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    for the very top students in the US, there might be 10 or 20 institutions to choose between

    I do think that this is a fallacy, honestly.

    Yes, there are choices to be made regarding what environment is most desirable for any student-- PG ones included-- but to assume that a suitable education may only be obtained at the most prestigious of brand-name institutions is wrong, I think.

    For some students, an elite school with similar classmates is a good idea. For others, if it means waiting until one is 17-18 and chronologically aligned with an age-cohort, that's not going to work.

    Would many parents truly send a 12-16yo student off to live in a dorm at MIT or Harvard?

    I think probably not-- not when push comes to shove, they won't. The institutions themselves are not so keen on it either, because they have none of the authority (can't act in loco parentis even if everyone wishes they could) but all of the culpability if something goes WRONG.





    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    The institutions themselves are not so keen on it either, because they have none of the authority (can't act in loco parentis even if everyone wishes they could) but all of the culpability if something goes WRONG.
    Many universities used to have separate dorms for males and females and had restrictions on visiting hours. There are probably some with religious affiliations that still do. Changes in dorm rules reflect changes in the social views of the institutions and their students.

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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    Would many parents truly send a 12-16yo student off to live in a dorm at MIT or Harvard?


    I can't find a reference right now but I remember reading in a Julian Stanley/CTY book in the 90's that Harvard had a de facto age limit of 16 after the Norbert Weiner/James Sidis issues earlier in the century? Based on this I believe most ivies have a lower age limit of 16?? Does anyone have better info?

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    Originally Posted by raptor_dad
    I can't find a reference right now but I remember reading in a Julian Stanley/CTY book in the 90's that Harvard had a de facto age limit of 16 after the Norbert Weiner/James Sidis issues earlier in the century? Based on this I believe most ivies have a lower age limit of 16?? Does anyone have better info?

    According to this article Harvard has no lower age limit.

    Young Students Grow, Adapt to Life at Harvard
    Harvard Crimson
    By CYNTHIA W. SHIH
    Harvard Crimson
    December 12, 2011

    Quote
    While most Harvard freshman are 17 or 18 years old when they arrive on campus, every year Harvard also admits much younger students. Though these young students prove their academic prowess in the admissions process, their age can pose challenges. Some of these are legal hurdles: none of the students in this story will be of legal drinking age while in college. None were able to apply for internships, vote for their preferred political candidates, or even buy cold medicine at the local CVS during their freshman year. Perhaps more importantly, some young students say they face social obstacles when they arrive on campus.

    But for the most part, these students learned how to be the youngest person in the room before they ever got to Harvard.

    ...

    Harvard does not consider age as a factor when admitting students to the incoming freshmen class, administrators say.

    “We have no age limits. We’re really looking at individuals on the basis of individual achievement and personal characteristics,” said Marlyn E. McGrath ’70, the Harvard College director of admissions. “Certainly, maturity and self-direction and the capacity to thrive and benefit at Harvard is always a factor, but none of those qualities are associated in any way that we know with chronological age.”

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    The thing is, by making it not an "official" hard limit, it permits age to be used as a factor in "holistic" admissions instead.

    I cannot personally believe that it IS NOT used that way-- and anything under 16 or 17 is not going to work in the student's favor, no matter how ready the child is for the college campus.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Not technically an Ivy, but I know that MIT admits a handful of radically accelerated (two to four years) freshman every year.


    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...
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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    The thing is, by making it not an "official" hard limit, it permits age to be used as a factor in "holistic" admissions instead.


    As I said de facto... if MIT has a few 14yo freshmen since ~1950 and Harvard has none under 16 at enrollment that suggests a unwritten rule.

    That isn't a problem; just something parents with accelerated kids should be aware of...

    PS. I have searched around extensively and can't source my original information. I've never seen it online and can't find it on google books.

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    Originally Posted by raptor_dad
    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    The thing is, by making it not an "official" hard limit, it permits age to be used as a factor in "holistic" admissions instead.


    As I said de facto... if MIT has a few 14yo freshmen since ~1950 and Harvard has none under 16 at enrollment that suggests a unwritten rule.
    Harvard has recently admitted someone below age 16, according to the article I cited:

    Quote
    Martin A. Camacho ’14 said he felt apprehensive about fitting in socially; he was not sure if he’d be accepted because he was a couple years younger than everyone else. He entered the fifth grade at age five and matriculated to Harvard at 15.

    High school had been difficult, he said, but fortunately his social experience here at Harvard has been a positive one.

    “I think people are much more respectful,” Camacho said. “High school was very hard to fit in socially for the first couple of years. Everyone would recognize that I was younger than them.”
    Parents who worry about sending a young student to college should note that the high school environment may be worse.

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    Agreed.

    But then again, almost none of my DD's 18-19yo classmates know that she is 15, and she certainly isn't bringing it up if they don't.


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    The "normal" age at entry seems to be 17 to 18, at least among those who start immediately upon graduation. Although with the gradual adoption of later birthday cut-offs by one state after another in the last 5 to 10 years, we should be seeing more 19 year-old freshmen in a few years. Although not common by any means,I seem to recall quite a few 16 year-old freshmen at many elite colleges. That seems pretty well accepted and nobody fusses. Although I have read about some over the years, 15 and under is still rather rare and might raise questions, particularly if it is a male, who often tends to look obviously younger.

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