Get me out of here!
October 25, 2010 5:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm a junior in high school. I've got a decent GPA and a bit of extra-curricular to my name. Is graduating a semester early in senior year worth it?

There are a lot of factors going into this, and you'd be doing a hurried high school student a favor by giving me your dead honest opinion! You don't know how much I appreciate a bit of help in this particular category.

- Right now, my GPA sits snugly at around 3.86 or so, not factoring in all the classes I'm taking as a senior. Considering it's calculating the classes I'm taking right this minute, which includes a B grade, it's probably higher then that by a tad.

We use weighted grades now, although it went into effect last year and is NOT retroactive. The glimpse I saw of that number was something like 4.12 GPA.

- I've met all of my high school's minimum requirements, and I am also exceeding in others (mainly English, Math and Science).

- Although I can't determine the number off the top of my head, I've taken consistently 2 to 3 honors/AP courses every year of high school.

- I plan on taking an AP Psychology course at the end of this year. That's the general career area I'm considering at this point, so I figure getting credits from the AP testing could be in my benefit, even if I end up using it for a minor.

-I've worked volunteer hours at a local food shelter, probably about 100+ at this rate. Other then that though, I don't do sports or student council etc. I'll be up for doing the National Honors Society program, though.

-Bonus: I don't really want to be in the high school environment anymore for a bunch of reasons. I think I'm ready to ship out.

Should I do it? Any experience with graduating early?
posted by Askiba to Education (38 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I graduated early and did community college classes.

I hated high school.
posted by k8t at 5:13 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

How does the word college not appear in your question at all? Can you update with your college plans, applications, schemes for early acceptance or early decision, dream schools, etc.?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:14 PM on October 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

If you graduate early, what are you going to do during that semester?
posted by box at 5:17 PM on October 25, 2010

Response by poster: Gah, clearly I forgot to input that bit. Sorry, was in a bit of a rush actually:

Basically, after I graduate early I plan to take college community courses during the winter and summer. That way I have a bit of an edge in 100 level courses.

As far as things go with early acceptance and applications, right now I'm just looking at schools. Places that focus on psychology, but also have wider acceptance as "good schools" are on my list. That way if I drop this line of thought I still have a quality school to go to. A dream would definitely be Colombia in New York. I can try, can't I?

I'm seeking scholarships and schools right now. So sorry to seem like I'm not considering that- it just consumes so much time that I'm in a rush! Watch me post a scholarships question next week!
posted by Askiba at 5:19 PM on October 25, 2010

It seems like this depends on what you plan to do next. I'm going to assume more-or-less-immediate college, given your GPA and career aspirations. So what really matters is what the admissions offices of the various schools you're interested in think. Give 'em a call. Some might even be open to your starting school mid-year (i.e. Jan 2012 or thereabouts). There's no inherent reason that graduating early will hurt you in admissions. All of your admissions materials would be submitted prior to Dec. 2011 anyway, even if you graduated on a normal schedule.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:19 PM on October 25, 2010

I've had several friends graduate early, and none of them regretted it. Particularly if it's only half a year, there's no reason not to.

High School's taken up enough of your time and energy. If there are no outside circumstances preventing you from doing so, I'd get out of there and move on with your life.

That said -- did you apply to a college early decision? If so, you might want to call up the admissions department and check with them, although given that acceptance letters go out in December I'm not why early graduation would matter.

If you're planning to apply to schools at the end of the year, again, you could contact the admissions departments of the schools you're interested in, or talk to your high school's guidance councilor.

But if there aren't any college-related reasons to stay that extra semester, then don't!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:23 PM on October 25, 2010

I don't know about your school, but you might check with your guidance counselor. I went to two schools, one with a crap guidance counselor (who expressed shock at the idea that I wanted to go to university) and the other with a fantastic counselor (who kicked my ass and helped me apply for, then get into university). If you're lucky enough to have a good one, go talk to them. Lay out your ideas, then ask them what they think. There's a pretty good chance they'll be able to give you some solid advice.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:25 PM on October 25, 2010

Ugh, I'm sorry, I'm an idiot and missed that you're a Junior and just thinking ahead.

Ignore the references to early decision!

