Due to budget cuts at Eastland, Jo will lose her scholarship. With a deadline to find another at the end of the week, she is excited to find the one for which she qualifies--until she discovers that it's funded by Blair's family.
When Natalie starts spending all her free time with a boy she likes, Tootie gets so jealous that when she picks up a call from him about their upcoming study date, she lies to Natalie and tells her that he canceled it.
Both Blair and Jo are accepted to the prestigious Langley College, however Jo decides she's not going because of the cost and the financial burden it would put on her mother, who is already working multiple jobs just to put Jo through Eastland. Her mother and father, however, are adamant about her attending. Their assertion is that they will somehow come up with the money because Jo's future is their most valuable asset.
In the days leading up to graduation, Mrs. Garrett becomes overworked because Mr. Parker has put her in charge of the entire ceremony, while Tootie worries whether she'll see Blair and Jo again. Meanwhile, Jo, who has to give the class valediction, is under additional pressure because of her parents' fighting, while Blair's father is unable to come to the ceremony, making her mother angry.
Before Jo and Blair graduate, Tootie and Natalie want to preserve as much time with them as possible, still fearing they'll never be together again. Meanwhile Jo's father tries to mend a rift with his mother.