Repeating senior year in the US


<p>I'm on track to graduate in December this year from my high school in Australia (this is because we follow a February to December school year here). Obviously, unless I want to go ED, I'm not going to get my acceptance/rejection letters until well after I have graduated, and if I don't get in to a US college, I would have to wait until February 2012 to get in. I have this idea: repeat Year 12 (I think you call it senior year?) in the USA through AFS or a similar program.</p>

<p>I'd like to know what others think of this, as well as the practicalities, including college admissions (would I fill out an International Student supplement? Will I submit by 12th grade results from when I completed it in 2010, or when I completed it in the USA in 2011-2?).</p>


<p>Do you want to go abroad for a semester between graduating from high school and (hopefully) starting college in the US (January-June), or do you actually want to repeat a year in the US (August-June or three semesters January-June)? American students typically start college in August.</p>

<p>If you just want to spend a single semester at an American high school between graduating from high school and starting college, you would apply like any other international applicant: use the international supplement and report your grades just like you would if you were not going to spend a semester abroad.</p>

<p>If you actually want to repeat a full year in the US, you would complete your college applications from the US. You would still have to report all of your grades from Australia, but in addition you would be expected to report your American high school grades as well. Your American guidance counselor would help you through the application process.</p>

<p>If you don't want to risk taking a gap semester, you might be able to enroll in an Australian university while you are waiting for your American admission decisions. I don't have any experience with this myself, but I have heard from others that many US colleges are fine with this arrangement.</p>

<p>Very helpful advice, thank you :) This will definitely play a part in my decision, as my Australian counsellor doesn't really know anything about US college admissions (I doubt they know what the SAT is, and would have difficulty filling out their section of the Common Application).</p>

<p>I probably shouldn't have used the word 'repeat' in my original post. Year 12 in my state of Australia is 16 turning 17, whilst I believe in the US it is 17 turning 18. Due to a bit of grade acceleration here and there, I would be 16 by the time I started school in the US if I was to go down that route, and 17 by the time I finish in June 2012. Would that make a difference? I would not want to repeat Year 11 ('junior year'?).</p>

<p>In the past, under the terms of the visas that they were issued, students who came to the US with AFS (and other HS age exchange programs) were obligated to return to their home countries and spend at least two years there after the exchange year had ended. It was not possible for them to apply to colleges and just extend their stays. I do not know if this has changed. Your local AFS contact should be able to advise you.</p>

<p>^ That's a good point. The two-year foreign residency requirement is worth investigating, but I am not sure to what extend it applies to student exchange programs. When I spent a high school exchange year in the US 2004-05, I was not subject to the foreign residency requirement attached to some J-1 visas. I also know a few students who stayed in the US after their exchange year, either to attend a boarding school or to go to college.</p>

<p>I was under the impression that the requirement applies to high school exchange programs only if the exchange was partly or fully funded by government funds of either country, which is not the case for most exchange students (although AFS does administer some government-sponsored scholarships). I might be wrong though, or the policies might have changed.</p>

<p>Thanks, I didn't think of visas - I thought I wouldn't really need to think too much about them since I'm Australian (Major Non-NATO Ally ftw :) ). I'll have to look into it.</p>

<p>Students most often have F-1 visas. However those who are in "exchange" programs usually have J-1 visas. These visas have different restrictions and governing regulations. Your best source for current information on the kind of visa needed for a specific program would be the people who administer that program. Do not be surprised if two programs that look very similar to you have different visas.</p>

<p>Given your age at HS graduation, a "gap year" type program like AFS might be a good option for you. You could have a year in the US for a lot less money than a year of college, and then you could go back to Australia and think through just exactly where you want to receive your university education.</p>

<p>Ah right.</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice. I'm pretty sure I'd like to pursue a university education abroad, but I'm not sure where. One issue is that the AFS program begins in August and school finishes on the last day of November (speech night in December). That's going to make for a very boring eight months :)</p>

<p>For the AFS program, it is most likely that you would leave the August BEFORE you are scheduled to graduate from your home HS. Depending on your home school's policy, you might be required to return after your AFS year in order to complete any specific graduation requirements - in other words, you would graduate a year "late" from your home school. Some schools will allow students to use coursework completed at the foreign HS during an AFS year to replace coursework that they missed while overseas, and the student doesn't have to go back to HS when they return home. Some schools allow students to complete graduation requirements on-line during their exchange year.</p>

<p>If AFS doesn't have departure dates that work well in your situation, two other reputable programs worth investigating are Youth</a> For Understanding and</a> Rotary Youth Exchange</p>

<p>Thanks happymom, I checked with the AFS chapter in my area and apparently it will be possible for me to use an AFS year as a gap year. I don't know if this is because I am younger than the rest (so I'll be the same age as the other students - not older) though.</p>

<p>hey! i don't know how to ask a question on my own so i thought i would just ask on this. I just moved to ohio from virginia and i passed the 12th grade however i didn't file for scholarships and such and i was wanting to repeat the 12th grade and this way i can also raise my GPA. can i just enroll in the 12th grade again? like can i just hold myself back??</p>

<p>brainchmane -</p>

<p>To start a new thread, find the forum where you think your question fits best. Just above where the first thread title appears, there is a box that reads "new thread". Click on that and you will be able to start your own thread.</p>

<p>As for your question about repeating 12th grade, it is unlikely that a public high school would allow you to do this. However, many private schools (especially boarding schools) do enroll students for a second senior year. If you and your parents think that this is a good idea for you, you might want to ask for advice at the Prep School Forum. Click on "Discussion Home" in the upper-left of this screen and scroll down to find it.</p>