But man...if you're sick of high school now, you'll be ready to bang you head against a wall in a year. Get out and enjoy the world!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:27 PM on October 25, 2010

Some colleges (particularly private universities) may not give you transfer credit for classes taken at two-year colleges/community college.

Also - this means finishing high school in December 2011(ish) rather than May(ish) 2012, right? I don't think the grades from those last few months of school (January - May) usually factor into college admissions for higher-tier schools anyway, because applications tend to be due Jan 1st or maybe Feb 1st at the latest, with decisions getting mailed out for April 1st.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:31 PM on October 25, 2010

I took a couple classes at my neighborhood state school my senior year. I didn't have to graduate early to do it, though, so you may just be able to make sure your school recognizes what you're doing, go with the flow, and graduate on schedule. It doesn't seem like there's any advantage to being "officially" graduated, as long as you can get yourself away from high school.

On the other hand, if you're looking to avoid walking at graduating with your classmates and all of that rigamarole, I can see how getting that over with now is attractive. Consider whether any adults in your life would be disappointed by not getting to see you graduate with all the hoopla.

By the way, it's Columbia with a u. (I know somebody who applied to Berkeley with a "I really want to go to UCLA" letter, and got in, so sometimes this doesn't matter, but . . .)
posted by rustcellar at 5:31 PM on October 25, 2010

Nthing the idea to talk to the schools you're looking to go to. Especially since you're just a Junior now. Please note that if you were a Senior now I'd say to just stay in high school. But yeah, if you hate it and don't do some sort of extra curricular activity in the spring that you'll miss out on then go ahead and get out.

Also note that the universities don't really give a rat's ass what your school does with weighing grades. They're going to make their own GPA because of the way schools have customized GPAs and grading scales so that it's almost impossible to compare the GPA of two students who go to different schools, and sometimes in the same school.
posted by theichibun at 5:32 PM on October 25, 2010

I actually "dropped out" of high school -- I skipped my senior year entirely and went straight to college with no degree (potentially "risky" but I considered my chances of not getting a college degree minimal; none of the colleges I applied to [top-tier engineering schools] cared if I had a HS degree as long as I met other requirements].

Overall I think it was good --- I had few things left to take my senior year so it wouldn't have been too productive, I got out of school a year earlier accelerating my career, etc.

In your case you wouldn't be accelerating the timeline any, just removing 1 semester of HS. Other than the AP issue (and some colleges dont even give credit for AP courses), I can't see a downside academically. So you have 1 extra semester of time before beginning college, which seems like a plus to me. And you don't like high school (which was also a big reason for me), so that's a win too.

Depending on how your semesters line up (I forget how that works TBH) you'll probably have already submitted all your college applications before second semester would even start, right? So it shouldn't have any impact there either way.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:32 PM on October 25, 2010

Honestly, the last semester of senior year was the best part of high school! Of course it's a little stressful at the beginning of May with AP exams, but all the graduation stuff, senior ditch day, graduation, grad night...I wouldn't want to miss that.

P.S. I wasn't one of those student-council "yeay high school" types...but I do have really great memories of senior year.
posted by radioamy at 5:33 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Are you worried about this affecting college admissions, or are you just asking if this is a worthwhile thing to do?

If it's about college admissions, I couldn't really say, but they wouldn't know when they had your application in hand, and as long as you had a degree by the time you got there, I don't think it would make any difference. If you are worried about this, though, I think the advice to get in touch with colleges and ask them is the right call.

If it's worthwhile - well, that's really your call. I would say that if this appeals to you, though, it's worth it. I would just suggest that you ask yourself, "what will I miss out on by leaving early?" If the answer is just "well, I guess I wouldn't take AP stats," yeah, getting out is worth it!

My high school had their requirements set up such that it was impossible to graduate early (incredibly aggravating to my sister, who really should have been able to finish in three years), but I skirted that by taking a semester off. Well, I lived abroad with some family friends and went to high school in Germany, so I was still in school, but it was way more exciting and worthwhile, and my grades there didn't count for anything. Whatever I missed out on in "senior year experiences" was made up for by (a) not being at my high school and (b) being able to do more worthwhile (and more educational!) things than being at my high school.
posted by mandanza at 5:37 PM on October 25, 2010

Okay, so you're going to apply to schools like everybody else and start in September with everyone else, just with a few extra CC classes already. Peachy, just make sure that

1) Your desired 4 year university will give you full credit for the CC classes
2) You choose those CC classes wisely with respect to the GE requirements of the 4 year; if you will get full credit for Calculus 101 at CC and everyone has to take it at (X University) anyway, perfect.
3) You explain what you're doing in your essays

And why not try to do something besides taking more classes with your semester off?
If I were an admissions officer and I read "I am graduating a semester early so I can take Calc 101 while working 20 hours a week at the food bank so I can help start a fundraising drive for new equipment", I would accept you over a student with an identical GPA who planned on fluff courses for second semester of senior year.

