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Graduating High School as a Junior

saturnnesaturnne 135 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited December 2009 in High School Life
Hey guys,

I have been going over this idea for quite some time now, and I cannot seem to reach a decision. I am a junior in high school and because I seem like I am more mature and academically way ahead of my peers (especially in the math and sciences) at the moment, am considering an early leave from high school. But the thing is, I cannot get a graduation degree unless I complete four years of high school. Nevertheless, my desire for early admission into college has never ceased because (a) I know what I want to study and roughly what I want to do in life and (b) I feel like my senior year in high school will be somewhat a waste of my time since I would have practically exhausted all the resources available to me.

But the reason I cannot definitively set my mind to submitting my applications this year is that I am currently abroad (Mexico) in an American school. Being an international student who wishes to be admitted to one of the most competitive schools in the United States without a high school diploma, I am afraid, might affect my chances into being accepted. My dream schools are MIT, Princeton, or Stanford. I know MIT and Princeton do not require high school diplomas; I'm not too sure about Stanford.

Another thing is that I have only taken one SAT II Subject Test and am planning to take the SAT I in December. I will also take my second subject Test probably January if the school allows me to submit my apps early.

The important thing is that I feel I do not fit into my current high school class. I want to pursue my interests more deeply in a rigorios academic setting. Do you guys think I should talk to my counselors about my leaving high school early to pursue higher interests?
edited December 2009
54 replies
Post edited by saturnne on
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Replies to: Graduating High School as a Junior

  • WartsandallWartsandall 14092 replies59 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^Yes talk to your counselor. However, have you taken the SATs and several AP classes?
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  • saturnnesaturnne 135 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Yeah, I've already taken the SAT II Biology Exam, am planning to take the SAT I this December, and planning on tackling my second SAT Subject Test (probably Math) in January. I will have taken seven AP classes and maybe eight AP Exams by the end of my junior year.
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  • WartsandallWartsandall 14092 replies59 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Hmm...well it's definitely worth considering. Are you sure that's what you want to do though? I'd recommend that you think about it further and discuss it with your parents and counselor. Best of luck!:)
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  • ^_^ v_v^_^ v_v 528 replies44 threadsRegistered User Member
    you can do it if you want to,
    i'll warn you that i took that route
    and i got into a good college
    but it ruined my life,
    so be careful that you really are as emotionally mature as you say you are

    also you say you are currently abroad,
    are you actually a us citizen?
    because i think that's the main factor,
    not where you live right now
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  • advanced Lawlzadvanced Lawlz 645 replies34 threads- Junior Member
    lol dude. how prepared are you?
    what are your interests?
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  • justintsnjustintsn 324 replies51 threadsRegistered User Member
    Maybe some of my experience can help. I'm currently 17 and in college. What you listed was what I wanted in college. Mature peers and direction in life and study. That is what I found here but being young has it's disadvantages. Your mind isn't as developed while having to do much more mature work, especially seeing as how you have many AP classes done. I took 11 AP classes and now I'm a Junior. [Graduated last year]

    I recommend that you stay and enjoy your Senior year. You can continue the road of taking massive amounts of AP [Remember to check the college to see their AP guidelines and how many credits will be awarded to your major. My major only took 4 :/] or you can have a chill year and enjoy life. Work on getting higher SAT scores and even ACT if possible. Increase your chances. If you have any questions, feel free to PM or ask away.
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  • piftwpiftw 155 replies18 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    You could probably take classes at a community college to make up for the remaining high school credits, once you're back in America. Definitely talk to your counselor about this.
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  • saturnnesaturnne 135 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I don't know if my school's unusual, but most of the kids in my grade seem rather simple and so I don't really end up having decent conversations with them. Some of my friends I can really talk to, but it's not the same as being surrounded by intellectually stimulating peers, like say, older people? I don't want to sound pretentious or condescending, but everyday I feel like I don't really fit in in terms of academic goals or interests.

    I'm interested in science and math, primarily; I wish to pursue either biology or physics.

    Thank you all for your advices. I will consider every one of them.
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  • ^_^ v_v^_^ v_v 528 replies44 threadsRegistered User Member
    older != intellectually stimulating

    if you wait and get into a better school,
    you'll find smarter people than if you leave and go to a crappy one,
    maybe you should wait and see where you get in junior year,
    before you decide to go here or there,
    it really does make a big difference where you go,
    but you already knew that so it was pointless stating it
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone 3016 replies1113 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    saturnne--I have written several "Ask the Dean" columns about Early Graduation. Here's one of them that includes many of the pros and cons: Early Graduation - Ask The Dean

    The fact that you are in Mexico will have no bearing on your admissions outcome as an early applicant. However, as noted in the Ask the Dean response, admission officials do scrutinize applications from high school juniors extra carefully. And at the colleges on your list (Princeton et al) there's hair-splitting scrutiny to begin with.

    You should talk to your counselor about your potential plans and ask if you are truly in the running for your dream colleges. If not, would you be willing to consider a strong but somewhat less competitive college that might admit you for next September, or do you think you might be better off sticking it out in high school for another year and trying to strengthen your profile before applying to your dream colleges?

    If you've maxed out the challenging academic opportunities at your high school, you might be able to take classes at a nearby university (probably in Spanish, depending where you are) or online through a US institution.

    Good luck, whatever you decide
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  • Techy233Techy233 598 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    OP, I say stay.

