to get to class on time.

what happens if your repeat in high school class room

Do Colleges Care if You Take a Break Or Repeat a Year

Most colleges are okay with students who have repeated a grade or taken a gap year, but it really depends on the school.

More selective colleges might be stricter. If you need to write an essay for college applications, you can explain your situation and how you've grown from it. This could actually show your strength and determination.

Besides essays, you can also impress colleges with volunteer work, clubs, and recommendation letters. To get the full picture, it's best to talk directly with the admissions office of the colleges you're interested in.

Pros and cons of repeating a grade in high school


  • Better grasp on your subjects: Didn't get it the first time? No worries. Re-doing the grade gives you more time to understand everything fully.
  • Boost your GPA: If your grades aren't showing your best work, redoing the grade could help improve your GPA, making you more appealing to colleges or future employers.
  • Feeling more confident: There's nothing like the feeling of improving and mastering your subjects. It's a great confidence booster!


  • Boredom: You might find some of the material too easy the second time around, leading to boredom and lack of engagement.
  • Delayed graduation: Redoing a grade means graduating later, which might bother you, especially if you won't graduate with your friends.
  • Risk of dropping out: Repeating a grade can be frustrating for many reasons, increasing the chance that you might want to quit school altogether.
  • Can you redo high school?
  • While it's possible, there might be better options than traditional high school. Some online high schools let you start fresh.