And no one really cares about that psych AP test much; I took it and it ended up not counting toward my psych major at UCSD. That may not be the case for the school you end up at, but if you're really interested in psych, the AP class is the tip of the iceberg at best. If you want a better intro to the field, see if you can audit an intro class at a nearby research university during your time off. I can not emphasize enough that psychology is a newish and rapidly changing field and that the AP material is in some respects very outdated (or it was in 2003 anyway!)
posted by slow graffiti at 5:41 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

As rustcellar said, sometimes you can take college classes for both HS and college (if your eventual college recognizes it) credit. Check into this, because if you take "joint enrollment," you may not have to pay for the college classes.

Depending on where you end up enrolling, you might be better off with additional AP credits than community college credits--this really varies and is worth checking into specifically at the schools that you think you're most likely to get into or want to go to (so definitely Columbia).

Then again, you might be better off personally getting out of HS, for whatever reasons you have. Plus college classes--maybe especially community college--would be much more flexible (i.e., instead of having to be at school every day from 8 to 3, you just come for a couple hours here and there a few times a week)... that freedom might be pretty tempting to me if I were in your shoes, transfer/AP credit be damned.

Check and double-check your potential colleges' entrance requirements. I'd bet that satisfying your HS requirements (and then some) would be enough almost everywhere, but make sure that there's not a school you'd like to apply to with some weird extra semester of foreign language required or something like that. It's rare but possible.

You sound like a fairly competitive candidate, though I have no idea what Columbia looks for these days (nor do I know your SAT score). I'm sure you'll have great success whatever you decide.
posted by SuperNova at 5:45 PM on October 25, 2010

Well, I lived abroad with some family friends and went to high school in Germany, so I was still in school, but it was way more exciting and worthwhile, and my grades there didn't count for anything.
I was going to suggest study abroad, too. Any chance you're interested in being an exchange student somewhere for a semester?

I would be a tiny bit careful with community college classes. They can be fine, but you really want to make sure what you're getting is equivalent to the introductory course at a four-year college or that you won't want to take a more-advanced course in that subject. You're not doing yourself any favors if you place out of the introductory course and then crash and burn in a more advanced class.
posted by craichead at 5:48 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Consider also working out a half-day schedule for your senior year and doing your CC courses in the afternoons. That way you can graduate with your friends and still earn enough college credits to exempt you from at least a semester. You can then use that extra semester to do something fun/cool/productive, or to pick up a second major/minor if you so desire. I'd caution, though, against taking classes during the summer before college unless you really think you need remediation in math, chemistry, or writing. It's your last summer of minimal responsibilities and I'd strongly advise travel in place of more academics.

I say this all as someone who spent his senior year half-timing between HS and the local Uni, worked the summer away at a dirty hostel in a beautiful European city, and then went on to graduate a year early from his overpriced undergrad institution.
posted by The White Hat at 5:50 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

after I graduate early I plan to take college community courses during the winter and summer

I'm fairly positive those will cost a lot more than Advance Placement courses. If your high school offers more AP courses than just Psychology, which you have already mentioned, and the potential college you wish to enroll in accepts AP classes for course credit (many will satisfy requirements, which is key to getting to take "interesting" classes when you're still a freshman), and those course credits are for the major you are interested in perusing (most schools will have a humanities, math and foreign language requirement), then it would make more sense to stick around.

