Originally Posted by CFK
Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
Just got off the phone with a prospective college program-- to find out what I could re: the selectivity and how my DD's age and educational history would be viewed by the admissions committee. This because they evidently rejected one of my DD's good friends last year-- who graduated among the top 5 in the class, with honors, and had volunteer service, etc.

Admissions to the program in the previous 3 yr has gone from 70% to 50% to 30%. Which isn't good, by any means. :-/

Still, the person was cordial and professional, and encouraging re: my daughter's chances of admission to the program should she apply.

I also got some whiff of "maturity concerns," but well-disguised. I suppose that I asked for that, in a way-- but I seriously wanted to know. I gently pointed out that a 15yo applicant who has EC's that look "like other students' accomplishments" has likely had to be FAR more determined and creative in order to make that happen. Which is when she revealed her bias...

As in, yes, they may be ready for the academic work... but there are studies that show... (Yes, I'm well aware. I'm also well aware that if you've met ONE highly gifted teen, you've met ONE highly gifted teen, tyvm, something which seems to have escaped this person.)

They do not accept letters of recommendation, this program. The institution which houses it is otherwise not an appropriate academic setting for DD, so it's this or not attend this particular institution.

I'm going to talk with someone whose older child (also PG and early college) was accepted into the program-- then again, that was several years ago, before the selectivity was so extreme. The OTHER flagship in-state has an even lower acceptance rate into its honors college-- just ~15% last year, and also falling.

So much for a cheaper and less high-pressure alternative. eek

Here's my completely unsolicited opinion:

Do not mention your daughter's age when talking to college admissions people. I'm not sure I would even mention that your daughter attends virtual school. Your daughter is graduating with a high school diploma from an accredited provider. She is competing on even ground with other applicants. You are not hiding anything, all of her personal information will be readily available to anyone who reads her apps, but it shouldn't be something you spotlight.

Applying at a younger age than usual is NOT a benefit in college admissions. In fact, she has to be that much stronger in her app to make up for her age. When and if her age comes up, it should be after adcoms have gone over her app and have seen her strengths and qualifications.

You should also not use words like gifted, IQ, etc. They are really meaningless in the college world. An applicant can either do the work or not and has evidence to prove it. "Potential" to be able to do high level work does not get one admitted. (potential to CONTINUE to do high level work counts, but that is shown in transcripts not IQ tests)

One of the few instances where you should bring up the age issue is if your daughter is applying to a school that requires that freshman live on campus (there are surprisingly quite a few). Age is a valid issue in dorms. In that case, and especially if your daughter looks much older or can present much more mature than her years, I would arrange a one-on-one meeting with an admissons director to discuss this. At that point hopefully they have already been wowed by her app. They will be able to see with their own eyes then that she is not just another typical 14/15/16 year old as far as maturity goes.

Like I said, unsolicited, but I hope it helps!

Yes, that WAS the context in which I brought it up-- that the program has a special housing arrangement, and the larger institution is now a freshman residency one. Honestly-- I was pretty circumspect all in all.

The biggest cat stayed well inside the bag. wink Didn't need to let that one out once I found out that she wouldn't HAVE to live on campus-- but it's an issue if a child plans to live at home with a parent, off-campus, and the campus otherwise has a residency expectation/requirement. THEN, the age becomes a huge issue, and it's my observation that it can K.O. an applicant unless you explain ahead of time that the student won't be living on-campus.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.