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Admission without High School Diploma???

jamesgigjamesgig Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
edited September 2006 in Harvard University
I am 15yrs old and after talking to my gifted teacher and guidance counselor have decided to pursue early admission in either the 2007 or 2008 school year (after 10th or 11th grade). I am currently a sophmore at my high school, but am bored. I am taking the most challenging course load of anyone at my school and will run out of math classes at the end of my 10th grade year. I would like to cross register between Harvard and MIT so I can get an engineering degree and buisness MBA. Based on the following, what are my chances of getting accepted to Harvard, MIT, or other top school:

top of my class
1910 SAT
4 AP US gov

Classes taken: Pre calc, ap us government, us history II, Honors english, Honors Bio, Latin II, independent study on art

taught myself Calc I over the summer

Classes taking: Calc II, ap world history, physics, chem, honors english, Latin III, Engineering, 3 MIT opencourseware classes for independent study

several EC including Boy Scouts, art lessons, math competitions, science olypiad, tennis team, ski club, etc...
Post edited by jamesgig on

Replies to: Admission without High School Diploma???

  • catsrus9catsrus9 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    If you're so gifted why are your SAT scores so low in comparison to most other Harvard applicants? That will probably look rather strange to admissions
  • WindCloudUltraWindCloudUltra Registered User Posts: 1,761 Senior Member
    Few things:

    I'd strongly recommend that you finish high school.

    Yes, Harvard and MIT do occasionally admit a very small number of younger students. However, these students are usually EXTREMELY talented and above and beyond the average applicant that is of normal age. I'm not belittling your accomplishments thus far; they are very good and you are on the right track. Nonetheless, your stats simply do not give off: "We have to have this kid! He's amazing!" Furthermore, even more importantly, the admissions committee will want to make sure any underage student will have the emotional maturity to surround him/herself with other 18-yearold students.

    From your posted stats, you just seem like a very good, above average, rising sophomore in high school. Furthermore, your SATs- at 1910- is well below average for normal applicants let alone the best-of-the-best underage Harvardite-wannabes.

    I understand that you're frustrated with high school. I was too...I got bored but I finished it nonetheless. I'm sure other cc’ers can also say the same.

    I don't Harvard or MIT has any accelerated BA/MAB programs either.

    You seem like a ambitious and smart kid....I wish you the best.

    PS....I'm sure you can find a way to take courses in Multivariable Calc, Linear Algebra, DiffEqs and perhaps if you are up for it....topology, real analysis and differential geometry at a school near you. Plenty of regular age college students have done that in high school.
  • jerryhathawayjerryhathaway Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    SATs are a bit low.

    I'd stick out the full 4 years if you can't raise the SAT. Try taking some online math courses through EPGY. Imo, Calc BC in 10th grade is nice, but it's not so advanced that it would stand out significantly in harvard's app pool. I have several friends that have done it in 10th grade or earlier.
  • jamesgigjamesgig Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Unfortunately, my high school said that they are a high school and not willing to accomodate extremely gifted students. I was told to start college at a local school this year but could not afford another year of school for credits that most likely wont transfer to a Harvard or MIT. I am in a bad situation...

    My SATs are so low because all I do is play video games, ski. swim, and am not very fond of reading.

    Is there a school that I could get accepted to now which I could transfter my credits to Harvard or MIT in a year or two? Is there anything that I could do to "stand out"?
  • ICargirlICargirl Registered User Posts: 565 Member
    No matter how gifted you are in math, you need to have decent verbal skills. Assuming you got an 800 in math, you didn't even break 600s on verbal and writing, which strongly suggests that you could benefit from finishing high school.

    If your school has allowed you to take BC calc in 10th grade, then they have made all reasonable accomodations. They aren't going to make an extra class for one students. You aren't the first person to run up against this issue - one of my classmates finished BC calc in 5th grade, and somehow managed to survive with only graduating a year early. I believe he took computer courses and self-study to supplement his education.

    Give yourself more time to prove yourself, and don't even think about graduating more than a year early. Study for your SATs, and continue to show that you can do well in competitive classes. Harvard's admissions director has encouraged students to take a gap year after high school to gain more maturity - I somehow doubt he favors kids who try to rush through high school before they are ready.
  • WindCloudUltraWindCloudUltra Registered User Posts: 1,761 Senior Member
    Math at advanced levels requires competency in English. If you want to author papers...you have better spend sometime reading, even if you don't like it. I'm pretty sure Harvard doesn't want students who don't like reading.

