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Pros and cons of going to college early?

dogsrk4everdogsrk4ever Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
edited December 2009 in College Admissions
I'm considering graduating from high school early, like in my sophomore or junior year. What are the pros or cons of doing this? If I were to do this would you reccomend I attend 2 years of 3 years of high school?
Post edited by dogsrk4ever on

Replies to: Pros and cons of going to college early?

  • ShowBizKidShowBizKid Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    ... why?

    This response may seem arbitrary, but unless you've got a damn good reason to, I think it would be a very poor choice to graduate early for the sake of it.
  • dogsrk4everdogsrk4ever Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
    could you be more specific on why its a poor choice?
  • highopeshighopes Registered User Posts: 1,581 Senior Member
    I don't see any pros, really, unless you're that excited to get into the working world. Personally, I wouldn't trade my high school/college years for anything - you only get one chance in your life, why rush through it? I know it sounds corny, but there's no reason to be in such a hurry to finish with school. Unless you have some really good reason, like ShowBizKid said, I would recommend sticking it out for 4 years of high school and 4 years of college.
  • casualcasual Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    It really depends on your situation. You'll have to tell us why.
  • ShowBizKidShowBizKid Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    "could you be more specific on why its a poor choice?"

    If you give a specific reason as to why, then maybe I won't see it as a poor choice. But as it stands, it seems as if you would want to do this for the sake of it. If you are planning on going straight to college (which I assume you are - why would you be on a college discussion forum?), such an early graduation will ultimately be a large detriment for admissions. Are you even sure you are able to graduate early? My high school, for example, requires 4 english credits for graduation.

    Explain your reasoning. It might make it easier to assess the situation.
  • dogsrk4everdogsrk4ever Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
    To tell the truth, I don't want to graduate early either..... But my dad insists that if I'm younger it will make me stand out more when I'm applying for college. Is that true?
  • dogsrk4everdogsrk4ever Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
    So would a younger age be bad when I'm applying for college?
  • highopeshighopes Registered User Posts: 1,581 Senior Member
    It might make you stand out, but I don't think it would necessarily be in a positive way, and IMO it will be more detrimental than anything. You don't want to become a test-taking, class-acing machine - colleges like to see students who are able to balance schoolwork with free time and extracurriculars. The worst thing of all, though, is the sort of stress that you'll be under for all 2-3 years of high school - I really don't think any perceived benefits are worth that kind of personal drain.

    Try to explain to your dad that plenty of kids get into top colleges every year without completing high school early - also, I remember reading a story about a Yale (I think it was Yale) graduate student who was kicked out for being too young and was perceived as too immature to handle the advanced curriculum.

    Really, there's no reason to complete high school early. Enjoy life instead, and you won't be any worse off come college application time.

    EDIT: Here's an article about the Yale student I mentioned.
    Yale Daily News - Yale: Former art student's allegations of improper expulsion have 'no merit'
  • ShowBizKidShowBizKid Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    ... your lack of a junior year would hurt you much more than your younger age in admissions. And graduating with no senior year would be pointless, as you would not stand out for being one year younger - if anything, having one less year of high school experience would put a negative light on your application.

    I do hope things work out with your dad, though. Maybe explain to him what the poster above me wrote (in a much better fashion than me, might I add).
  • dogsrk4everdogsrk4ever Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
    Thanks a lot!!!! I'll try to convince my dad.
  • sstGO27sstGO27 Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    Any leadership positions, extra EC's, improved SAT/ACT scores, more AP classes, etc. during junior and senior year will only help your application (a lot). Try telling your dad that.
  • MIT 012MIT 012 Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    Regarding Post#1:
    Not a good idea.

    I saw one superb student throw away his admittance chances doing
    exactly what you suggest. He ended up getting roundly rejected by
    every top school he applied to while relatively less prepared applicants
    wafted in.

    It was quite tragic.
  • dogsrk4everdogsrk4ever Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
    what about if I apply first to an OK college and then transfer to a better college when I would be apllying if I were to take 4 years of high school? so I would basically be trading 2 years of high school classes for college classes? And how does co-op work? Do you get to use the classes you take at a college for credits at your high school?
  • poetrygirlpoetrygirl Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    dogsrk4ever--is high school too easy for you? Do you not have access to challenging courses like APs?
    Honestly, unless HS work is far too easy or you don't have a good education system at your school, it seems like a bad idea to be switching to college. I don't think going to college early is going to up your chance of admission--in fact, it will probably lower it if you don't have a good reason for doing it (see several of the posts above). If you wanted, you could try taking one college class this year--like in the evenings or something (while still being in HS), see how it goes and then choose to take more if you wanted to. Otherwise, I think it might just be difficult and complicated, unless you're really prepared to be heading off to college. I don't think applying to an "okay college" and then transfering makes any more sense either. Transfering can be difficult. Unless, as I mentioned above, your HS is inadequate, it makes far more sense to stay in HS for 4 years and then go straight to a "better college."

    Also, definitely have your dad talk to your guidance councelor or someone at your school--I don't know your situation, so I can't judge, but make sure that you and your dad are making an informed decision. Talking to people on CC can help--but someone at your school can give you solid guidance, because they know your situation and your school.
  • treemaventreemaven Registered User Posts: 267 Junior Member
    When my younger daughter was a freshman in high school, she thought of doing exactly that: graduate high school in three years. Her reason was that she felt high school was over-rated socially and she found the classes inefficient in terms of time-management during the scheduled school hours. We reviewed her schedule for the years and determined that the only required course she would be missing by the end of her junior year would be the 4th year of English. We figured she could easily pick that up via an AP course on-line through Northwestern or the like. The only non-required course she'd miss would be a second (i.e., AP) science course.

    We checked with her guidance counsellor who, in turn, told us to check with the individual colleges that she was interested in.

    So, we visited a couple and e-mailed a couple, checked website criteria, and asked how they felt about a three-year high school graduate. The state schools said, "no problem!". The ivy-league/first tier schools said it would put her at a disadvantage in the application pool.

    Those Admissions folks looked at it in terms of maturity and leadership opportunities. We had absolutely no concern about her maturity level, but they were adamant that by foregoing her senior year in high school, she would give up valuable opportunities to grow and lead via high school opportunities. The admissions folks advised her to go the full four-years of high school and spend that last year exploring opportunities she might not have otherwise. As an elite level club-sport athlete, she didn't think she'd really have any additional time to do the exploring they seemed to envision, but decided to follow their advise anyway and thus, has committed to a four-year high school career.

    By the middle of her sophmore year, she had decided she was really enjoying high school and was no longer in such a hurry to blow through the experience.

    Based upon our discussions with Admissions people, being younger by a year or two will not improve your chances of admission to an upper tier school and, in fact, may put you at a distinct disadvantage. The age alone won't be the factor, but the opportunities and experiences that you miss that fourth year (or more) will be.

    Now, that being said, if you were planning to do something remarkable during a 'gap year' (rather than "go directly to college, do not pass Senior year"), the sum effect of the experiences, maturity, and leadership qualities you gain from such an adventure might hold up nicely during the comparisons made for admissions decisions.

    Good Luck in your decisions.
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