Chance Me: Will I Get in UT Austin, Duke, Rice, or Stanford?

I do not know to what extent my experience entering university as a 17 year old would compare with your experience entering as a 15 year old.

In my experience the academics were not particularly difficult. The academics (at MIT) was a big step up from what I was used to in high school. Freshman year academics were however not all that hard.

The living culture and living away from home as a young kid was more of a challenge. You might find this also as a 15 year old “on your own” for the first time. However, different people will have different experiences. Also, if you are entering university with a full year of college credits at age 15, there are not a lot of people in the world who are “like you” which makes it a bit harder to predict how things will go.

One thing to think about is whether you want to take a gap year. You could apply for admissions, then defer for a year. Of course this would go better if you can think of something productive to do for the gap year.

Another thing to think about is how far from home you want to go. There may be some advantages to being a short car ride from home. If there is an appropriate good university within an hour or so from your home, it will still be like living in a different world when you wake up in your dorm room. However, friendly faces will be reachable if you want them.

Agree. There seem to be real holes in the classes taken (as you note, missing several science and english classes and no foreign language). Two years of foreign language is a bare minimum, some schools require or expect more. And how will it look if you cram a third of your high school requirements into the last year?

Why are you in such a hurry? Take a gap year and do something amazing: study abroad if you can, do intensive volunteering, do research, learn a new language, learn a new skill, write a book, do an internship.

I think “I finished high school early and took a year to do this amazing thing” sounds better than “I rushed though high school as quickly as I could so I could start college three years early.” A gap year could really add more maturity and interest to your application.


As a college professor, I am wondering if universities even allow someone who is 15 or 16 to live in a dorm. There are liability issues for the university, and , well, a lot goes on in dorms, and OP would still be a minor.

OP mentioned being in the Davidson Young Scholars program, which is for profoundly gifted (PG) students. So OP should definitely be able to score in the 1500+ range. Usually PG kids attend nearby colleges until they are old enough to go away to a college where they can specialize - as upperclassmen, or even as grad students. When I was a grad student, I had a 17 yo in one of my classes - we referred to him “that kid in our PDE class”. The rest of us were in our 20’s. He went away to grad school at 19 or so and became a well established mathematician. Those years from 16-22 will be different for PG kids, but then it sort of evens out later on.

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My BFF’S D21 just turned 16 and will be living on campus in the fall at Miami of Ohio. There are a few schools that will allow a 16yo to live on campus, but many require you to be at least 17.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Ma is designed for “early entrants” to college after 10th or 11th grade. About half the students transfer to other colleges after sophomore year while the other half continue at Bard College on their main campus.


Just because I am in the Young Scholars program doesn’t mean I’ll automatically be able to get a 1500+. For one, a 13 year old DYS I know only scored a 27 on the ACT. The requirements to get into the program change based on age (except for IQ). I scored a 1420 when I was 12, at 14 (I’m taking it again) I should be able to score higher.

I’ve not heard of that program. I’ve looked at other early college programs (ex. Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science); however, they were too STEM focused for me (I’d like to major in Business and Philosophy). Do you have any personal experience with the program or would recommend it?

Sorry, but I do not have any personal experience with the program. I just live in New England, so I’ve known about it for a long time.

My daughter goes to Rice and loves it. However, I could not imagine a 15 year old living in their residential colleges. And in fact, I wonder if they would allow it. I know your parents live near there so you could live with them but I would not recommend it. SO much happens on campus late at night (study groups, project meetings, etc), it would be a challenge to commute.

I also question your ability to graduate college particularly early, especially at the schools you’re looking at. While most probably come into Rice with a year or 2 of credit, it would be hard to meet all the requirements and still graduate way early depending on your major. It’s done, but it’s a lot of work. Personally I want my daughter to enjoy college and get all that she can out of the experience.

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Simon’s Rock lists the following as among the colleges that their students transfer to in addition to those who continue at Bard. It’s an interesting mix:

The New School
SUNY Purchase
SUNY Stony Brook
Warren Wilson