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    Joined: Nov 2018
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    Hello! I'm new here. I wonder if any of you went through a situation like this; if so, I would love to hear what you did.

    DS skipped two grades and is a high school junior at age 14. He took mostly AP classes in high school and as we plan his senior year, we are realizing he has maxed out on AP classes and doesn't really have high school classes he could take. He has also taken a couple of online college courses. He has enough credit to graduate at the end of his junior year but would like to attend graduation with his peers at the end of his senior year (He is motivated to delay his graduation because he was told he cannot attend graduation ceremony and he cannot be named valedictorian even though he has the highest GPA). So what he should do during his senior year is a big mystery right now.

    Here's what we think are doing. DS is applying to local universities right now. We are hoping as long as he has met all graduation requirements, the universities will not require a high school diploma. And we're hoping his high school will let him take all his classes at the local college while still counting him as a high school student. If he gets in to one of these colleges, he will attend college full time while still technically a high school student. These are not universities that he ultimately hopes to attend and get his degree from. He is applying to these local universities because he is too young to go away to college. If everything goes according to plan, during his high school senior/college freshman year, he will apply to colleges of his choice (like all other high school seniors). He will probably have to apply as a transfer student.

    We're just hoping this is the right decision but this is such an unusual path from high school to college that I don't have anyone to talk to. Does anyone have experience with this or anything similar?

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    People do that all the time. Instead of applying for admission as a freshman, you need to find out how he can take classes as a dual enrolled high school student. His high school counselor probably knows something about this. Some colleges don't allow this, but many do.

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    Welcome! I also replied to your other thread. Check your state DOE or higher ed website for dual/concurrent enrollment info. Also, he may or may not have to apply as a transfer student, depending on how many college credits he will have accumulated by then, and whether he was matriculated at the time he took them. If he does apply as a transfer student, the high school transcript and recognitions will be much less important than his college transcript.

    As it happens, very few colleges actually require a high school diploma in order to be admitted. They require certain courses (which will be listed on the college or state higher ed site). This has been the case for quite a long time. No one in my FOO has a high school diploma, and all of us have multiple graduate degrees, mostly terminal.


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    As long as you stick with dual enrollment, everything should be fine as far as entering college as a freshman once he receives his HS diploma. He will likely need a HS diploma once he applies for true college entry (rather than dual enrollment). Don't do anything that would throw him into the category of a transfer student - that means limited merit scholarship opportunities. As for National Merit, don't discount that - while the true NMSC scholarships are only $2,500, some schools offer full tuition (or more) to NMFs.

    I don't know what AP courses he has taken, but one way to extend the HS experience is to take a broad range of AP/honors courses. A little late for some AP course tracks now, but my older two (not accelerated or HG kids) both took two languages through AP. Middle kid ended up with 10 AP exams, five in STEM and five in the humanities. Often I see kids who have seemingly exhausted their possible HS coursework, really have only exhausted the STEM offerings.

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    Originally Posted by aeh
    As it happens, very few colleges actually require a high school diploma in order to be admitted. They require certain courses (which will be listed on the college or state higher ed site). This has been the case for quite a long time. No one in my FOO has a high school diploma, and all of us have multiple graduate degrees, mostly terminal.

    Another thing to keep in mind about a high school diploma is that there are some jobs that require them and they can be pretty inflexible about it. I know a guy who dropped out of high school at age 16 to attend college full time. He attended for three years, got all As in hard core science classes (and everything else), and when he decided he wanted to be a firefighter instead, since he didn't have a high school diploma or "equivalent" he was required to get a GED. Obviously, passing the test wasn't a problem for him, but there is a stigma about the GED in certain circles because to most people it signifies dropout.

    Of course, I'm saying all of this and I have two children who don't/won't have "real" high school diplomas because we homeschool.

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    I on occasion discuss with my sons (both now in college in STEM fields) what they'd have done differently in HS knowing what they know now. They both pretty much list the same things:

    1. Focus less on grades and more on learning. A tenth of a point in GPA here and there mean very little, however, the failure to be accustomed to rigor means everything.
    2. Your class rank means almost nothing and the colleges know it.
    3. Even if you've exhausted the HS curriculum and have a couple of years of college level math classes, continue taking them until you graduate, it's amazing how much math you forget if you don't keep doing it. Also, if possible, complete all of your required math for college before you get there, math classes are often used "weed out" classes and made unnecessarily trying as well as often being taught by those you often have trouble understanding because of accent left over from land of origin.