    And finishing Calc 1 and 2 by 10th grade isn't a sign of giftedness. You are advanced, but certainly not gifted. Gifted math geniuses are working on differential geometry and abstract algebra in 10th grade.
  • RedduneReddune Registered User Posts: 1,490 Senior Member
    I don't believe you're yet to stand a chance of getting into Harvard or MIT, or any college for that matter. Colleges made it clear that in order to apply a student must has a highschool diploma or GED, and you have neither. Plus, outside your high GPA, you have nothing else of significant, in term of EC, to offer either institutions. Furthermore, college is a fun filled world of READING. You'll read till your eyes bleed from sleep-deprivation. You might not be yet at a level to handle college work.

    A girl in my highschool took the SAT when she was in 8th grade and scores a 1560 out of 1600 (it terrifies me to this day of how bright she is) and is taking Cal BC as a freshman in highschool. Even she stands no chance of landing a spot in college (she tried). Right now she is focusing on improving her EC with science fairs and competitions, math bowls, and all the fun things a 14 years old girl should do. I think you should follow a similar path of improving your academic and EC maturity.
  • KamikazewaveKamikazewave Registered User Posts: 874 Member
    Actually a lot of top colleges don't require diploma or GED.
    But your scores are low.
  • RedduneReddune Registered User Posts: 1,490 Senior Member
    They don't require it when you're applying, but I strongly believe they do once you're matriculated. The rare genuises that got into top schools in their early to mid-teen usually graduated highschool already or have taken the GED test (which shouldn't even be a crossword puzzle if they are that bright). Most of the top-schools' admission letters that I got the chance to read usually end with: "this admission is given with the understanding that you will complete your highschool education to satisfactory," or something to that effect. I have yet seen a school that advertises on its website about the unnecessary of HS diploma or GED in matriculation, perhaps Kamikazewave could give me a link to those that do.
  • jerryhathawayjerryhathaway Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    i don't believe mit requires one.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,472
    My SATs are so low because all I do is play video games, ski. swim, and am not very fond of reading.

    You need to do a lot more reading. One thing you need to read about is what really smart young people do during their teen years. (Hint: they don't waste their time with video games.) Especially, you need to find better guidance for your secondary-level studies, by reading more widely about what is available, so that you learn how to challenge yourself academically in extracurricular activities. Someone advanced in math should read everything in the Art of Problem Solving site's Resource Articles Section and many of the pages of the rest of the site to find out about what smart, diligent young people do before college. (I found out about this College Confidential site on that site--how about that?)
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,472
    Harvard doesn't post its Common Data Set information on the Web, but many of the colleges that do, e.g.,



    and others say they do not require high school diplomas for admission.
  • xjayzxjayz Registered User Posts: 1,654 Senior Member
    It is nearly impossible to be admitted without a high school diploma. It is already hard enough for students who have schedules chockful of AP classes and graduate in the top 10% in four years. There are two students that I know that are actually two years younger than the majority of my class (2009). Both are 16. In one semester, my friend pulled off (and dd well in) the equivalent of two years of Chinese (Harvard has two courses where you can learn two years of Chinese in one). She also took Math 25, the second hardest math class (first being Math 55), and completed the first two semesters of Physics for majors.

    Her class schedule was most definitely not a walk in the park for any student here, but she handled it just fine and was able to be involved in several extracurricular activities as well.

    In short, if you're going to graduate early, you have to blow them away, as in your ratings should be at least 1/2 across the board. (Harvard uses a 1 to 6 scale, 1 being the highest, which very few students get - you'd be surprised - and 6 being the lowest).
  • RedduneReddune Registered User Posts: 1,490 Senior Member
    Thanks Tokenadult for those links. This is the first time I learn that certain colleges do give admission to non-highschool graduate. I only have one thing to say: "I would hate to meet those kids in Jeopardy."
  • Mr. PinkMr. Pink Registered User, . Posts: 268 Junior Member
    I finished math early. I then took classes at a local college. Find a community college or a free program that will let you take classes.
    Unfortunately, my high school said that they are a high school and not willing to accomodate extremely gifted students.

    Is this a public high school? They can't send you away - even if you take an online course and max out the curriculum, you'll be in better shape.

    Also, read. Halo sucks anyways.
This discussion has been closed.