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Fifth Year High School Senior

biology91biology91 123 replies51 threads Junior Member
edited February 2009 in College Admissions
Do solid high school students ever take a fifth year in high school in order to improve their chances at top schools? In my example, I have a 4.0 GPA and 2280 SAT's, but I feel I could greatly improve my scores and ECs in this extra year of high school. Say I don't get admitted to Yale (my dream school), would I have a chance if I stayed in high school one more year?

In this year I would:
1) Greatly improve my SAT's to near perfect
2) Take many more AP classes (currently, I'm taking 6 and I took 3 last year). I would take 5 or 6 more in the extra year
3) Stand the possibility to be recruited for track as I see my times improving
4) Possibly start a nonprofit corporation dealing with energy conservation through delamping

I feel like I am just beginning to be prepared for schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Williams, Pomona, and others. Would this be acceptable with them?
edited February 2009
25 replies
Post edited by biology91 on
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Replies to: Fifth Year High School Senior

  • RachelleyLeeRachelleyLee 54 replies9 threads Junior Member
    i have NEVER heard of a student taking a fifth year in hs by choice. Is this even legal? lol if it is, it seems like it would be a good idea, but i'd advise you to apply to yale, etc, your 4th year and IF you don't get in, then take the fifth year.
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  • xStevenxSteven 1315 replies85 threads Senior Member
    What a dumb idea. Seriously.
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  • Gryffon5147Gryffon5147 3711 replies54 threads Senior Member
    I'm not sure if its wise. All the things you've listed are trivial and all are uncertain in outcome. Scores may not go up, you may not be recruited, and AP is meaningless. I'm not sure if its really even legal to stay in school for an extended time.

    and plus... doing all that is not going to improve your 7 percent admittance rate at Yale all that much. Would you suffer another year of high school just for the possibility of a 1:10 ratio?
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  • DwightEisenhowerDwightEisenhower 1677 replies27 threads Senior Member
    This is one of those ideas that may seem sensible to you on paper but trust me, when you pass up moving on with your adult life and instead get a fifth high school schedule telling you that your locker is #351 and you have D-Block lunch, you will not be so optimistic about it.
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  • hmom5hmom5 - 10799 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Why is everyone dismissing this? It's commonly done at prep schools and is known as a post graduate (PG) year. It's especially common for athletes who want extra coaching and training to be recruited.

    I doubt it's possible at a public school as the public probably doesn't want to pay for 5th years, but it's very possible at private schools. If the OP is a good runner, a scholarship would even be possible if his family has need.

    The big problem here, however, is I believe the OP is a senior. Deadlines have passed to apply for most PG programs, but it's worth looking into.
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  • TboonepickensTboonepickens 991 replies46 threads Senior Member
    i was under the impression that the pg year was very different from a fifth year of HS. I also thought those programs were designed specifically for people who graduated in three years, not four.
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  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild 23690 replies204 threads Senior Member
    A PG year IS very common, but you do go ahead and graduate from HS before your PG year. Most PGs have 5 years of high school (total) and it is a great idea for many kids. You get a year to mature and grow (for your sport) AND improve your academic record- not that the OP's record needs improving. If he picks the right PG school, his odds of being recruited for track will increase significantly. The OP should keep in mind though that he will NOT be eligible for some of the national meets as a 5th year (depending on age, etc). That doesn't matter much, though.
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  • raelahraelah 734 replies72 threads Member
    Frankly, this idea is stupid. Why are you even considering doing this? Yes, I understand...you feel like you HAVE TO go to Yale. But honestly, it's not worth another year of high school just to get rejected a second time. Your stats are great, and you WILL get into another college - if you don't get into Yale - that you will probably love just as much. Don't be so focused on one school. And don't consider stupid things to get in there, it's just a waste of time.
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  • raelahraelah 734 replies72 threads Member
    Oh, and if you're talking about a PG year instead of a fifth year of high school, that's different. However, PG years don't include going to school for a fifth year and taking AP classes, do they?

    If you want to do a PG year, do something valuable with your time like study abroad or intensive sports training or volunteer work.
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  • 33213321 255 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Since PG means post graduate he couldn't do a fifth year of high school; it would have to a particular program. From what I have read the students that typically do a PG year do not have the impressive stats the OP already has.

    If he wants to improve his resume for schools like Yale, assuming he doesn't get admitted, then a gap year with Americorps or taking college courses (not AP at a high school or on-line) at another college would do more to assist him.
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  • SingDanceRunLifeSingDanceRunLife 1655 replies132 threads Senior Member
    Definitely look into doing a PG year rather than an actual 5th year of high school. There you can hone in on certain things, and also, if you board at the school, start to get a little bit of a feel for the college experience.
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  • kayfkayf 4088 replies73 threads Senior Member
    Many children spend an extra year in HS. Yes, you would have to check with local school to see if they allow. In my state, it also depends on age. I dont see it improving OPs situation - gee everyone would have more ECs with extra year.
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  • hmom5hmom5 - 10799 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Lot's of myths about PG's here. The programs are not for kids who did HS in 3 years and lots of kids who are already strong academically do them. And it does mean going to school like the other students at the school and taking AP's and such. Schools like Andover and Exeter have big PG programs for top student athletes.
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  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild 23690 replies204 threads Senior Member
    Some of the posters are confusing a PG year with a gap year. The gap year is where you can travel, work or do a community service project and either defer your college admission or reapply. The PG year is, essentially, a 5th year of high school, usually done at a prep boarding school. You take classes with the seniors and, frequently, work on your sport or perfect your academic record. Many D1 athletic recruits do a PG year, especially if they are shooting for a more academic D1 school like Vanderbilt or an Ivy.
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  • miktaumiktau 595 replies4 threads Member
    Yeah this is very common. For those who dont live in areas that send a lot of students to DI schools this is particularly more common among athletes to imporve there skills and have a better chance of making college teams. I dont really see a problem with this, id say go for it if its what you want to do.
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  • laughxindoorslaughxindoors 86 replies6 threads Junior Member
    you have a 2280 and a 4.0? if you asked to do an extra year, people would laugh at you. if you don't get in anywhere you want to go this year, just take a gap year next year where you could start your business, do some cool volunteer stuff, etc.
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  • locknlockn 2990 replies43 threads Senior Member
    Exeter and Andover are very selective, right? If their PG programs are meant to strengthen students' academic records, are they letting in students who aren't quite as qualified (people whose records have room for strengthening)?
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  • SabsterSabster 415 replies9 threads Member
    Agree 100% with laughxindoors. Should you somehow still feel the need not to go into college after your 4th year of high school, take a gap year, and do volunteering/working/internships... whatever you could find.
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  • hmom5hmom5 - 10799 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Andover and Exeter let in kids who strenghten their teams and are good, if not top, students.
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  • biology91biology91 123 replies51 threads Junior Member
    Those of you who find this stupid- why would it be stupid to sacrifice one year of my life (and I'm not really sacrificing it; I would take AP Physics C, AP Economics, and AP Chemistry which I inevitably must take in order to take the MCAT's because I want a dual MD/Master's in Public Health) in order to greatly improve my chances of attending the best university in the world?

    All I am asking is if students who make this decision are still accepted by schools like Yale.

    Thanks for the responses.
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