    As was discussed on another thread in this forum, please ensure meticulously that classes taken at a local college will transfer to the college and program your child wishes to enter later. Colleges are getting increasingly picky about transferring credits as they're looking to maximize income. Many programs limit the credit hours that can be transferred to 16, some won't accept certain AP classes as valid to replace their similar courses. Yet others only accept credits from a community college if accompanied by a associate's degree. Our family has been put through the mill on this issue, please be diligent on checking on it.

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    I started dual enrollment classes as a high school sophomore at 14. It was important for me to be able to qualify for new freshman scholarships when I went to college. The colleges I was applying for considered you a freshman for application purposes if you had not yet completed 30 credits. So I ended up taking exactly 29 college credits in high school. I graduated after my junior year (got a scholarship from the state for graduating early), went to college considered a true freshman, and finished my associate's degree that first year. My state also gave scholarships for students that finished their associate's degrees by the time if their normal high school graduation, so I got that scholarship as well.

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    My son is going to a selective university. Yes all of his college level work didnít count. They accept 12 hours and not all the ones he took were ones that counted and it had to be a 4 or better. He got 4s and 5s in most but only a 3 in AP English. Really didnít matter to us. The APs and dual enrollment were needed to get into this college. So we really donít care if they accepted them all....he got in.

    At the state university all of the dual enrollment and APs would have counted.

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    My son has gone through something similar so hopefully this post helps. He is 14yo graduating HS this year. He also has about 2 years college complete through Dual Enrollment. He only did one official year of HS + 3 semesters full time DE and skipped a few grades. He applied this past fall to several elite colleges and plans to attend GA Tech starting this summer full time for BME/pre med.

    1. We found this path extremely challenging in that many school principals and districts resisted acceleration. This pain began in Kindergarten but continued each and every year. We moved schools often to keep moving forward. If anyone is interested how we navigated that feel free to message me as it is a long story. Ultimately I pulled him out last year and became his home school administrator.

    2. In GA, dual enrollment (DE) is pretty straight forward and fully paid for by the state up to 15 credits. Certain SAT/grades etc. apply based on the school. Many other states have programs like this.

    3. For the most part, all DE courses will transfer in state. If you are going OOS then you need to contact the school. Duke and JHU, two of my sons favorites both said DE credits limited to courses beyond the HS grad requirements (which he has some) and limited to a total amount of hours. Some schools were more friendly about DE credits (U of Virginia, U of Michigan, etc.). Some schools willing to offer place out tests once you accept.

    4. Strength of schedule is a top 3 variable to get accepted. In many cases w/o DE or AP's you will be at a disadvantage. 8-12 is what I would recommend in aggregate. So if you are applying as a younger student you will need to still meet these hurdles along with SAT and grade requirements.

    5. You do not need to settle for a secondary school as a younger student. Top elite schools accept students like yours and mine. GA tech told me they have a 12yo currently. Duke, JHU, MIT, Vanderbilt, etc. all told me 15/16 is young but they have some every year. Don't settle.

    6. My son won't graduate HS formally with a degree but he will have around 30 credits completed of a normal 24 in GA. None of the top colleges he applied to required degrees but do require certain courses (e.g. 4 yrs math, 4 yrs english, 3 SS, 2 FL, 3 or 4 Science, etc).

    7. All the colleges advised us that students entering with DE/AP should apply as a freshman even though they will then get adjusted up due to credits. Not as a transfer. I spoke to at least 15 colleges all top 50, most were top 20.

    8. My son was eligible for all the normal scholarships and in GA tuition is free if you have a 3.7. Fees, housing, food, books extra but tuition is free in state. GA tech is included in this.

    9. GA tech is his top choice b/c of the free tuition and top 3 in country for BME major. He is willing to go to Duke or JHU (2nd/3rd choices) only if he gets a free ride via merit. We won't hear till March but he has been accepted to GA Tech and a few others so likely GA Tech is the final. We also live 10 miles from Tech and sending him away is of concern to us (not to him as he feels ready).

    I wish you the best of luck.

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    A few years ago there was a boy at Hunter that finished his degree at Columbia in math and physics before he finished his HS. Technically, his HS graduation was a month later. You can do that in NYC.
    He was extraordinary. But students can take university courses in NYC if they qualify.


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