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Chances of my son getting into a t20

jackb172jackb172 8 replies1 threads New Member
Hello everybody!

My son is a 13 year old homeschooled student. He's doing a pace where he would be a senior in August. He wants to go to a t20 school but isn't sure they'd let a student that young attend. Here are his stats:

4.81w
4.0UW
1550 SAT
710 Biology M Subject Test
730 Math Level 2
7 AP Classes with our local high school - APUSH, Psych, Envo Science, Stat, Micro, Macro, Spanish
6 Online College Classes with ASU - Biochem, Orgo Chem, Health and Medicine, College Precalc, and Calc 1-3
150+ Volunteer Hours
Spanish Club
NHS
Key Club
French Horn for 3 years
Intended major: Biology

The clubs were taken with the high school.
If you can, please analyze and give some suggestions!
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Replies to: Chances of my son getting into a t20

  • jackb172jackb172 8 replies1 threads New Member
    It’s all his choice. By fourth grade he’d come home complaining how easy school was for him so homeschooling was his only option. We wanted to put him in more advanced classes while homeschooled but even with those, he strode to go faster so my wife and I had to supplement his learning. We hired a specialist for this kind of thing and she said it’s fine to do this but don’t push what you want and let him have what he wants. He wants to go to a t20 school for connections and go onto the premed track. He volunteers at the hospital my wife works at and has fallen in love with medicine.

    And community college, he pretty much has the same amount of credit hours that you get from a community college for maybe a year.
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  • sbdad12sbdad12 264 replies13 threads Junior Member
    edited April 6
    @jackb172 , that's good. Still, I think he needs to slow down. Our local school district preaches that you have to take care of the physical, social, and emotional needs of kids, and the academic part will follow. Being a doctor involves bedside manner, and that comes with emotional development and empathy. The community college part was to keep him involved and to stay at home, but perhaps he could do that at a local college for two years while at home and transfer?

    I'm concerned about my 18 year old going away to college, and yet she's ready. Can only imagine what's it's like for a 13 or 14 year old going far away, or living on campus close.

    He may be ready academically, but will he be able to relate to his classmates or people in a dorm at 14? Your connections, which I think are overblown, are from bonding together at college. Will your 14 year old be bonding with 18 and 19 years that want to party, even those on the pre med track?

    I went to high school with a pretty bright guy who got a 1600 on the SAT, and we both enrolled at the University of Michigan. The difference was he was 16 and I was almost 19 when I started. He was immature, not prepared for college, and nearly got kicked out for doing crazy stuff.
    edited April 6
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  • jackb172jackb172 8 replies1 threads New Member
    Well the problem with our CC is that most people there are doing illegal activities. And for us, the only close university is a place he refuses to go. I’m not going to force my child to go somewhere he won’t be happy. If it means my wife and I have to move to the city of his college, fine by us. We planned on that anyway. We and many others believe he wants and needs the challenge on a university.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 1094 replies9 threads Senior Member
    What about sending him on a gap year, one that was structured, so that he could keep growing (maturing) and learning in a different way? It may be hard to find a program that will take a 14 year old, though. I'm thinking of things like volunteering with Partners In Health or becoming an EMT or something. IMO that will strengthen his college application process as well as benefiting him. From what you've written he's impressive academically, but tippy top schools want more.
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  • SammoJSammoJ 207 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Although he had great academic stats, the T20s are looking for much more. They don't want someone who sits in their dorm room/library and grinds through material, they want someone who contributes to the life of the university. (We just went through this w S19.)

    You say he is in many clubs - has he held leadership positions? What has he spearheaded/accomplished with those clubs? He has played French horn for three years - is he in orchestra? Been selected for all state? The volunteering at the hospital - has he made a substantial impact with those hours?

    Agree with others, especially for a pre-med. Medical schools are looking for mature, well-rounded individuals, and the age of med school matriculation keeps going up to reflect that. Could he find a research position at your local "place he refuses to go"?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9850 replies110 threads Senior Member
    I see some courses missing - notably physics. I’m going to assume there was a general chemistry course before DE o chem.

    Has he had the equivalent of four years of English? I don’t see AP language or lit?

    Honestly the AP courses listed are not the most challenging and online DE courses from colleges may not necessarily be viewed as having the same rigor.


