Does Applicant Age Matter in Admissions?

<p>My D skipped 2nd grade and is now applying to selective colleges at the age of 16. Do you think the adcoms will take this into consideration in the admissions process, when most other applicants are 17?</p>

<p>No. (I was a former Ivy interviewer and still have many friends in the field).</p>

<p>Now if the student was 12 or 13......</p>

<p>My S is also 16, though he is graduating early.<br>
Young students are not given extra consideration (eg., "how wonderful that he did calculus at such a young age"). A young student graduating early may actually be at a disadvantage, according to one adcom, if s/he does not have stellar grades and accomplishments; the feeling is that if the student stayed another year in high school, s/he might improve his/her profile. 'What's the hurry?" would be a common reaction, I was told. The situation is quite different for a young student graduating as a senior. My understanding is that colleges may have some concerns if the student is younger than 16 because of issues of maturity (emotional and social). But a student who can show self-reliance and some social skills will be fine. And a student who will be 16 or 17 when entering college should be okay.
Hope this helps.</p>

<p>I think as long as your daughter is getting a diploma like anyone else, she is fine. I don't think your D's age is going to come into play.</p>

<p>In my own D's case, she is also a 16 year old applicant because she is graduating a year early (after three years of high school), and in fact, was a year ahead before this latest "skip" because she "skipped" into K a year early too. She is the age of what normally would be a tenth grader here. In HER case, the "early graduate" thing might be looked at, which is NOT your D's case. Each of her colleges told me that they take early graduates and just care that they have earned a high school diploma and do not care how many years it took to get it. However, my D has included a supplemental statement with all of her applications addressing her choice to be an early graduate and has had her guidance counselor also address her reasons and readiness for college. In YOUR D's case, however, I do not think any of that is necessary because she is not an official early graduate, but simply that age due to skipping when younger, and I don't think it will an issue at all for your D and likely will not even be noticed but even if it were, it is not uncommon and will not be scrutinized. I think my own D's application might take a second look as it is not the "norm" as much in terms of graduating a year early. Hopefully it will not be a problem and she and others spoke to this issue. </p>


<p>Thank you all for your sage advice!</p>

<p>Hey, I skipped 2nd grade too! I'll be 16 when I graduate from high school, but will turn 17 before I actually attend college. I would agree that 12 or 13 would matter, but 16, that's only a year or two. As for graduating early, I seriously considered it, but did not because of family reasons. I would say that unless you massively doubled up or too CC courses, you could be at a disadvantage because of the sheer lack of courses.</p>

<p>Anovice....there would not be a lack of courses because an early graduate still must get all the credits to graduate, but just do it by the end of junior year. It is not the same as leaving high school after junior year. My D, as well as others who take this path, will still be earning her high school diploma and have the requisite courses to do so. She did not take CC courses ever but has accelerated and took several high school courses while in middle school. It is not incredibly hard to graduate in less than four years, and there are some others doing it at our high school this year as well.</p>

<p>I agree that it's not that hard to graduate in three years: At my school you are allowed to take 7 classes a year and to graduate you have to have 21 credits(1 class=1 credit). Although you can graduate with 21 credits, most have 25-28 by senior year. I understand that you graduate with a diploma and the required number of courses but when the kids you are competing against have 7 (may vary) more classes than you, you could be at a disadvantage. Up until my junior year I had full intention of graduating early. I had all of my required courses and took minimal (waste) electives to accomplish this. Now as a senior, I have an additional grouping of AP courses which I would not have had without this extra year. If you have strong scores and great ECs I think that a school will understand but if not it can hurt you.</p>


<p>Actually, it is not easy to graduate early in our school, as there is a requirement for 4 years of English, besides the requirement for a certain number of credits, including PE/health. The PE/Health requirement can be reduced for students graduating early, but none of the other requirements. The only students who can graduate early have to start early with APs, especially in science and math, in order to 1. exhaust the offerings of the school and 2. free up time to double up on the English requirement. That's what my S is doing. He began taking one semester of senior English last year, and is taking a second semester this fall, along with AP-English. He is also taking college courses.</p>

<p>See, at my school we also have the 4 year english thing(as well as art/humanities requirements, PE requirements, tech requirements, etc) but you can take your 4th english independent study or over the summer. </p>

