Carter Kilby

Cybersecurity graduate receives college and high school diploma this May

Congratulations are in order – twice! Carter Kilby of Chagrin Falls will be graduating this May with a BS in Computer Information Systems with a focus on cybersecurity. Two weeks later, he will also be receiving his high school diploma. He participated in the College Credit Plus Program (CCP), a dual-credit program that allows students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously.

Other than band and orchestra, Kilby has not taken a single class at Chagrin Falls High School.

“You do not have to be gifted to do this, you just need to be resourceful and plan,” says Kilby. “I managed a spreadsheet with all the credits and requirements needed to graduate from both high school and college. You also have to be independent enough to take class on a college campus.”

His main motivation was the cost savings CCP afforded his family. Tuition was paid for through the program – 30 credit hours per year is free. According to US News and World Report, the average cost of in-state tuition at a public university is $10,338, so the cost savings is huge.

Kilby also liked the idea of investing his time into classes that directly correlated to his future career. He was interested in UA’s cybersecurity program – the first of its kind in public universities in Ohio – after a NASA recruiter told him graduates with cybersecurity degrees were in demand. He also completed his program’s internship requirement and worked at CenterLink Technologies in the summer of 2021. He participated in the Cyber Defense Club student organization. Kilby will graduate with a 3.6 GPA.

His parents were huge supporters of Carter’s plan. “My parents are awesome,” Kilby says. “They drove me to Akron when I first started because I was only 14.”

When he is not on campus, he is back home running cross country and track or hanging out with his friends and family. When he graduates, he plans to take time off and travel before pursuing full-time work in the cybersecurity field.

As for the potential to feel like he was missing out on a more traditional college experience?

“I’m indifferent to it,” says Kilby. “I have a good balance of social life and extracurriculars back home, so I don’t feel like I am missing out. Plus, I don’t have to deal with the stress that comes with applying for college, which all my friends are experiencing now. I chose the path that was right for me – absolutely zero regrets.”

Related Content:

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or