    If you are indeed, so ahead, and your SAT is anything below 2400, you can use senior/junior to polish yourself off, so that next year, you get into a top college, and find like-minded people. It happens. I grew a lot from my junior/senior year, and you'll find that many of your peers do too. Seven APs, isn't *vastly* ahead, but if you have other achievements, I'd be interested in knowing them, and maybe you can help you with a decision. If you want to apply to schools like HYPMIT, definitely stay senior year. Being younger will not be advantageous in the admissions process, and one more year will not hurt you, but graduating early may very well.
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  • levirmlevirm 1150 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Have you considered Bard at Simon's Rock? The program is designed for serious, mature students who want to start college after tenth or eleventh grade.
    About Simon's Rock — Bard College at Simon's Rock - The Early College
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  • White_RabbitWhite_Rabbit 910 replies37 threadsRegistered User Member
    My best friend did this and is now a fairly happy junior at UC Berkeley.
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  • KeilexandraKeilexandra 5360 replies132 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you are already competitive for elite schools, I would not recommend Simon's Rock. The atmosphere there is for a different type of early-college student, IMO.

    I personally know two people who successfully applied to elite schools as a HS junior; one is now a freshman at Stanford, deferred/rejected from MIT; the other got into JHU/Chicago/Rice and rejected from HYP, is choosing to reapply this year with a stronger application (TASP among other new qualifications). In the former case, the student was planning to simply stay an extra year in HS if rejected from both very elite schools. I know someone else who is technically "graduated" from HS already, after three years, and taking senior year abroad in Taiwan (with a Rotary scholarship, IIRC). That option doesn't necessarily require a HS diploma.

    Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident? I'm not sure if many schools even take junior applications from international students. Living abroad is no problem if you have citizenship/green card.
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  • UpsilambaUpsilamba 528 replies59 threadsRegistered User Member
    Are there any dual-enrollment programs available to you?
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  • susgeeksusgeek 1559 replies44 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Check out Clarkson University High School Bridge program:

    Clarkson University - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://www.clarkson.edu

    (there seems to be a problem with the Clarkson link, so I added the Wikipedia link - I am sure it will be resolved shortly)
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  • compmomcompmom 10758 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    First, you will not find the kind of maturity in others that you are fantasizing about in college, even (or, at times, most of all) at selective colleges. If you don't realize this, you will be disappointed no matter what you do.

    There are lots of options for you, but I think showing your patience and perseverance by staying is one argument.

    You can go to community college in the US and get "dual enrollment" credit, meaning credit for both college and high school.

    You can take classes at colleges/universities through extension schools, adult education, continuing education and, many times, the regular daytime classes, for high school credit.

    You can take online classes. There are programs online that will take whatever classes you have taken at your school, any college classes, any online classes, and put them all on one transcript for a diploma. So you can mix it up.

    You can apply for early admission, as you are asking about.

    You can get a GED, or homeschool, for a year, and do things that are more typical of a gap year, such as working, volunteering, traveling.

    Chances are that with some of these plans, you already are in a good position with a full transcript. In other words, the online diploma school might already graduate you. The combination of your courses at the current school, good scores, and a GED or online diploma, or even homeschooling, plus some interesting experiences for the interim year, would be sufficient to apply to any school.

    The path of least resistance is to stay where you are though!

    Many times, people who feel out of place in one environment, fantasize that they will feel better if only they can change environments. While this can be true, it also sometimes is not. Maybe a lot of growth could occur if your focus is less on academic maturity, and you get to know your peers more. Or maybe not: only you know the limits of the environment. I am just saying that learning to be happy where you are can help you be happy later when things are not ideal.
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  • saturnnesaturnne 135 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you all! I really appreciate it.

    I am an international student; I do not hold a Green Card or a U.S. citizenship. I do not know whether or not this will make a difference, but every day at school I cannot help but realize that I need so much more than just the classes and activities I have available to be at the moment. I don't know if I could stand senior year. I wish to immerse myself in academics and subjects that I am interested in and really take advantage of all the resources around me. I think college is the best place to do that.

    Going back to the Ask The Dean article, I actually do have a personal reason to want to college as well. It so happens so that I'm going to have to stay a year here in Mexico with my mother after my father is off overseas - not only is that dangerous, but financially speaking, not too appealing.

    Many of you have suggested college-level classes, either in a community college or online, and I will definitely consider the online option. Stanford's EPGY sounds good.

    I will also still consider staying here for my senior year since my goal is to get admitted to at least one of my dream colleges, but I think I will go talk to my guidance counselor on Monday to see what the school has to say about this. Again, thank you all! You guys are great.
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  • yosupyosup 1750 replies101 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    you can do it if you want to,
    i'll warn you that i took that route
    and i got into a good college
    but it ruined my life,
    so be careful that you really are as emotionally mature as you say you are

    also you say you are currently abroad,
    are you actually a us citizen?
    because i think that's the main factor,
    not where you live right now

    ROFL Nice poem dude xD
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  • bookwormbookworm 8904 replies72 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My S felt same as you, and did apply to several selective colleges. The tech schools were very understanding, and he did enroll after jnior year of HS. Other colleges either wanted the HS degree, or encouraged him to go to a state school, which would have meant applying as a transfer.

    By end of junior year of HS, S had dozen AP classes and same number of local university classes. His counselor was in favor of his applying. Had S not been accepted into some great choices, he would have continued with dual enrollment, perhaps early graduation, or some other interesting use of time.
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