The problem being, the kids were nowhere ready to graduate. Instead, Gage seems to have been forced to make drastic changes in a hurry, including de-powering some and killing some, in order to wrap up the book. Suddenly, the pace and direction is off in left-field compared to the rest of the series. To me, this means the writer was only told relatively recently that the book was ending.And to me, having the academy students learn for 3 years and then graduate makes more sense than the New Mutants being students for years and years and years... The kids came to the AA, studied for 3 years and grduated. That's realism.