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What is the average age of college freshmen in the US?

hananahanana Posts: 2,312Registered User Senior Member
edited June 2011 in International Students
And would it be better going to college (without finishing the last semester of HS) a little younger than everyone or a little older than everyone (having finished HS, having volunteered and interned for 6~8 months).
Post edited by hanana on

Replies to: What is the average age of college freshmen in the US?

  • bubblefishbubblefish Posts: 26Registered User New Member
    You need to figure that out for yourself, because that is something very individual.. I myself graduated a year later (at the age of 19) because I wanted to spend an extra year abroad and now I am taking a gap year. This means that I will be 20 by the time I begin college this fall, but to me it makes little difference and I know that my age only works as an advantage in the admissions process. I don't know how mature you are (which is why you know best on this one) but I would not go to college too early, you risk feeling left out because you will be surrounded by a lot of people much older and more mature (at least for the first year or two) and being successful in college does require a lot of maturity on your behalf..
  • b@r!umb@r!um Posts: 9,499Registered User Senior Member
    The normal age would be 18, but you wouldn't stand out if you were a year younger or older than that. I have a friend who started college at 16 and was fine, and others don't enroll until they are 20 or 30.

    A few months more or less is not going to make much of a difference. Go to college when it feels right for *you*!!!
  • Idiosyncra3yIdiosyncra3y Posts: 1,004Registered User Member
    I'd say finish school; last year is a great year, and I think that you would regret cutting it short. The opportunity to do some interesting stuff for 8 months is also nice.
  • hananahanana Posts: 2,312Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for all your answers everyone :)
  • TheBeccamomTheBeccamom Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    I'm not sure there's any such thing as "average age" for a college freshman any more; I'm a freshman, and I'm 54! Some of my classmates are in their 30s and 40s. Granted, it's an online college, but the current economic situation is forcing people of all ages back to school to improve their education or retrain for a different career path. When I graduated from high school in the mid-1970s, most of my friends who planned to go to college either started the very next fall or waited a year, putting them in the 17-19 age range as freshmen. Now, though, a college freshman could be anywhere from 17 to 70!
  • webasswebass Posts: 666- Member
    If you can, take a gap year. I really wish I could take a gap year, but parents did not let me.
  • jsanche32jsanche32 Posts: 671Registered User Member
    IIRC, average age of people in undergrad degrees is now creeping to the mid 20's.
  • Justabe1020Justabe1020 Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
  • LaurKey13LaurKey13 Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
    18+ really. Some people go in and have septemeber birthdays and turn 18 while there, some take a year (or a couple) off between HS and college. You'll be fine no matter what.
  • wrathofachilleswrathofachilles Posts: 768Registered User Member
    It's definitely over 18, and probably somewhere in the early 20s. When you consider people who take gap years, serve in the military right out of high school, or work for a few years and then decide they need a degree later on, especially given the large number of students enrolled in community colleges or part-time programs, it's probably around 21 or so.
  • katliamomkatliamom Posts: 6,147Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^^ that might be the case in certain commuter schools or lesser state schools that also cater to working adults.

    But for MOST major universities and certainly vast majority of liberal arts colleges the average freshman age is about 18.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Posts: 9,499Registered User Senior Member
    The median age is probably somewhere around 18, but I would expect the average age to be a fair bit higher than that.
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