Baldwin County Board of Education unanimously voted on Tuesday to lower the credit requirements for graduation at Baldwin High School.
Students will now need 23 credits to be eligible for graduation, instead of the previous 28.
These numbers are in line with the 23 credits required by the state.
In 2012, Baldwin High School graduated 62% of students in four years. The state average was 70%.
Baldwin High School Principal Jessica Swain says the standards for students have not been lowered. She says under the new requirement, she expects the number of students who graduate to increase this year.
"We're not lowering the standards. There are still certain criteria the students have to meet," Swain said. "We have our students' best interest at heart. We're just trying to make sure that we provide them everything possible to help them meet the state's requirements."
Senior Taten Whitlock says the change makes a difference for him.
With 18.5 credits, Whitlock wouldn't have been able to graduate under the old requirements.
"I thought I was never going to graduate and I thought I'd have to come back here next year," Whitlock said.
If he passes all of his courses this year, he will be able to graduate in May.
However, others we spoke to in the community have reservations.
J'Barri Mar-Shall graduated from Baldwin High School in May after spending a fifth year there. That's because his credits didn't transfer from another school.
He says the decision to cut the credit requirement was "unwise."
"It's my personal expectation that if you lower your expectations even further, what you get out of students is going to be even less," Mar-Shall said.
Others are just glad to be part of the class of 2014.
"I'll be able to finally go to a reunion," Whitlock said. "I just want to go to a reunion and see all my classmates."
Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh.