This struck me though:
New Country struggles to keep its seniors from leaving. The school's senior project is demanding — 300 hours of work. Many students choose to do their senior year at a traditional school, rather than invest the time and energy required for the senior project.For a single project, 300 hours is a lot of time, but in a 180 day school year, that is less than 2 hours a day. Assuming a student works three hours a day on their project, they can be done in 100 days or just over half the school year. That doesnt' seem all that stressful to me.
In my current work as an attorney, I have spent 8 or 9 hours a day for weeks working on one project. For a school that seems to mimic the real world, it seems odd that this one requirement fazes students so much.