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    #230593 - 05/13/16 03:32 AM Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early
    Mom2Two Offline

    Registered: 09/30/07
    Posts: 99
    Because of a skip in late elementary, we are now face-to-face with the potential of sending a child off to college a year early.

    I've thought about holding back, but with all the friends leaving it will be tough.

    Most of time the maturity is there, but sometimes there are bursts of age-like behavior/naivety.

    Has anyone gone or sent their kid off to college a year early. Any thoughts on the pros/cons.

    Edited to Add: This is one of those rare times where I wish we had red-shirted not sped up. (Just kidding, it wouldn't have worked out so well. It's just this college thing that has me concerned..)

    Edited by Mom2Two (05/13/16 03:33 AM)

    #230597 - 05/13/16 05:10 AM Re: Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early [Re: Mom2Two]
    Tigerle Offline

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    I'd suggest a year abroad. Sort of like a senior year of high school, as part of a student exchange program, without having to bother about transferring credits, simply to enjoy another culture and get fluent in another language. That way he has a project like his friends, won't be hanging around his hometown, academics won't count and he can gain maturity. He could apply in his last year of high school and ask for deferred entry or apply over the summer just before leaving. Either way, it would look interesting on his application.

    #230598 - 05/13/16 05:17 AM Re: Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early [Re: Mom2Two]
    Tigerle Offline

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    Adding personal anecdotes, because you've asked: I was a grade skipped kid, took a gap semester and was a spring admit (European university, so not that uncommon). I enjoyed my semester abroad and liked that I entered university with a smaller cohort, most of which had done interesting things during their time off, been abroad, worked done military service, alternative service, travelled, every one had interesting stories to tell.

    My niece, entered early with a summer birthday, spent a year abroad between sophomore and junior year. She'd always struggled socially, being young for grade, loved her school abroad, made great friends and hit the ground running when she came back. Academically, she had been fine,but not stellar. She's made it now into the equivalent of a BS/MD program, doing just fine.

    My nephew, entered regularly with a spring birthday, always did fine socially but struggled academically, did the same program his sister did. He has been back for a year now and is doing much better academically, and has matured tremendously to boot.

    I am thinking DS might take a year off as well, otherwise he'll graduate at 17.

    Edited by Tigerle (05/13/16 05:18 AM)

    #230600 - 05/13/16 05:41 AM Re: Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early [Re: Mom2Two]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4228
    Like many forum topics, the pros and cons of acceleration and early college have been discussed previously. Here are a few links to old threads:
    1) Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets?
    2) Grade skipping tradeoffs
    3) Early Grade Acceleration
    4) ACT and SAT at a young age

    If a parent sees potentially immature behavior and/or lapse in judgement in their college-bound child, the parent may wish to have a direct conversation about the possible negative and long-lasting consequences if the child were to exhibit similar behavior in a college setting. In general, kids can be coached to take steps to think things through and make a conscious choice about their behavior.

    I'm familiar with college students being fully matriculated at age 15 and successfully* earning an advanced degree while still in their teens. Therefore I will encourage you that it is possible for a highly motivated student to blend in seamlessly and never play the age card. In perspective, one year of acceleration seems relatively minor. It depends on the student and the opportunities available.

    Parents with a child attending college early may wish to know that parental rights under FERPA end when a child turns 18 or attends college, whichever comes first:
    Parents should understand that their rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a postsecondary school at any age. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

    For a broad variety of reasons, some kids take a "gap year" and do not go to college immediately after high school. Among the free Guidebooks created by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a guidebook on planning a gap year, one on early college, one on mentors, and even one on volunteerism.

    Here is a link to the college forum, as related topics there may be of interest.

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    *Successfully earning an advanced degree while still in their teens, in this context, means: while keeping life in balance... enjoying stability with family, healthy friendships, ongoing long-term volunteerism, positive internship experiences. Ultimately upon graduation receiving multiple job offers utilizing degree, in area of study.

    #230648 - 05/14/16 05:05 AM Re: Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early [Re: Mom2Two]
    geofizz Offline

    Registered: 12/06/10
    Posts: 658
    I also skipped a grade in elementary, graduated young, and took a gap year abroad. I spent a year with a host family in Istanbul, learned a language few non-natives speak, and saw a culture from the inside few tourists would ever see. More importantly, I came back with the confidence I could learn a language or really almost anything I set my mind to, navigate an unfamiliar country, and identify cultural differences as differences and not somehow weird or wrong.

    I started college the same age as my classmates, and notably more mature and aware of the world around me.

    #230651 - 05/14/16 03:38 PM Re: Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early [Re: Mom2Two]
    amylou Offline

    Registered: 01/01/10
    Posts: 263
    We have resisted offers of full grade acceleration in part to avoid early college. My kids are not unusually mature for age, and my preference is that they start college with age-peers, even if that means being a bit ahead when they start.

    However, one of my tenth grade twins has discovered that he can graduate one year early, due to getting high school credit for taking geometry and algebra in middle school. If he succeeds in getting admitted next fall to a college he really wants, I will support early college.

    #230654 - 05/14/16 07:05 PM Re: Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early [Re: Mom2Two]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    DD is on track to finish an undergraduate degree at an age that most children finish high school. It hasn't *always* been easy.

    But I don't know that we'd have done things much differently in our idiosyncratic situation.
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #230655 - 05/14/16 07:58 PM Re: Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early [Re: Mom2Two]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3638
    I've shared my personal (positive) experience with radical acceleration/early college on the first of the threads indigo linked (and, I think, on one of the others).

    I'll repeat that there is no blanket right answer. Also, there are many forms the first year or so of college could take, some of which would allow for greater scaffolding. Online, blended, community college, part-time scheduling come to mind.

    And consider this recent article on parental scaffolding for typical age college students:

    #230657 - 05/14/16 10:50 PM Re: Pros/Cons of Sending a Child to College Early [Re: Mom2Two]
    ashley Offline

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 639
    I was grade skipped and went to college a lot earlier than most kids. I was going to finish undergraduate degree on time, but, because I was young, I decided that I had more time to explore my options - so, I took an extra year to do a double major. The second major was not in a field that I ever use in my professional life. I still got out of uni and was well established in a professional field before age 25. I have had 3 career shifts and I have been able to do those because of the early start that I had. Some days, when I am faced with big professional challenges, I don't feel intimidated and feel that the experience I had going to college early and surviving that lifestyle toughened me up.
    But, an important point to mention is that I am an introvert and an autodidact. I had a few meaningful friendships throughout college, but, I was not seeking out the active social scene or wanted any popularity. I was too focused on my education at that time to worry about those things. It is not normal and not many kids are wired that way. Being younger and being unable to fit into the popular crowd was a non-issue for me.
    That being said, we are doing our very best to not send our child to early college. He is very social and an extrovert and we want him to have a great social life in his college years as well as a great education.


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