Options for a high school junior interested in going directly to college?
March 31, 2009 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Private high school is closing - options for a junior interested in going directly to college?

One of my nephews is a junior, this year, at a small private high school that probably will close in the next month or two. While he could do his high school senior year at a public school, or he and his parents could find another private school, they're interested in exploring options for going directly to college. He's pretty smart, and has good SAT scores (and grades, I'm fairly sure). So, the questions: Is he likely to be able to get into a community college (Massachusetts)? Are there any regular colleges that are more flexible with admissions that he should contact to discuss his situation? (Among other things, the planned closing was just announced, so he has missed all of the standard application deadlines.) Other options? (Homeschooling, at least with his parents as instructors, almost certainly would not work.)

P.S. On preview, this previous question provides some answers, but not all - for example, dealing with missed application deadlines.
posted by WestCoaster to Education (9 answers total)
Simon's Rock - All of our 400 students come to us after 10th or 11th grade in high school. We give them a broad-minded, paradigm-shifting education; faculty trained in the country’s best universities; inspired and inspiring classes; first-class facilities for the sciences, the arts, and athletics; and an astonishing range of opportunities for conducting specialized research and gaining hands-on experience.
posted by mattbucher at 12:23 PM on March 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

I had a friend who applied to Sewanee her junior year. Her first year of college coursework also counted as AP high school classes.

I'm not sure if other colleges have that sort of program.
posted by politikitty at 12:39 PM on March 31, 2009

In Washington State, at least, HS juniors and seniors can attend community college for dual high school and college credit. A good friend of mine basically went to the community college full time (I think he took an art class at the high school) and earned his AA at the same time as his high school diploma. I don't think there was an option to just skip to college without being enrolled in high school but certainly plenty of kids did essentially that. (Lots of us also just took a few CC classes to supplement what we were doing at the high school.)

Not sure how it works in Massachusetts but I wouldn't be surprised if he could enroll in a local high school while spending his senior year earning college credit.

That's a bummer that his school is closing; I wish him good luck.
posted by Neofelis at 12:47 PM on March 31, 2009

I'm not sure how homeschooling works in Mass, but in many states homeschoolers that are 16/17 pretty much are community college students. I l know around here many homeschoolers "graduate" high school with almost enough credits to have an AA degree. So declaring himself a homeschooler and spending the next year at the local Community College very well may be an option.

Also, check the compulsory attendance laws. If the age cutoff is 16 and your nephew is 17 - he might be free to take the GED and get on with his higher education (or life) if that is what he desires.

Are there counselors at his school available to help sort through this?
posted by COD at 1:05 PM on March 31, 2009

The Teenage Liberation Handbook has some good details about how to graduate high school early, check the preview to skim through.
posted by susanvance at 1:31 PM on March 31, 2009

Community college should be an option. He wouldn't have to bother with senior year of high school if he gets his GED. And CCs usually have very late application deadlines, so that wouldn't be an issue either.
posted by lullaby at 2:14 PM on March 31, 2009

He should start considering what 4-year college he wants to apply to next fall/winter, then look at their gen ed requirements, and consult with admissions people to find out what equivalent courses he can take at his local community college now. If he gets good grades in them, it shows initiative and that he's more than prepared for college. If he's smart there's really no reason why he should do his senior year at another high school where the work might be redundant, when he could be getting college credit already. The Massachusetts community colleges have explicit agreements with the state university system outlining exactly what courses transfer.
posted by slow graffiti at 2:18 PM on March 31, 2009

The program in WA is called Running Start, and many other states have one, if not an equivalent. I'd be really surprised if there wasn't this option in Mass.
posted by messylissa at 4:38 PM on March 31, 2009

I'm with the first commenter - Bard College at Simon's Rock is a great option for sophomores and juniors who are ready to start college early. Full disclosure here: I graduated with my B.A. from Simon's Rock and now work there. Simon's Rock admits students on a rolling basis, so students can apply past the May deadline so long as there is space available. Check out the site, or listen to the NPR story.
posted by smugridge at 12:31 PM on June 25, 2009

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