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    #241147 02/02/18 05:03 PM
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    MsFriz Offline OP
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    In a few years, DS will graduate from high school as a mature 16 year old with several college courses under his belt. I have always assumed he'd take a gap year and then start college (as a college student) at 17. However, he has recently told me that he wants to go straight into college and that the only reason I want him to take a gap year is so I can keep him close to me. There is that, but I'm also wondering about the limits of what he'll legally be able to do at 16.

    Have any of you let a kid leave home for college at that age? Or did you keep them close to home and transfer schools mid-way through? Follow them to a college? How does this work, logistically and legally?

    MsFriz #241154 02/03/18 09:33 AM
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    We have not gone through this process with regard to a child, but I do have some experience with early college.

    1. To my knowledge, few colleges will restrict any of his opportunities as a 16 year old, outside of the obvious drinking age and legal contract restrictions. Dorms are usually insured down to 16 year-olds. Based on my first-hand experiences, there were (at the time) no restrictions on labs, overnight trips for field experiences (even across national lines), or student activities.

    These would be questions to ask an admissions adviser, probably early on, so that it's not part of the admissions process per se, as you don't want it to affect his admissions prospects.

    2. Transfer is not an unreasonable approach, especially depending on his interests with regard to academics and the college experience, and on your family needs. Many 4 year state unis take grads of approved state 2-year college degree programs in with all or nearly all credits transferring (and, in some states, at the CC tuition rate). You graduate with two degrees: an associate's from the CC, and a bachelor's from the 4-year uni, with no asterisk indicating that the first two years occurred on the CC campus.

    3. If I recall correctly from previous threads, you may actually find it more challenging to arrange a gap year program that accepts 16 year olds than a college program that does.


    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...
    MsFriz #241156 02/03/18 11:11 AM
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    @MsFriz - I am glad that you brought this up although I have few years to go before have to be immediately concerned about this topic and even then will only have a 17 year old high school graduate.

    @Aeh - this is great to know - thank you!


    Become what you are
    MsFriz #241157 02/03/18 01:43 PM
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    Do you have relatives/friends overseas somewhere he could stay with for a year?

    MsFriz #241162 02/04/18 04:01 AM
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    My son will be 16 when he finishes school, and he plans to do his Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD degrees. So when he's finished all that and out in the workforce he'll be 24. That doesn't sound as young as 19 with a Bachelor's degree.

    Mind you, my son will be living at home during this time (well, at least until he's 18).

    MsFriz #241165 02/04/18 09:31 AM
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    As a legal consideration, both you and your child will want to be aware that FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the child:
    - when a child turns 18
    - when a child attends a postsecondary school, at any age

    Old post here.

    MsFriz #241167 02/04/18 11:09 AM
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    My DD currently plans to have earned 2 years' worth of college credit by the time she leaves HS as a 17yo. There is no "sending away" in the plan, though, as she fully intends to live at home through her concurrent enrollment and university years.

    MsFriz #241173 02/05/18 07:47 AM
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    DD is currently a freshman, and started the school year as a 16 year old. Early on we had hoped to push for a gap year/foreign exchange to delay her entry into college, but she was adamant about getting to and through college (and med school) as early as possible.

    Currently she's at a small LAC about a 5 hour drive away. Far enough that she's on her own, but she also knows we could get there if we needed to. So far things are going fine. Most instructors/students don't know she's that young when they first meet her. I think everyone assumes if you're there, then obviously you're "supposed" to be there.

    The mental adjustment was probably harder on us than her, as she's been with older kids for years now. And part of the reason her skips have been so successful is because she is mentally and emotionally older than her age.

    So far the only "legal" issues we've come up against were her inability to participate in a "mandatory" survey given to all freshmen (over 18 only) and that her NCAA drug testing consent form needed to be sent to us to sign.

    She was a little disappointed when we said we were not going to allow our 17 year old to go to Mexico with her friends for spring break, but she understood. I did explain how her being 2 years older would not make me a whole lot more in favor of a trip to Mexico.

    Best of luck,
    --S.F.


    For gifted children, doing nothing is the wrong choice.
    MsFriz #241176 02/05/18 10:15 AM
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    My experience with this was about 30 years ago in a different country and school context, so most won't apply, but I wanted to +1 SFrog's point above. When I left home for post secondary education I did not feel any different from my peers. And I mostly wasn't. So I tended to shrug off those concerns from adults and be annoyed at restrictions.

    Looking back, my parents were a lot more worried than I was. And they guided my placement carefully. And I was grateful for that. But they didn't make me feel they would have behaved much differently if I had been 2 years older, and I was also grateful for that.

    From my experience institutions are equipped to handle minors for emergencies (I landed in urgent care/ER once a year my first 3 years, at 16, 17 and 18) -- they have to be, for those (admittedly rarer and rarer) not-quite-18 normal aged students.

    MsFriz #241181 02/05/18 12:16 PM
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    For me, I went to college early, but I lived at home. Our house was just a 15 min walk away from the university. Is there a university in the city where you live?

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