That's a lot of ifs, but at least for me, AP courses satisfied 1/3rd of my entire undergraduate requirements. I was taking 300-level (junior year) courses my 2nd semester freshman year, and the school was paying for it (they paid up to 4 extra credits, or one full course, if you finished the semester with a 3.5 or higher). Of course, I was a history major, and there are a shit-ton of history AP offerings, so YMMV.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:10 PM on October 25, 2010

I graduated early, and it was a huge relief to get out of high school. I recommend doing it. (I also got to skip prom and the graduation ceremony, and it was lovely to not have to bother with it and have a built in excuse.) If you're not attached to your high school and friends there, why stay if you can leave?
posted by shamash at 6:16 PM on October 25, 2010

I graduated from high school with my class (though I skipped graduation, because I didn't care enough at that point to show up), but I took all of my junior and senior year classes at the local community college. My home state has a joint enrollment program that let me get 70 hours of college credit for free. I ended up going to a rather prestigious college and really never tried to get credit for anything than the few classes for which I'd taken AP exams, but even though I still spent 4 years in undergrad, it was worth it. Even though I didn't end up using those early college credits, having a lot of introductory classes out of the way made it easier to figure out what I wanted to study, and since I knew that early on, I could go farther in my chosen field.

I hated high school and felt like I thrived once I got to the community college, and I still think of it as my favorite part of my education, even after getting an undergrad degree from a prestigious university and going to grad school at an even fancier one.
posted by capsizing at 6:17 PM on October 25, 2010

I have to say that I hated 8th and maybe 9th grade, but the older people got, the less cliquish they got. I made friends (and learned social skills) in my last year that I wouldn't have been able to make at any other time. I'm glad I had that time in my high school.

But you know your life better than any of us. I say take the riskiest option.
posted by jander03 at 6:51 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I graduated early. The only thing I missed out on was taking AP and related tests that could have gotten me college credit. If I had stayed on top of the school to make sure I was included, it wouldn't have happened. My bad.

I would do it if I were you. You sound very organized, so could probably stay on top of the test thing, if that becomes an issue for you. Whether school A or B accepts those credits, who knows, but it can't hurt to have them in the bag if you go to a school that does!! It's money and time in the bank.
posted by wwartorff at 6:51 PM on October 25, 2010

My experience:
I started taking community college classes my sophomore year, because I was so bored at my high school. In California, at least, you can take community college classes for free if you're still a registered high school student. So I did that in the evenings & summers throughout my sophomore /junior year. My high school district had a "duel-enrollment" program for seniors - you could be considered a high school student, take one or two classes at your high school (I stuck around for fall marching band) and take the rest of your classes at the community college. I did that program too, applied to colleges, and finished all of the community college classes I wanted to take during the winter quarter.

Then I headed off to Germany to work as an Au Pair (nanny/housekeeper), which was amazingly fabulous. Learned a language, traveled around Europe, learned a lot about myself. I'd already been admitted to a college prior to leaving for Germany, so I didn't have that to worry about at all. I ended up begging the college to let me enroll a semester late & keep my scholarship so that I could stay in Germany longer. I would not recommend that last bit, at least if you're an introvert - a lot of bonding for freshmen happens that first semester on campus, and it can be hard to break into already-established groups of friends if you show up to the party late.

The college classes I had under my belt didn't help much with my planned majors, but they were useful in getting me out of requirements - I already had the Calc series done, some social science credits, English 101, etc. It meant I had more freedom to pursue interesting upper-level courses that I wouldn't have had the chance to otherwise. And like capsizing, by the time I hit college "for real" I knew exactly what I wanted to study.

So, to wrap it up, choosing to graduate early from high school was a really great experience for me. I would totally recommend it if you're feeling "over" the whole high school scene. However, unless you are planning to graduate early/condense your four years of college for financial or other reasons, I would not suggest just hanging around your hometown, taking community college classes with that extra time you have. Instead, use that time to be footloose somewhere around the world as a mini-gap year. There are plenty of jobs you can get that won't pay you a lot, but they will pay you enough to let you break even easily enough. If you like kids, consider Au-Pairing - some families want serious kid-wrangling help, but others just want you to help their kids with their English homework (with your very desired American accent) in the afternoons. Sometimes the people looking for Au Pairs are couples who just want some help with the housework, no kids at all.
posted by Gori Girl at 7:04 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I graduated a semester early and totally loved it. At the time I had a job I enjoyed (bookstore!) and about 90% of my friends didn't go to high school, so it made sense for me. (Also I went to Hampshire so I don't know how this would be regarded by a 'normal' college.)
posted by grapesaresour at 7:05 PM on October 25, 2010

I have to second radioamy. I was a diehard nerd and even I had a blast at the senior year events. The last half of senior year was the only part of high school worth being there for.

