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When should I graduate dual enrolled kid?

CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 583 Member
So, this daughter left public HS after 10th grade because she wanted to do more math and physics than her HS would let her.

She was not yet 16 so could not leave without transferring to another school situation because of compulsory school laws.

She is now registered as a homeschooler and pursuing a dual enrollment AS degree in Math at the local community college.

She can be graduated from HS at the end of this year because she will have enough credits for a state-issued homeschool diploma.

Or I could drag it out until she is done her AS and graduate her on the normal timeframe as a dual-enrolled senior.

CC is saying she should graduate ASAP for the purpose of college transfers and scholarships but every admissions person I've asked has said they don't give a fig.

I can't figure out if it matters especially for scholarship opportunities/special programs. Tuition cost is discounted by a third in the dual-enrollment program. On her transcript, she is listed as a normal math major - no different from the adult students.

I've gone back and forth so many times and I can't figure out which angle is better. Any good advice. In PA.


Replies to: When should I graduate dual enrolled kid?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,936 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    Would suggest deferring the decision (i.e. do not have her graduate) for now, since graduating earlier cannot be undone, while if she is not graduated yet, she can still graduate.

    In most cases, frosh versus transfer applicant status is based on whether the student takes college courses after high school graduation. However, college policies do vary, so you may want to look into the following questions for each college that she may attend "for real":

    A. If she takes substantial college courses but all before high school graduation, does she have the option to apply as either frosh or transfer, or is she required to apply as frosh only?
    B. If she graduates high school and takes college courses after that, what is the threshold (number of college courses or credits) to be required to apply as a transfer only?
    C. Is frosh or transfer entry more advantageous for admission?
    D. Is frosh or transfer entry more favorable for merit scholarships and/or financial aid?
    E. Does frosh or transfer entry affect how transfer credit is handled? Since you mentioned elsewhere wanting her to graduate in two years after entering college "for real", that can affect whether she can still graduate in two years after frosh entry, or has to enter as a transfer if she wants to graduate in two years.

    It is possible that the answers are different enough for each college so that it may be advantageous for one college but disadvantageous for another college to graduate high school and then continue taking college courses afterward.

    In other words, this is not a simple question with a one-size-fits-all answer.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,935 Senior Member
    Wait. You are saving money on tuition. If something happens she might need to go back to high school, for services (IEP, 504 plan, disability) that won't be available if she's already graduated.

    Are there any benefits to graduating early? I don't think schools will look at transfer credits any differently if she takes them at community college as a high school student or as a college student - they will either transfer or they won't.
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    Some schools state that they explicitLy will not transfer credits earned for both HS and college credit. MIT and St. Joe's are ones that have indicated this. I'm more concerned about scholarships for transfer students, research opportunities, etc.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,935 Senior Member
    Then you'll have to decide if you'd rather save the money now or have the credits count. If she graduates and continues to take cc classes, she will most likely be considered a transfer student but some schools allow 12-25 transferred credits to still be a freshman applicant,so you'll have to check

    If she takes these classes and doesn't get credit for them, it is likely she'd get advanced placement in math and physics, just like she would if she'd taken the classes in hs as honors, IB, or AP.

    You have too many unknowns - public schools, private schools, schools not part of the articulation agreements - for us to know what is required. If you graduate her from hs now, will she have enough years of the core classes for these colleges (or others) to take her? Will she have 4 years of English and history or just double math and science classes?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,936 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    One of the other unknowns you need to get a handle on to help answer the question for yoursel is how much financial contribution you can make for her college, and what the net price after financial aid is likely to be at each college. I.e. for each college, can you afford four years or just two years?

    For example, you mention MIT not accepting some transfer credit used for high school. But if MIT is affordable for four years, or not affordable at all, that limitation at MIT may not be as important.
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    @twoinanddone like I said I think I am not so worried about 4 year school. Like you said, it's too many unknowns to make any guesses. I'm more concerned that she might be putting herself out of the running for undergrad research programs and transfer scholarships like Jack Kent Cooke or summer institutes, stuff like that. Like she will just be in a holding pattern for two years and not be eligible for HS stuff and also not for college stuff.
  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 4,338 Senior Member
    The question that needs to be answered is how does the state see her status. Is she considered a DE high school student or is the CC declaring her as having graduated when the credits are completed? Are you homeschooling under a homeschool law in a state where that is your decision or does the CC have authority to declare her no longer a high school student? If the decision is completely yours and you are the high school diploma granting entity, than she can DE until you state she has graduated and apply as a freshman, not a transfer student. But, you need to understand your state law.

    From our experience in the states where we have lived and graduated students, simply fulfilling high school graduation requirements had zero impact on what we decided to do in terms of when to graduate our students and we have not allowed our kids to graduate early. One of our kids graduated with an abnormally high number of credits bc he completed so many high school credits before high school and took multiple 200 and 300 level courses DEing at our local Us. He attended SSP between jr and sr yr, so no problem there. He was considered a freshman applicant everywhere he applied and was awarded numerous entering freshman scholarships.

    (I'm super drained, so I apologize if that is an incoherent ramble.)
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    @Mom2aphysicsgeek I don't think the state is thinking about her status. We report to the local school district. The CC has no say over when she graduates. It's a recent development that the state even issues a homeschool diploma. What certifies the homeschool diploma is the parent and the 12th grade evaluator (certified teacher who reviews to make sure all requirements have been met). The state never looks at the credits or transcript, only the evaluator. It's really just to have a piece of paper.