    T20s are looking for more than GPA and test scores. I agree with the above poster that there aren’t enough ECs to stand out and age is going to be a red flag.

    Another vote to pull back on accelerating to college. Structured gap year or maybe an early college program that is geared for younger students.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9741 replies371 threads Senior Member
    edited April 6
    Colleges want to see 4 years of English, history, math, and science, and at least 3 of a foreign language. Does he have those?

    So his plan is to start college at 14 and apply to med schools at 17 or 18? I don't see how he could be competitive. I thought prepping for med school meant summers spent shadowing and volunteering. It seems like the places a 15-year-old can shadow will be much different than those a 19-year-old can.

    @wayoutwestmom knows a lot about med schools. I don't think graduating from high school at 14 will help a med school app, but she'll know for sure.

    Why is he refusing to take classes at the local 4 year university? Can't he dual enroll there as a home schooler? That would preserve his freshman status for grants and give him time to get the courses and background he needs to be competitive for med school.
    edited April 6
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3272 replies75 threads Senior Member
    Academically your son is great. However, his extracurriculars, while fine activities, haven't reached or been performed at the level of a T20. I would take some more time to finish up all the core classes and let him develop his maturity and leadership skills. That isn't something that can be rushed.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4964 replies86 threads Senior Member
    I agree with much of the above, and because of his age your S will not be able to get the patient facing experience he needs to put together a successful med school application.

    I'll call @WayOutWestMom for her perspective and recommendations.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7764 replies82 threads Senior Member
    What a tangle! how great to have a bright, motivated kid- and how hard to help him navigate 13-16/18.

    So, backing up and taking one piece at a time:

    Where did he hear of T-20, and what is it that is driving that desire? Does he think that T-20 will have more kids like him / significantly 'better' academics / be important for getting into med school? If so, there is some un-picking to do there.

    Did he take the AP exams, or just do the class? Has he done a lab science (with actual lab)?

    Besides "T-20" and getting into med school what does he want from college?

    Has he looked at BS/MD programs?

    Have you checked out the Bard early college option?

    As his parent, do you see him as a physician? if so, what type? what is the possibility that as he encounters other opportunities his interests may shift/grow? (not asking for you to answer that here- just for you to think about).

    Recently there was a very precocious poster here on CC- clearly bright, clearly motivated and clearly needed maturing. That poster's parents have (according to the poster) ceded all schooling decisions to the poster, and (from here) there seem to be some problems with that. As other posters have said (and I am sure you know!) maturing is not a straight line, and can there are some special challenges in parenting a child who is highly able in one dimension, but still forming in others!
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4964 replies86 threads Senior Member
    ^^I love the Bard early college suggestion!
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  • rickle1rickle1 2543 replies21 threads Senior Member
    We have a kid in our neighborhood (16) who just graduated college. I believe he was the youngest in the school's history. His focus is on medical research of some sort. He was home schooled and was / is a savant of some sort. He attended college in person (not online) but lived at home. Pretty sure he had to because I don't think the school would allow him, nor would he want to, be in a dorm situation at 13 / 14.

    College is about a lot more than subject matter education. There's the social aspect, network, personal growth, learning to be responsible, making your own decisions, learning to get along with all types of people in various settings, etc. Hard for that to happen for someone who hasn't physically and emotionally matured.

    The human side of this may be quite challenging for a physician vs. a research driven candidate.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30280 replies59 threads Senior Member
    He can apply just as many many students do for acceptance at the most selective schools in the country. If he wants to be at a college next year, he should also apply to other less selective schools, also as should any student who wants to go away for college next year.

    In that respect, he is no different from other college applicant. His age is not going to be an advantage at all in the process, nor is his home school status. Whether a college uses any filters in assessing way younger than usual kids as residential admits comes down to individual schools.

    Few kids that age are considered optimal candidates for the general dormitories, and most parents would not want a young teen kid of that age thrown into that mix. Your child, is not used to spending the bulk of the day mixing with the general population of a school with kids his age and if that age gap, as it is. You suddenly want to throw him into close 24/7 quarters into the late teen and young adult population, particularly known to indulge in risky experimentAction and flights into madness?