But... up to you, really.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:06 PM on October 25, 2010

I graduated early and went off to college. I wish I hadn't been in such a hurry. Stick around... in ten years, you'll wish you had taken more time to soak it all in.
posted by RogueHolly at 7:33 PM on October 25, 2010

Graduate early and get out! Even though I did not graduate early, I have never once regretted not taking part in "senior year events" in the last decade. And I've never met a person who graduated early who didn't feel like it was wholly worthwhile.
posted by asciident at 7:37 PM on October 25, 2010

I had to stay in high school through my senior year mostly through a stupid PE requirement, and I don't think I'd repeat the experience given the chance. I had already taken most of the classes I could have, so I mostly just had a bunch of study halls that were wasted time, especially in the spring. If there are any classes you still want to take, or teachers who might offer independent study options that you'd be interested in, then stay. Otherwise, go. (Of course, if you have friends who you want to spend more time with, then stay, but it sounds like you aren't enjoying the environment.)

All that said, it didn't affect the course of my life much.

As others have said, if you go to community college, it's helpful if the credits count at your eventual university.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:39 PM on October 25, 2010

I did this. I left after the first semester of senior year because I'd completed the requirements and was sick of it. I regret it. I missed a lot of fun, dorky stuff that semester. And when I walked the stage with friends, I felt kinda disconnected because I had been working and doing other things for six months while they had all been going to prom and goofing off (which is what that last semester is since acceptances to colleges have already come in for the most part). I also missed things like the senior class trip and senior party and that sort of thing because I wasn't enrolled at my high school any longer.

So my advice is this. Think carefully about the distance this will create between you and your friends, it's lame to be the one left out of stuff-it is just high school but senior year is fun stuff. Then... if you feel it's worth it, try to think of something really good to do with that semester. Can you travel? Take an awesome internship? Maybe work someplace cool to save some money up so you can skip the part time job freshman year? Good luck!
posted by supercapitalist at 7:56 PM on October 25, 2010

As far as I'm concerned, it really depends on you. Especially your learning style and maturity level.

I will, however, say that none of the kids in my high school who did this had super great outcomes.

That said, I spent my last two years of high school at a boarding school with an advanced curriculum based on the liberal arts university model. It didn't translate into college credit, but for all intents and purposes I started college two years early. And I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. So maybe I'm wrong and this would be a good idea.
posted by Sara C. at 8:04 PM on October 25, 2010

Do you have access to a dual enrollment program? Around here, that means you can do up to full time community college for free - you can graduation with an associate's when you get your HS diploma since yo can start that junior year. AP Classes are still more rigorous for the most part, though, at least around here.

I didn't have time to read through all the answers you got, but I would say that by missing 2nd semester senior year you're missing a lot of fun rather than stress. I mean, there's stress, but there's also culminating the 4+ years you've spent with your friends and it's actually more fun than you might imagine (speaking as a current senior) - though of course your experience will probably differ from mine in whatever respect.

And I know I'm not going to be one of those people that said high school was the best time of their life. I've done my time at the bottom of the social pyramid, but IME (at both schools I've attended), cliques start to break down senior year as everyone makes a last ditch effort to know as many people in their grade as possible.
posted by R a c h e l at 9:03 PM on October 25, 2010

It seems like a fine idea. I don't think it'll help or hurt your application to colleges (agreed with others about asking a counselor or calling up colleges to be sure). I wouldn't do it if the goal is to get a head start on life, and all that crap, because honestly, I feel when you're young (or old), you don't need to be in such a hurry. I could empathize with wanting to be done with high school. I think at this point, the thing that should factor most into your decision is whether you'll feel like you're missing out on the social experience, which we can't help you with, since you didn't clarify that part. I was also pretty much done with high school by junior year as well, and my last semester of senior year wasn't any greater than other semesters. I just enjoyed not having the pressures of college anymore, and bombed and skipped a lot of classes (I was a straight A student before that). I also didn't enjoy the social experience of high school, and the last semester sucked just the same. I went to prom, grad night, and graduation, and they were just blah, and I don't give a damn about them right now. I guess it's good I went just so I know there's no regret, and I see I wouldn't have missed out on anything if I skipped it all. But that's just me, and I really disliked high school overall.
posted by lacedcoffee at 9:27 PM on October 25, 2010

I did this and it was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. I used that semester and took a full load of classes at the local state university, before I went out of town for school the next year. I got adjusted to the college environment and how university classes work while still living at home. It made the transition into attending college while living away from home a lot less overwhelming.

