Starting College at 17
Advice, discussions, and reviews from the
Parents of Teens weekly email newsletter.
Berkeley Parents Network >
Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults >
Starting College at 17
My daughter is almost 16 and a sophomore at Berkeley High. She is
currently enrolled in Independent Study through BHS and is also
taking 2 college level courses; (one at Cal).
She is looks and acts very mature and has informed me she would like
to graduate one year early. Because she is in independent study, she
is able to accelerate and will meet criteria.
My question is: Are there Ivy League and highly selective
universities who would consider such a student? She has a GPA of
4.2, SAT is 2295, is fluent in French and has been in several
leadership roles as well as varsity water polo.
Would she be given the same consideration as someone older? I know
Columbia considers such students but am not certain if there are
others. Can anyone assist with this?
She does not want to attend BHS for another 2 years.
A concerned mom
I would look into going to prep school for a 'gap year'. My daughter
is applying to prep schools as a ninth grader, and I don't have her
catalogues. I seem to recall that some schools offer a gap year
between HS and college- I'm sure I saw this and was intrigued but
dropped it because it wasn't what I needed to know. I'm not sure of
which, but it could be worth 1/2 hour of your time checking it out.
Try the large East Coast schools: Taft, Hotchkiss, Exeter, Andover,
Groton, Rosemary Choate, Lawrence Academy. Good luck.
Prep School mom to be
First, you might start by e-mailing one of the BHS College Advisors
to ask for their advice. Second, it is definitely a possibility.
My son had a friend who was accepted to an outstanding, highly
respected college after his junior year because he had advanced
through the high school curriculum by taking extra courses summers
and taking courses at Cal. However, he was not accepted at the Ivy
League school he was most interested in. These days, no matter how
bright a student is, it's difficult to be accepted at all the top
schools. So it's always a gamble to try to apply a year early, but
if the student is outstanding, it is possible. The College Advisor
may be able to provide more specific information.
Have you considered an alternative to sending your daughter to
college a year early? She may be very bright and mature for her age,
but for most kids, time to grow up before the independence and
stresses of college is usually a good thing.
I too was a young and advanced public high school student. I spent a
year between high school and college in France, where I acquired my
baccalaureat. Since your daughter is fluent in French, you might
consider sending her to a Francophone country, with a good program
such as YFU or CIEE. And I was admitted to the Ivy League, if that's
important to you...and I'm glad I had the extra year to grow up a bit
more...oh, I thought I was grown up at 16/17, but I wasn't.
Don't know about now as its SO much more competitive but I went to an
Ivy after 3 years of high school in the late 70's. HOWEVER, it really
would have been better for me to have done a gap year instead of
jumping into college. I had JUST turned 17 about two weeks before
school began and while academics weren't a problem, I ended up with a
20 year old boyfriend (a junior)and 20-21 year old friends as a very
young freshman. After college,I went straight to grad school because
at the age of 20, graduating from college I didn't know what else to
do OTHER than school. Not the worst ''fate'' but in retrospect what was
the hurry to grow up? Staying in high school wouldn't have been a good
option for me either (I can relate to your daughter) BUT I wished I'd
done a year abroad or volunteering - something that was less intense
than the expectation of always being a ''high'' achiever and being ''mature''.
this page was last updated: Jan 9, 2010
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network