    Some schools have had experience in dealing with this situation as parts of official studies; JHU and CMU come to mind. But still, most of those kids, especially at the younger end of the spectrum commuted.

    By very definition, the odds of your son, or any student getting into the top 10-15-20 colleges are very small. Though his academic profile is right up there, the rest of the info shared is weak for a top school candidate. No hook there either. So if college work is the goal, make sure some more likely schools are in the list.

    Since your son appears to enjoy accelerating his academic studies, a full service university with doctoral programs in his fields of study and interest are what I’d suggest. That way , the ceilings are very high and even nonexistent in available academic opportunities. Pick such schools, and certainly include top schools with low accept rates if they fall on the list, but understand that finding schools with likely accept rates to add to the list is even more important for him to realistically have choices when the decisions are released.

    I once worked in a program for academically advanced students, who were up to college level courses in difficulty level. There are quite a few kids in this am category; your son is not unique in this regard, nationally, though he may be locally. Most of these kids were not accepted into highly selective school but did find college courses and programs that allowed them to advance educationally. The conclusion of the program was that statistically, these kids did well, as did most of those at that academic level that continued in higher education but no outstanding results in the pools that got special entry to programs geared to them at the few highly selective schools that did give special attention to these circumstances.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10913 replies232 threads Senior Member
    edited April 6
    RE: medical school before age 18/at age 18.

    This simply isn't going to happen.

    Less than 1% of med students were under age 21 at matriculation in 2018 (last year AAMC reported age data).

    Under 18s will not be able to get hands on clinical experience that med school expect/require due to age restrictions at hospitals and clinics. Among other things, HIPAA regulations prohibit under 18s from seeing patients and patient records.

    Med school admission requires much more than merely academic ability. Grades and MCAT scores only prevent one's application form getting summarily tossed into the trash. Applicants need to have the appropriate ECs--clinical volunteering, community service with disadvantaged populations (solo, without parental participation/supervison in the activity) physician shadowing, leadership roles in their activities, and clinical or lab bench research. (Research is the least important item on the list and is not a substitute for any of the other items listed.)

    Medical schools are extremely leery of younger than typical applicants. Adcomms feel they lack the emotional maturity and breadth of life experience to make a good physician. In fact the trend over the past 10 years is to select older students for medical school. The average age at matriculation is now 24-25.

    For a younger than typical applicant, the burden of proving they have the necessary maturity, worldliness and gravitas is strictly on them.

    The basic question every adcomm asks themselves during a medical school interview is: Would I feel comfortable allowing this person to treat my elderly & demented mother/my seriously ill & nonverbal autistic child/my argumentative & obnoxious chronically ill uncle? If their gut says no, then that's the end of the line.

    There was a younger than typical student in D1's med school class. They were 19 at matriculation. (Homeschooled, completed HS and AA at age 16, moved OOS WITHOUT their parents for college, graduated with BS & MS at 19 and entered med school immediately afterwards.) While this person did fine academically, they did not do well during the clinical portion of med school. Patients refused to allow them to treat them (which is the patient's right) and they had great difficulty getting hospital staff to take them seriously. Went into a primary care specialty.
    edited April 6
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  • MaltamilkboneMaltamilkbone 100 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @collegemom3717 Could you link to the thread that you mentioned in post #11?
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  • RelicAndTypeRelicAndType 200 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Your options are basically Simon's Rock or take more time.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7764 replies82 threads Senior Member
    @Maltamilkbone I believe that it has been closed & the poster has requested to be banned from CC.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9850 replies110 threads Senior Member
    There is a more inclusive list of early college programs here: https://cty.jhu.edu/resources/academic-opportunities/college-entrance/
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  • 2plustrio2plustrio 305 replies5 threads Member
    I would start emailing AO at colleges he is interested in applying to and ask them what their protocol is for (by that time) 14? year olds and entrance to their university.
    While you can be very proud of your son because he is truly academically amazing, theres many kids just like him who get rejected from t20 schools all the time.

    Other than being smart, what would his entrance essays be about? Not many hospitals allow children less than 16 years old to volunteer so exactly what capacity or job duties is he performing there? Other than something to put down on a college app, what is this doing for him as a person or how is he helping others?
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