Are we doing the right thing.....

hello all, and thank you in advance for any help or insight you might give us…

My daughter is 15 years old and is scheduled to graduate next June right before she turns 16. She plays sports (soccer) and is wanting to play in college with a scholarship (her dream) here is our question

Should she take her ACT? we were planning on having her go to a local community college for 2 years and then transfer to wherever she can play soccer at 18 yrs old. If we go this route , do she need ACT results?

About her:
plays travel soccer with older kids. She is in a competitive club. She has a 3.6 GPA and is active in the community (food bank, toy drives, etc)

For junior level transfers (two full years of transferable college course work, typically 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits, and readiness to declare a major), colleges may or may not want high school based stuff, including SAT or ACT scores. For lower level transfers, colleges do want high school based stuff, including SAT or ACT scores.

What is the reason she is graduating at 15? Most students that advanced have academics as a high (not necessarily only) priority in choosing their next educational path.

Why is she graduating two years younger than is typical? Being young is unlikely to be a benefit. Going to a community college where she’s not playing college-level soccer is unlikely to be a benefit.

What is her club coach saying about her college prospects? What does she want to do in college other than play soccer? Does she need an “athletic scholarship,” which means D1 or D2, or is just playing enough?

thanks for the responses, she is in a home school program that lets her do it at her pace. she works extra hard trying to finish by next june (she is on pace for that) She is also doing 2 a day workouts right now which is why she enjoys home school, she is in the NCAA clearing house and has taken the classes to be NCAA eligible

She still plans on playing soccer but not at the Community college. she plays on 2 teams and her coach sees her making a D2 school. her dream or goal is to get a scholarship which is why she is doing this

So no to the ACT?.

The average women’s soccer scholarship is $5-$10k. She’s better off improving her grades to earn merit awards at strong D3 schools where the soccer and academics would be superior to D2 schools.

You need to check the transfer four year schools of interest to see if they want SAT or ACT scores.

However, if it is uncertain, it is better to have them and not need them than not have them and need them.

She might be a good candidate for a postgrad year at a residential prep school where she could continue to develop in her sport as well as academically and socially before starting college, and benefit from a strong college counseling department that would help her land in the best possible college situation. I’m not sure whether prep schools give athletic scholarships to postgrads these days, but in my day this was common.

If she is homeschooled, and will not be playing soccer at a Jr college, then there is no advantage to graduating her early, and there are several disadvantages. I would continue to register her as a homeschooler, let her take the college classes as a “dual enrolled” student, and then graduate her at the normal age. Then she will still have a full four years of college eligibility and will be eligible for freshman merit scholarships as well. The extra college credits earned while a high schooler will allow her to take a lower course load when she goes to college, which can be very helpful when a student is spending 20 hours/wk at practice and competitions.

What Corraleno said. With a 3.6, you could look at improving this record. rather than letting her rush ahead. Yes she should take the ACT or SAT, now, while the learning it’s geared to is fresh. Why not?

College Confidential leans hard toward using the right strategies for one’s goals. What’s the advantage, if any, to graduating early with a 3.6? Have you identified match colleges and is that gpa toward the top of their profile?

Also, food bank and toy drives may not be much, despite sports. You need a good read on what the colleges like to see. What else?

Graduating at 15 is never a good idea.

^ yes, staying a hs student allows not only the emotional development, but also the experiences and wider capabilities colleges look for. This isn’t a race. DE is a great way.

There’s also a homeschool forum. Chat there.

My oldest is homeschooled and transitioned to DE as a junior. He’s a senior now applying to colleges. I would not graduate a 16 year old unless they were extremely mature and pushing hard for it and at the top of a class 2 years older than her.

I can tell you my son’s ACT score went up 7 points composite between spring freshman year and spring junior year. He is at the ceiling of the test now but some kids that start lower gain even more. Those points are going to be opening many doors for him. Playing sports for 2 years would be a very atypical route and I wouldn’t count on athletic scholarships.

I’d have her take the ACT now to give yourself a sense of where she is at and where she’d like to be for colleges she is interested in.

I would check with the NCAA but if I recall once she enters college (not as DE but as a “college student”) she has 5 years to compete for 4 years. Going to CC and playing club soccer puts her in a tough position for colleges. They would be looking to recruit a 18 year old that can only play until she is 21 vs. the remaining recruits that have until they are 23. It is one thing to recruit the JC player that has been playing college soccer vs. the same player that only has age group club behind her.

The other thing is with club soccer playing up is great until there is no higher age group to play. She will soon catch up to her birth year and in essence the competition level will drop as she is no longer competing against older, bigger, more experienced girls; it will start to feel watered down for her.

Thank you all for the input. She won’t go to high school because she had a TBI and she was given a 504 plan and it’s something she didn’t want. I think we really need to reconsider the plan we had. You have all given us things to ponder

@snowteller I just noticed in your second post you mention that getting a scholarship “is why she is doing this.” Are you saying that she thinks graduating early will HELP her get a scholarship? Because the exact opposite is true; it’s likely that her current plan will significantly reduce her chances of getting not only athletic money, but academic money as well. And if she is also sacrificing course rigor and grades in a race to graduate two years early, then she may also be lowering her chances of even being admitted to the schools she’s interested in (or lowering the level and quality of the schools who might be interested in her).

If the high school is home school, could she remain as a home school high school student (i.e. not graduated), but take all courses at the community college as a “dual enrollment” student while continuing to play club soccer, as suggested in reply #7? Then she can graduate high school at a more typical age and start college “for real” at a more typical age, with better merit scholarship and athletic opportunities as a frosh at four year colleges, rather than as a transfer.

@snowteller Is she currently registered as a homeschooler in your state, or is she enrolled in an online school that counts as her as a public or private school student? If she is registered as a homeschooler, then you can choose to graduate her whenever you want and can give her HS credit for all her CC courses. If she is legally enrolled in an online school, then you need to talk to the school to see if they will accept dual enrollment credits. The other option would be to withdraw her from the online school and register as a homeschooler instead.

Make sure you have a plan “B” should an athletic scholarship fail to come her way. (My sister’s family learned this the hard way) So much can happen between now and when she turns 18. Please keep in mind that a coach saying she should make a D2 team doesn’t mean that she will make a D2 team. She might be amazing, but there is no way to control is who her competition will be for a place on the roster at that one moment in time.

If she had a TBI, whether due to soccer or not, that will likely impact her attractiveness to college soccer coaches. The farther that is in her past, the better.

One of my homeschoolers could have graduated after 10th grade (or even sooner if we had let him take more classes young). He was testing at the 12th grade level after 4th grade for some things. His 10th grade ACT was a score many would swoon over.

We didn’t. We wanted him to be a kid. By homeschooling you can do this. There are college classes (DE). Homeschoolers can make up “fun” classes (Great Works of Literature). Public Speaking is worthwhile. There are loads of options that can be tailored for the student.

My guy is in med school now with no regrets at the schedule we chose for him. He fit in with his high school age, college, and now med school, peers. Why rush adulthood? There’s enough time to work later on and the life lessons one learns as a teen by being a teen are priceless.