The Early College at Guilford

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The Early College at Guilford, Greensboro, North Carolina
The Early College at Guilford (logo).jpg
The Early College Logo
5608 West Friendly Avenue,
Greensboro, North Carolina, 27410
Type Public High School - Selective Admissions
Established 2002
Principal Linda Kidd
Enrollment 196 (2013)
National ranking 42 (Niche 2018)[1]
Mascot Phoenix

The Early College at Guilford (ECG) is a high school with approximately 200 students located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The school was started in 2002 as a partnership between Guilford College and Guilford County Schools as the first early college high school in North Carolina, allowing students to graduate with a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit from Guilford College.[2]

The school practices a rigorous selection method for admissions. Prospective students must submit a written application and participate in an on-campus examination created by the school's admissions team, currently involving an essay and multiple-choice mathematics and reading portion.

In 2010, Newsweek magazine listed ECG as one of "The Nation's Most Elite Public High Schools".[3] Newsweek also ranked ECG at 5th on its annual list of America's Best High Schools in 2016, making it the top high school in North Carolina in 2016.[4]


In the first few months of ECG's existence, Principal Tony Burks II surveyed the students to choose a mascot and school colors. The students took into account other mascots already in use around the county, and the colors of Guilford College—-maroon and white. Based on the student body's response, the phoenix was selected as the school's mascot, and burgundy and pewter were chosen as the school's colors.

Late in the spring of 2008, the administration of ECG began to implement new changes in the structure and function of ECG, including advanced physical education, as well as changes in expulsion policies and altering the function of the student court. These choices were made in response to the academic stress of sophomore students who often took upwards of four or five AP Classes courses. More non-Advanced Placement courses were added to encourage a more relaxed environment. The application process was also overhauled and no longer includes an interview with prospective students.

The current memorandum of understanding between Guilford College and Guilford County Schools to operate the school (effective July 2015) provides that GCS must pay to the college a base amount of $5,759.03 per each student enrolled in college courses (upperclassmen), plus the costs of textbooks to which they retain title. The contract is automatically renewed every year unless either party terminates it; the per-seat tuition cost is increased by the average legislated percentage increase in salaries of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction teachers each year unless agreed otherwise.[5]

In 2016 the US Department of Education named ECG a National Blue Ribbon School in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category. [6]


ECG is located on the campus of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Students have access to almost all of the Guilford facilities with the exception of dormitories. The school has a long-standing and policy against students entering dormitories.

Through ECG's history ninth and tenth grades classes have been held in places including the basement of the Frank Family Science Center, Bauman Hall, and a former laundry facility known as Frasier. Currently, those classes are held in the two on-campus modulars that comprise eight classrooms total.

An exterior view of the two GCS-owned modular buildings southwest of Quadrangle Dr and George Fox Rd on the Guilford campus.


Students at the Early College at Guilford follow a rigorous academic schedule throughout all four years. Freshmen are required to take the PSAT while Sophomores are required to take both the PSAT and the March SAT. Although Juniors and Seniors take actual college classes, some students say that sophomore year is the hardest with a very rigorous schedule with up to 7 AP courses in both semesters, AP US History, AP Environmental Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Psychology and AP Statistics.

Underclassmen (Freshmen and Sophomores) take almost all honors and AP classes. Classes are taught on a modified block schedule with holidays that align with Guilford County School's schedule.

Upperclassmen have dual enrollment; they are enrolled in both the Guilford County school system as juniors (and then seniors), and in Guilford College as freshmen (and then sophomores in their second year). Often, the number of AP Classes taken as underclassmen allows students to register as Sophomores and Juniors at Guilford. Juniors and Seniors take Guilford College classes, which count towards their remaining high school credits, and can often be transferred to other educational institutions. If a student remains at Guilford College after graduating from the Early College, the credits they received for their two final years will transfer towards their undergraduate requirements.

The Early College at Guilford has been recognized as one of the nation's top public high schools by Newsweek Magazine. The Early College ranked fourteenth in 2007 and twenty-first in 2008 on a list of 1300+ public high schools.[7] In the US News "Best High Schools of 2009", The Early College ranked seventeenth out of 20,000+ schools examined.[8] In 2016, the US News ranked the Early College at Guilford first in North Carolina, second in the nation out of the best 500 public schools for STEM related fields, and #23 in the nation overall.[9]

Many seniors at The Early College at Guilford get into and attend prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke. They also get selective scholarships such as the Carolina Scholars award (a merit based, full tuition scholarship to UNC Chapel Hill) and Presidential Scholarship to Wake Forest University.

The Early College at Guilford has about 18-20% of its students each year to be semi-finalists for the National Merit Scholarship.

Culture and extracurricular activities[edit]

Due to the discrepancy between the required "seat time" for a high school diploma in Guilford County and the actual time spent in class in a college setting, juniors and seniors must make up the difference with mandatory volunteer work. A license was since issued that nulls the "seat time" rule for ECG juniors and seniors, but upperclassmen are still required to complete a certain amount of volunteer work each academic year.

Both underclassmen and upperclassmen participate in Early College clubs, usually held after underclassmen classes. Clubs include a Interact Club, Math Team, Interact Service club, five FIRST Robotics teams (under the umbrella of ECG Robotics, Inc.[10]), Academic Quiz Bowl team, Student Council, Student Human Relations Club, EducateUS, Science Olympiad, Hello World App Club.[11] Speech and Debate Club.[12]

ECG's disciplinary system originally included the notable Student Court, a collection of students responsible for designating punishments to their fellows who had committed some error. In the late spring of 2008, however, the role of the student court in disciplinary action was abolished.

The Early College at Guilford does not have any traditional sports teams, due to the school's small size. There is, however, an unofficial ultimate team that occasionally plays other high schools in friendly matches, as well as a foundling basketball team which competes with other Middle and Early Colleges in the area. In addition, students may choose to play sports at the school they are districted for.


Guilford College is founded on Quaker principles, and encourages its professors and students to speak on a first-name basis. This is acknowledged by the administrators of Early College by allowing the students to address them by first name only when the eleventh grade has been reached and they have become part of the Guilford College community.


  • Tony Lamair Burks II (2002-2006)
  • Charles Blanchard (2006-2009)
  • Bobby Hayes (2009–2014)
  • Linda Kidd (2015-present)[13]


  1. ^ "Best Public High Schools 2018". Niche. Archived from the original on 2018-01-11. 
  2. ^ Guilford County Schools. "About Us - The Early College at Guilford". 
  3. ^ "THE NATION'S MOST ELITE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS". Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  4. ^ "AMERICA'S TOP HIGH SCHOOLS 2016". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  5. ^ Guilford County Board of Education, Guilford College (May 2015). "The Early College at Guilford, Memorandum of Understanding". 
  6. ^ U.S. Department of Education (2016). "National Blue Ribbon Schools Program - The Early College at Guilford, Greensboro, NC". 
  7. ^ "The Top of the Class". Newsweek. Newsweek, Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  8. ^ "Early College at Guilford (Top 100, #17)". Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved December 5, 2008. 
  9. ^ "How Does Early College at Guilford Rank Among America's Best High Schools?". Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  10. ^ "Home to FTC Teams 731, 5795, 6183 and FRC Team 1533". ECG Robotics. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  11. ^ "Hello World". Hello World. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Guilford County Schools. "Early College at Guilford - Administration and Faculty". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°05′43″N 79°53′24″W / 36.0953°N 79.8901°W / 36.0953; -79.8901