I have no regrets about missing "senior year" (I'm still not entirely sure what I missed, other than graduation). But only you know how you'll feel about that.
posted by everybody polka at 10:25 PM on October 25, 2010

Do you hate high school? Would you be doing something awesome (foreign travel, hiking the Appalachian trail, cool internship, etc.)? Then yes, definitely graduate early. However, depending on where you go to college, coursework you take may or may not give you credits, or in my case, you may have heaps of credits that you can't use because they don't match up with the coursework required for your major. And even though I didn't really enjoy high school, that last semester was pretty fun- laid back and goofy with no real responsibilities.
posted by emd3737 at 5:01 AM on October 26, 2010

I would be a tiny bit careful with community college classes. They can be fine, but you really want to make sure what you're getting is equivalent to the introductory course at a four-year college or that you won't want to take a more-advanced course in that subject. You're not doing yourself any favors if you place out of the introductory course and then crash and burn in a more advanced class.

I want to stress this. I was quite pleased to have taken Large Survey Course 101 in a number of disciplines, Mandatory Writing Class, and You Too Can Do Calc to help me make better choices about what to take in college, and avoid GE requirements. On the other hand, the classes in my major had to be repeated to get the higher quality and exposure to the faculty in my department; I've always felt grubby about getting credit for that Circuit Design class. I've seen this on the other side with pre-meds who took AP biology or CC bio 101 and want to skip ahead in our bio sequence. It's tough to explain that they Are Not Equivalent and it would be a disservice to allow them to walk into the MCAT or upper courses with just that.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:59 AM on October 26, 2010

Senior year was a blast, seriously. I didn't much care for the rest of high school. Could you take CC classes through your high school or take more AP classes?

Also be aware that even if you meet your high school's requirements for graduating, you may not meet your a university's admissions standards. For example my high school required 3 years of math to graduate but all the state schools required 4 years of math for admission. Sounds like you might have checked that out but just make sure.

High school is free. You can take frivolous classes your last semester and kind of take it all in (I'm talking about cooking, woodshop, auto repair...) Throw in some easy classes and you can boost your GPA even more. I graduated high school on a regular schedule, but I was ahead in college and could have graduated a semester early, but since I had a full ride, I took a bunch of fun classes (hello electronic music 101!) collected unemployment (because I had worked full time for the 2 previous school years) and did a lot of dicking around that I elsewise would never have been able to do had I jumped right into working. In fact I can't ever see the opportunity for that much dicking around ever happeneing again in my life unless I hit the powerball. TL;DR If you can dick around under the guise of being educated, do it.

Lastly, what do your parents think? I hate pomp and circumstance and didn't even want to go to my graduatons from high school or college (in high school I was the valedictorian so I especially didn't want to give a speech). But my parents were so proud because my family....lacks academic achievers and really wanted to go and feel like I was doing something really great. So I went to both graduations for them so they could do the parental gloating I supposed they deserved after dealing with me for 18 years.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:02 AM on October 26, 2010

Both a sibling and I graduated early. Zero regrets, we've both gone on to achieve great things and honestly, you sound more prepared than I was when I graduated a full year early. There is plenty of great advice above, and I just want to add emphasis that you insure well ahead of time that any credits you get locally from a community college can transfer to the colleges/universities you want to attend later. Some schools have arbitrary and arcane rules about transfer credits, and I'd hate to see you lose a semester or year's worth of credit because of issues surrounding the transfer.

Also, frankly, if you're a high achiever, there's really not much spending Senior year at high school will gain you in the long run. Why not spend that time wisely and make great achievements? I've always thought that Senior year was a 'rest on your laurels' year unless you're at some spectacular high school with amazing college prep courses.

Good luck!
posted by kuppajava at 9:35 AM on October 26, 2010

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