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Should I go to community college?

youngscholar2youngscholar2 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
edited February 2009 in College Search & Selection
Here's the low down

1. I'm fifteen, graduating two years early.
2. The local community college is like a mile away from where I live.
3. Staying at home while going to college would save massive amounts of money.
4. In my state, there is a law that guarantees anyone with an associates degree admission into a public university.
5. I can't drive. And probably won't for a couple more years because my parents don't want me to.
6. My GPA is 3.8
7. I don't know what I want to major in yet (maybe history), but I know I want to go into medicine.
Post edited by youngscholar2 on

Replies to: Should I go to community college?

  • greennbluegreennblue Registered User Posts: 1,736 Senior Member
    Probably yes. Save your money for medical school, and get the benefits of your parents' care for two more years.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 22,667 Senior Member
    Do you think that your intellectual experience at CC would be invigorating, or pedestrian? Do you want to amass credits, or get a real education? Maybe your local CC is a hotbed of intellectual activity, I don't know. But I doubt it.

    Think about doing other things for a year or two. I know a kid who spent 6 months in Africa teaching at the age of 17 or 18. You could spend a year abroad through AFS. There are long-term volunteer opportunities in South and Central America. You could do Cityterm. There are all kind of possibilities that do not involve trudging through community college courses just to get some credits.

    It depends on you.
  • light up the skylight up the sky Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    Community college is all those basic classes. You could probably even skip the 2 years of college (first two years in regular college / community college) if you got 3/4+'s on your AP exams.

    I would just take lots of AP classes in high school to save money and save myself 2 years in college.

    That's what my English teacher did, she only had 2 years of college because she racked up so many credits from AP in high school.

    Though it might be different.
  • stephennnstephennn Registered User Posts: 2,103 Senior Member
    except for the fact that i (and many people) actually want a 4 year college experience. not one that is superficially supplemented by AP classes i took in 9th-12th grade.
  • liek0806liek0806 Registered User Posts: 3,316 Senior Member
    what is your state school? because if you just want the bare minimum, it seems like you're settling with too low of expectations. maybe that's all you want, and if that's the case then go for it.
  • Yankee BelleYankee Belle Registered User Posts: 744 Member
    You're 15. You're plan for the Community College is probably best. Being at away at school with kids three - seven years older than you will be difficult. College life is a huge adjustment and at 15 it will be even harder for you to fit in with the other students. By the time you get the Associates you'll be older and more mature. You'll save a ton of money and will have more for graduate school if that is what you want.
  • ebeeeeeebeeeee Registered User Posts: 5,199 Senior Member
    Go for a good community college. Agree with above poster. 15 is too young to be out and living on your own. You will have to check individual schools but some schools may not even allow a 15 year old to live in on campus, dorm housing.
  • youngscholar2youngscholar2 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    I live in Florida. I was planning on transfering to the University of Florida, or the University of South Florida.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 22,667 Senior Member
    Why are you graduating so early? Are you homeschooled, or radically accelerated, or both?

    I know that everyone keeps pushing CC, but what is your goal in going to college? Do you want to be surrounded with intellectual peers in classes where you experience invigorating discussion, do you want to explore a variety of disciplines, or do you simply want to get a credential or job training?
  • youngscholar2youngscholar2 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    I'm simply accelerated, not homeschooled. I was in a special program where I could take high school classes in middle school. My school won't let someone who has the credits to graduate to simply "not" graduate.


    Of course I want something intellectually invigorating, I want to explore many fields foreign to me, and I also want credits.
    But I also have to factor in the fact that I don't have much money, and my parents are not going to help pay a lot.

    However, I am in the process of volunteering at the local hospital. So at least I would have something to do.
    My parents would never let me to do one of those exchange programs. My mother is very...overprotective, though college would be fine with her.

    The problem I have with going to a four year now is this:
    1. Money
    2. ACT scores are low-end
    3.It's a bit late in the year to apply

  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    While I think graduating that early, and probably without APs, was a really poor choice, I think that starting college now would be an equally poor choice.