<p>You son sounds like a good student who will not have problems with getting into college with graduating early. But, if you don't mind sharing, what are his motivations for graduating early? When I really thought about it, I realized that I didn't have a real reason but wanted to because <em>I could</em>. I've always pushed myself academically and this was just another thing I could do. Then I thought about it and was like- why? So I can get to college one year earlier? So I can start working one year earlier? So I can say I graduated at 15? I just didn't have any good reasons and I am curious to know about the motivations of your son.</p>

<p>Thanks, and best of luck to him (and you too).</p>

<p>There are actually many kids who are a year early applying to colleges. I believe that a study done at Stanford by Terman many years ago showed that the younger kids in a class are often the brightest because of why they are the younger ones there--they were moved up because they were so bright and ready to go on. </p>

<p>For very young kids, there may be additional considerations to take by admissions, particularly if the kid is boarding. I know a number of schools that do have programs where they take middle school kids directly into college rather than their going on to highschool, but the kids tend to be local and are carefully screened for maturity reasons as well as academic readiness. I do know a young boy who was not accepted to CMU while we were in Pittsburgh, though he was academically certainly capable. They felt he was not emotionally and socially a good fit for their early program. </p>

<p>But a year or two early is not a big deal from what I have been able to see. Not a personal issue for me--my kids were always a year or two behind!</p>

<p>My son was also 16 when he applied to college (he skipped 4th grade). It didn't seem to make any difference in admission for him. He had excellent grades and SAT scores, was thought of highly by the teachers who wrote recommendations for him, and fit in well with his classmates (other than the fact he couldn't drive as soon as they could). In fact, his personal essay was about skipping a grade (he's never shown us the essay, so I can't ell you what his essay said). I agree with the others who've said a student would have to be several years younger for adcoms to have second thoughts about admitting him/her.</p>


<p>My S began taking advanced math and sciences classes early, so he has exhausted the courses available at the high school in these fields. The AP classes he could take as a senior are of little interest to him (AP-Spanish, AP-European History and AP-American Literature). At the same time, the school knows it has become more and more difficult to reconcile the high school schedule and the college schedule so that he can take college classes. In essence, he would be spending most of his time in college rather than in the high school (he is currently taking two college classes).<br>
He did not grade skip, so he is young only because of early graduation. He has another schoolmate who graduated at 16 as a senior and is spending a gap year doing a science internship (she has been accepted at an Ivy). Another student is set to do the same. Both were grade skipped in elementary school.</p>

<p>My S took English 4 on-line during summer; and will need one English course at college to earn his HS degree. English would have been his only class in HS, so made sense to go early to college.</p>

<p>As an aside, some schools we visited informed us that when a candidate is younger than typical they may ask for a personal interview with that student, primarily to assess maturity and preparedness for college. In most cases, this applied only if the student was 15 or younger at the time of application, but one school also required such an assessment interview of 16-year-old applicants. It was clear that being younger (less than 16) did not bring positive attention to a student, but neutral impression at best. It appeared that overall, there was no impact of the younger age on the actual application process once the student demonstrated preparedness and actually entered the review process, assuming that the student completed a "normal" HS schedule. Without a 4-year HS record, the student could be competing with fewer courses or credentials (i.e., AP courses, varisty sports experience, etc...) than other applicants.</p>

<p>I'm 17 now and graduated from high school "on-time" a month after turning 16. I wanted to wait until I was the normal age (18) to move away to a university, because I've been 2-3 years younger than my classmates all through school. I was placed a few years ahead back in elementary school and the age gap got to be irritating. You learn to fit in after a while, but I wanted a "normal" social life in college, not one where I'm considered the oddity. I'm applying to universities now - with my age group, not with my class - and I'm glad.</p>

<p>I remember being 17 my whole first year of college. It was a problem for me because I was a girl coming from a catholic HS to a liberal city university. I was not prepared for the social scene..but it may have been more due to the "hs" than to my age! i had been in all girl classes since 6th know that catholic thing. If you are well prepared for the social scene...then I think your child will be okay. make sure you talk about drugs and alcohol as well as sexual pressures for both girls and boys....sometimes a 16 yr old may get a bit confused as to what is acceptable and normal and what is really a result of the coercive party scene. i suppose i am dating myself!!!</p>