    The dual enrollment is not a state-sponsored DE (have heard of those in other states). It's a program of the community college. It's more of a community outreach program in terms of discounted tuition, etc. The systems don't talk to each other. She is considered a fully matriculated student with a declared major and she will graduate with an Associates in Science when she completes her degree even if she is still enrolled under their high school program. The only difference, actually, is sports eligibility. Actually, I should probably stop calling it dual enrollment. It's only dual enrollment in terms of her homeschooling (ie. in relation to her homeschool diploma). The CC does not call it dual enrollment. It's more like a "high school scholars" or "early college" program. Most students only take a few classes - a very few complete a whole degree like she is planning. Local high schools generally do not have agreements to accept the credits - there is not institutional dual enrollment like in some communities.

    I am not concerned about freshman applicant status. Even Temple which said they would transfer the degree, not the credits, and start her as a junior said she would be considered a freshman for financial aid purposes. Only one admissions person was unsure if she would be eligible for freshman scholarships. Everyone else said she would be considered a freshman for financial aid even if she started as a 3rd year.

    I am more concerned about summer research opportunities, etc. There are some very advantageous transfer scholarships that the CC has recommended to her that she should apply but I don't know if they will view her the same as other applicants without a HS diploma. Also, the CC thought she should graduate ASAP. I probably need to ask some more detailed questions but I've been trying to leave her on her own. I've gone with her to transfer fairs but I've actually never met with the people at the CC.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,936 Senior Member
    CCtoAlaska wrote:
    Everyone else said she would be considered a freshman for financial aid even if she started as a 3rd year.

    This sounds like application and entry as frosh, but with advanced (junior) standing (and potential to graduate in 2 years), as distinct from transfer application and entry. You may want to check very carefully about this distinction at each college, as well as whether earlier high school graduation would affect which way she would have to apply and enter the college as.
  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 4,338 Senior Member
    I would investigate the transfer scholarships. I have never heard of transfer scholarships being better than freshman scholarships. (and we are huge merit scholarship seekers.) I would also factor in the loss of competitive scholars programs as a transfer student. Scholars programs come with a lot of perks and additional mentoring/research opportunities.

    What summer research opportunities are you thinking about and do you think there will be better ones open to her as a CC student vs a high school student? Some great ones to look into as a high school Jr who like math and physics are SSP, PAN, and ISSYP.
  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 4,338 Senior Member
    Fwiw, I would absolutely not leave this to your student. Once you made the decision to pull her from ps, you became her guidance counselor. Understanding the ins and outs of the various scenarios really falls into the GC role. These are decisions with long-term consequences and significant financial impact.
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    @Mom2aphysicsgeek there are particular transfer scholarships that are full ride. The one honors program she is looking at takes people who come in with an associates'. Again, they are treated as freshman for eligibility even if they start as juniors. I doubt she would actually get any of these opportunities, though, so maybe don't think about it.

    Her CC recommended applying for undergrad REUs. I will have her look at those ones you recommend. Thanks! Did you physics geek finish college yet?
  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 4,338 Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    Yes, he graduated in May and is in grad school pursuing something to do with theoretical cosmology (though honestly I don't understand most of what he talks about.)

    I'm going to say that I question the advice your CC is giving you. If your Dd is interested in grad school, the application process is extremely competitive. Transferring in as a Jr after 2 yrs at a CC with a plan to graduate after 2 yrs at a U is not going to put her in a strong applicant position. Transfer students often have to compete against students who have already been in the dept for 2 yrs for the limited research opportunities. Those students might have also been doing research with professors from freshman yr.
  • CCtoAlaskaCCtoAlaska Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    edited November 2018
    Definitely not leaving it to her @Mom2aphysicsgeek . There is no way she could be expected to disentangle this which is why I am asking the questions. There are zero clear answers, I think, without calling each individual program. And I think sometimes they don't even know themselves. Right now she is dually-enrolled in a bunch of 4 year universities and taking AP tests for freshman application and all the rest she can do, so her options remain totally open for transfer, freshman application, etc. She is not a 4.0 kind of student anyway and will have far from top scores, so I'm not sure that a transfer scholarship wouldn't be more money than she could get from a freshman merit scholarship anyway. Most students I have seen with a similar background end up with all loans and zero need-based aid or merit aid. At the least if she took a guaranteed transfer scholarship (for having a 3.0 or above, for example) she would get a little bit of money. She's a B student who is interested in A+ fields (pure math and physics) so she is kind of at a disadvantage. But the schools she talked to who are dual enrollment schools for her major to directly transfer to from CC all said she would be treated as a freshman for financial aid purposes (maybe because she hasn't used up any of her eligibility yet?). I just don't really understand it completely. I think it's impossible to until you actually sit down and apply. But there are REUs and stuff like that that she would like to apply for. Probably won't get in but it would be nice to know if she's even eligible.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,935 Senior Member
    The only difference, actually, is sports eligibility.

    What sports? If she hasn't graduated from hs, she is still eligible to play for a high school. Once she graduates and take a community college course, her NCAA eligibility begins to run, and she'd have 5 years to play 4. If she spends 2 of those in CC without playing sports, the NCAA doesn't care, her time begins to run.

    If she's interested in playing in college, wait.
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