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    Joined: Nov 2013
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    It seems like being 2 years younger than everybody when finishing school hurts University admissions. Even with 10 AP courses 3 SAT subject tests (top marks), excellence in everything my kid does I am seriously worried about his University chances. I really need advice on what are the choices in this situation? A gap year (doing what?) and then reapplying if this year applications to good (not even great) schools do not work out?
    Community college (but there are no courses to take there that are challenging)? Any thoughts??? What are the best universities to target? Research university with strong science department is what is needed smile

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    I know several people who have had positive experiences with younger college students at Colorado School of Mines.

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    Our DD is in college now, so we've been where you are now.
    Step 1) Take a deep breath
    Step 2) Think about why you are anxious. Did DC not apply to enough schools? Was the mix inappropriate...too many reach schools for your DC's GPA and course load? Not enough reach schools? Are you anxious because it seems that THE WAITING WILL NEVER END?
    Step 3) If step 2 reveals gaps in your DC's application strategy, apply to more schools. The deadline for regular application for many many many schools has not passed. Even Harvard, Yale, and Brown still have two weeks to go.

    Step 4) If DC is already getting outright rejected, it is time to go over the application and where DC applied with a professional.
    Step 5) Wait and see what happens.
    Step 6) Wait some more for answers from all the schools and all the financial aid offers.
    Step 7) Make an informed, rational decision, based on available information, with the knowledge that you can NOT count on the offers improving with another round of applications (it may improve, but it may not).

    Most of the students we know applying in the age range of 16-19 (at matriculation) did not see an impact of age on admission (some problems with dorms for 16 and under).


    Hope this helps and best wishes!

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    Thank you so much!
    So far she (it is a daughter) got rejected from Caltech and differed from MIT. I know it is not a reason to panic but she had absolutely everything (in my opinion) to get admitted smile to one of these: all max scores, volunteering, work, 4 fluent major languages, music and art (strong) portfolios. She self studying for almost all of it with no support from a regular average public school. White girl, so racial discrimination should not be the key.
    I know that there are 2 more weeks and she will apply to more schools but I am wondering if it was age? She skipped 2 grades.
    Thank you very much for your good answer!!!

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    I'm not sure why you are worried at this point. No sense borrowing trouble. It doesn't seem that he's applied anywhere yet and his application would seem strong based on what you have posted.

    Has he contacted admissions officers at any of the those schools to get their input? (Others can answer whether bringing up age in advance makes sense or not.)

    If he is interested in sciences, is there an independent project he can do if he takes a gap year?

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    I'd echo what the others have said-- if you don't have reason to worry yet, don't.

    What are your child's goals? Does your child have a goal of attending a HSLAC or Ivy?

    Are those goals the same as yours? (Please know that I'm not saying that you aren't permitted to have goals, and understand that I was in your position with an extra-young college matriculant-- your child is not really developmentally an adult-- but at 13-15yo, your child certainly has his/her own ideas about this, and also that s/he will have to live with the results a lot longer and more intimately than YOU will.) Our DD simply refused to apply to any Ivies. Period.


    Honestly-- DD at 13-14 had no problems in this process, other than a few glitches when her age was SO young that they weren't sure what they needed in terms of liability, etc.

    We didn't mention it beforehand, generally. After all, we didn't NEED "special permission" since she was entering as a regular, high-school-graduate and fully qualified student, and she didn't WANT to be treated like a pet or lab specimen anyway. She WANTED to be Every Applicant, just with her age there as something a little unusual about her.

    Does that make sense?

    YOU can't be the one driving this process, though-- it has to be your child.




    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Thank you very much for a very good advice.
    She got rejected from Caltech and deferred from MIT. I know these are difficult to get in but these are the first schools she applied and I am afraid that there maybe a trend...
    We are not thinking about prestige but strong science department and good music department nearby.

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    I have not seen the OP reply to any posts so far, but understand the OP may still be under moderation, as the OP has not yet made 5 posts. I'll check back from time to time. Meanwhile...

    Originally Posted by michigan
    It seems like being 2 years younger than everybody when finishing school hurts University admissions. Even with 10 AP courses 3 SAT subject tests (top marks), excellence in everything my kid does I am seriously worried about his University chances.
    Where is your DC in the process? Has s/he applied and is s/he receiving rejections?

    Originally Posted by michigan
    I really need advice on what are the choices in this situation? A gap year (doing what?) and then reapplying if this year applications to good (not even great) schools do not work out?
    A few thoughts...

    1) Emphasize "fit".

    2) Planning ahead, and being flexible, are both crucial. It appears that you joined the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum in 2013... about 3 years ago... there have been many posts on college admissions, including early college. There is even a College Forum. To see all threads in the College Forum: At the bottom of the College Forum page, under Display Options, choose Show Topics from all dates, and click Change.

    3) When applying (or re-applying), students may wish to consider what they have to offer to a college/university student body. Admissions will be looking at potential students from that perspective: what does each student have to offer? To strengthen one's resume (and application), in addition to high school academics, a student may highlight initiative, leadership, teamwork, goal setting, awards/accomplishments/achievements, etc. Carefully chosen volunteerism in areas of interest may help in developing/showcasing these skills.

    4) This post, while originally written to a homeschool parent, may be of interest as it discusses ensuring a student is thinking about next steps, including possible career choices, and preparing for competitive college admissions. It contains a link to this post on Getting into a competitive school.

    5) How strong is your DC's college application essay? There are many sources of information on composing an authentic college essay. This is just one of many resources available: Write Your College Essay In Less Than a Day

    6) Gap year info provided in this free, downloadable, 19-page Davidson guidebook. In general, gap year activities should be planned to strengthen one's resume (and application).

    7) It is also important for students to avoid negative postings on social media, as these may limit future opportunities.

    Originally Posted by michigan
    Community college (but there are no courses to take there that are challenging)? Any thoughts??? What are the best universities to target?
    Community colleges vary greatly. Your child should target schools which are the best "fit" for his/her academic strengths, interests, and personal development.

    Originally Posted by michigan
    Research university with strong science department is what is needed smile
    Some sources with varying viewpoints, which may aid in college selection:
    - Published College Rankings
    - College Confidential online website and discussion forum
    - Individual College/University websites
    - Regional "College Fairs"
    - Professional college application consultants, or independent college counselors
    - Personal participation in science fairs, research, poster presentations, literature reviews, etc, which may tend to prepare a student to initiate discussion in an area of common interest with a professor/researcher at a university.

    All prior years of education and personal growth come to bear on the college selection and admission process; There are few, if any, shortcuts.

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    I always thought it would be cool do do an apprenticeship or nursing/computers etc before university.

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    So far she (it is a girl) was rejected from Caltech and deferred at MIT. I know this is not a reason to panic but I am afraid this may be a trend. She is now in India for a science olympiad and when she returns she will apply to 5 other schools for physics (UPenn, UofMich,Yale, Columbia and Princeton)+ I don't know what to add to this list???
    I think the main problem may be "childish essays" - thank you for your answer. I will try to get the book as soon as possible.
    Unfortunately I can not help her much with essays - I never knew how to write them myself smile. Her regular public school is not too helpful either and daughter had to do almost all her studying online and after school.

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