Graduate early, get a check? Don't be fooled.

Minnesota is so sick of the expenses associated with educating our children that one lawmaker is proposing the state pays them off for finishing early. 

Finish high school early and get a check for up to $7,500 from the government. Sounds good, right? Not exactly. 

Staying in high school and working the system might end up paying off more than you'd think.

High school students would receive a $5,000 college scholarship if they graduated a year year under a proposal by Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington. He says the bill would save the state millions of dollars. 

Students would get a $2,500 scholarship per semester graduated early. Students could receive up to $7,500 for three semesters. Garofalo says the state pays more in per-pupil funding for a high school junior or senior than a scholarship would cost, according to the Associated Press. About 3,000 students would take advantage of his program each year. 

While a big fat check (and ditching out on the worst four years of your life) sounds terribly enticing, don't be fooled kids. High school can still pay off, literally. 

This program wouldn't replace the Post Secondary Enrollment Options program already in place that allows students to attend college for free while they are still in high school. Yes, totally free and that includes books and fees. Students can choose to go full time or part time depending on their readiness for college level courses. 

For students in rural areas who don't have access to good post secondary schools, the $5,000 could be worth the extra push in high school. But anyone close enough to attend a University of Minnesota campus wouldn't get such a deal.

A quick check on the University of Minnesota Web site shows that a year of full-time courses, books and fees at the school totals $11,732. That means doing PSEO saves you $6,700 more than the "scholarship" you'd receive by graduating from high school early. In other words, stay in school and do PSEO instead because you'll get more bang for your buck. You'll still be a high schooler, but you'll save a ton of cash in the long run.