    There are so many amazing opportunities you'll have because you've got 2-3 years that most people spend in high school to learn through doing and not by reading. You should be getting out and exposing yourself to the world and doing some real on the job, life learning. It's something a lot of us don't get to experience enough of, and more than that, it's something that you'll need having not had the typical experience of four years of high school to mature and grow with your peers.

    Community college is fine, but it's just going to be another way to add classes to a list. For you, at your age, for your reasons for going, those two years of community college will likely just feel like grade 13 and 14 (it's not that way at many CCs and for many students, but I don't doubt that coming striaght from high school, being dropped off and picked up the same way, living as a 15 year old, that's exactly what'll be). Your not going to have "peers", you're not likely to feel stretched-- just do work a slightly different way than in high school. It'll be the same grind, and for that work, you'll get a short blip of college later where you're focused entirely on your concentration and will be shuttled out before you can even digest the experience.

    Also, with the money thing, there are many private schools that give substantial merit and need based aid and college may cost no more money for you to go to stellar schools than to go to a state school (again, not that state schools or public schools are bad, many are fantastic, but you shouldn't immediately discard other options because of money).
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 22,667 Senior Member
    Are you male or female? I know that there is a special early-entrance program for girls at a school in VA--possibly U VA?--which I believe "shelters" the kids from regular dorm life and so on. That might well work for your family.

    I would also look into applying for the TASP summer program, which is free, and highly prestigious. Look into Duke's TIP program and JHU CTY. CTY does give scholarships, and I presume that TIP does also. Your unusual circumstances and young age may interest them, and you may not have "aged out" yet.

    Most of the radically-accelerated kids I know of are gifted, so I'm surprised that your ACTs are "low-end." What do you mean by low, exactly? Have you ever taken the SATs or considered doing so? (Note that you could take them this spring, and retake either next fall to get your scores up if necessary.)

    What kind of GPA do you have at this point? Is there anything that you haven't taken in HS that could strengthen your application a year from now if you took it at CC, such as finishing the science sequence with physics, finishing the math sequence with calculus, an additional year of foreign language?

    You have the potential to take a year or more to do some very interesting and worthwhile things. If all you do is take a full schedule of CC classes, you may be treated as a transfer student at 4-year schools, with less chance of acceptance at many. I wouldn't rush into anything.

    Edit: I cross-posted with modestmelody, but obviously we are on the same page.
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    Oh, and in NYS I believe by law they have to provide you with whatever education you "need" until a certain age-- 16 or 17. So if your high school didn't offer courses that were at your level (and APs are considered at your level even if you have credits to graduate) they have to pay to send you somewhere that does off courses at that level (whether this means CC or busing to another school, etc).

    So you may want to figure out how the state views these things.
  • stephennnstephennn Registered User Posts: 2,103 Senior Member
    The problem I have with going to a four year now is this:
    1. Money
    2. ACT scores are low-end
    3.It's a bit late in the year to apply

    you know, that you can still apply for the 2010 spring semester.
  • raelahraelah Registered User Posts: 806 Member
    If you want to go to the community college, you should. You can surely get a decent basic education there, save money that you can later put towards med school, and live at home. However, you shouldn't feel obligated to go to community college just because of your age. Yes, you may be 15, but obviously your age hasn't stopped you so far, why should it stop you from going to a four year college that might be a better match for you intellectually? My sister was in the exact same situation as you; she graduated from high school a week after turning 16. What a coincidence -- she also wanted to eventually go to med school! However, she chose to go to a four year LAC somewhat close to home, and she's extremely happy with her decision. You could also consider taking a gap year to allow yourself a bit of time to "mature" is you think you need to, or just because you would enjoy doing it. (My sister considered this as well. Another reason you might want to take a gap year is eventually, you're going to have to apply to med schools, and your young age might be a turn-off to adcoms because they might assume you are more immature. Remember that people applying to med school are often NOT even right out of undergrad, so they will be significantly older than you. Just something to consider.)

    I would suggest looking into study abroad programs. It's an amazing experience to spend a year in another country. Especially with your interest in history, it could do wonders for you. Did you learn a foreign language in high school? Look into programs that can take you to a country where that language is spoken; you'll probably be fluent by the end of a year!
This discussion has been closed.