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Does this count as attending college?


cjzimmer1
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So I've had a very hard time getting DS to make decisions with regards to what he wants to do with his life and where to go to school.  He managed to apply to two colleges before most of the deadlines past.  He was accepted to one but unless he wins a major scholarship we will not be able to afford for him to attend.  The other school has fabulous financial aid but it's acceptance rate is less than 30% so I'm not holding my breath that it will work out either. 

 

He's fall back plan is to attend a Bible college through our religious organization.  I'm totally fine with this plan.

 

Our question is this.  The Bible college is not accredited outside of our organization.  If DS would go there and then decide he wants to attend a secular college after a year or two there, would he be applying as a freshman or as a transfer student?  He won't have any credit to transfer (at least I assume this since the school is not accredited) but wasn't sure if schools would consider this as attending college or not.

 

We know the best scholarship money is for freshman but he just wasn't ready/able to make those decisions when we needed to do those applications.  But I don't want him sitting around for a year waiting for another round of applications just so he can apply as a freshman. And a year of Bible college seems like the perfect fit for him but not sure if that will affect his status when applying elsewhere.

 

Anyone know how this works?

 

 

 

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That's a tough one. You'd probably have to ask the college(s) he is interested in. If I were to guess I'd say he'd be a transfer student even if nothing transfers. The verbiage used at the schools we looked at say 'a freshman is a student who has not attended college since graduating from high school'. They don't specify that the classes must transfer or the the college attended must be accredited. After all other transfer students could very well have credits that won't transfer just because of the college policy, not because the school wasn't accredited. But they would still be transfer students. 

 

Personally I'd never send my child to a school that wasn't accredited, especially if she wanted to transfer to another school. There is really very little to gain from it. Their credits won't count for anything and as you've pointed out, it could really affect the scholarships. Not to mention that getting into a school as a transfer student is much more difficult than as a freshman. There are just not as many openings. 

 

He might be better off taking community college classes. He'd still be a transfer student but at least the credits would transfer.

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That's a tough one. You'd probably have to ask the college(s) he is interested in. If I were to guess I'd say he'd be a transfer student even if nothing transfers. The verbiage used at the schools we looked at say 'a freshman is a student who has not attended college since graduating from high school'. They don't specify that the classes must transfer or the the college attended must be accredited. After all other transfer students could very well have credits that won't transfer just because of the college policy, not because the school wasn't accredited. But they would still be transfer students. 

 

Personally I'd never send my child to a school that wasn't accredited, especially if she wanted to transfer to another school. There is really very little to gain from it. Their credits won't count for anything and as you've pointed out, it could really affect the scholarships. Not to mention that getting into a school as a transfer student is much more difficult than as a freshman. There are just not as many openings. 

 

He might be better off taking community college classes. He'd still be a transfer student but at least the credits would transfer.

 

The point of him going to Bible college wouldn't be for earning credits for a secular degree.  It would be for spiritual/personal growth, studying the Bible, developing maturity, and really figuring out what he wants to do with his life.  So with those goals in mind it doesn't need to be accredited.

 

I've seen that wording before but I wasn't sure if it would apply to a school that is solely for religious studies and was not accredited.   Our church offers once a month classes that our religious organization considers the equivalent of a Bible school program but I know places wouldn't consider that to be college.  I guess it goes back to what is defined as college?  Does paying for knowledge constitute college?  Lectures, writing papers, living in a dorm?  It should be an easy question but for some reason I always manage to find gray areas even in things that should be black and white.

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I do think it's considered college. You said he'd do this at a college, not by taking classes at church once a month. Schools looking at him for transfer wouldn't care that it was biblical studies. They would consider that college. Is there any way he can do a gap year and Bible study without enrolling in a college? 

 

Again, you can check with the schools he's interested in and give them the name of the place he's considering studying. If it's not an official college, then maybe it would be different but the schools should be able to tell you.

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I do think it's considered college. You said he'd do this at a college, not by taking classes at church once a month. Schools looking at him for transfer wouldn't care that it was biblical studies. They would consider that college. Is there any way he can do a gap year and Bible study without enrolling in a college? 

 

 

 

The one he is considering is called a college (it's in another state he'd live in dorms etc). But I was just mentioning the one at our church as a comparison because within our organization they are considered equivalent and was just musing what makes one a college and one is not, sorry for the confusion there.

 

He may end up doing a gap year if the financials don't work out.  Bible college would just be a good filler in that gap year if he could do it without hurting his financial aid in the process.  Maybe I will encourage him to look at a short term mission trip as an alternative.  There are many in the 3-6 month range that would keep him occupied although they are not as affordable as the Bible college is.

 

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So I've had a very hard time getting DS to make decisions with regards to what he wants to do with his life and where to go to school.  He managed to apply to two colleges before most of the deadlines past.  He was accepted to one but unless he wins a major scholarship we will not be able to afford for him to attend.  The other school has fabulous financial aid but it's acceptance rate is less than 30% so I'm not holding my breath that it will work out either. 

 

He's fall back plan is to attend a Bible college through our religious organization.  I'm totally fine with this plan.

 

Our question is this.  The Bible college is not accredited outside of our organization.  If DS would go there and then decide he wants to attend a secular college after a year or two there, would he be applying as a freshman or as a transfer student?  He won't have any credit to transfer (at least I assume this since the school is not accredited) but wasn't sure if schools would consider this as attending college or not.

 

We know the best scholarship money is for freshman but he just wasn't ready/able to make those decisions when we needed to do those applications.  But I don't want him sitting around for a year waiting for another round of applications just so he can apply as a freshman. And a year of Bible college seems like the perfect fit for him but not sure if that will affect his status when applying elsewhere.

 

Anyone know how this works?

 

<speaking gently>  I think I'd take a different approach.  Rather than "what will he do next year", I'd ask "where does he want to be the year after that?", and plan next year with that goal in mind.

 

It sounds like both of the schools he applied to were long shots from the beginning, and will still be long shots next year.  He's going to need to have a realistic goal, and a plan to get there.  Many families help their child identify a group of schools to which they will apply.  For each school, they look at their child's odds of getting in, and the likelihood they can afford the school if the student is admitted.  They make sure there is at least one school in the mix that is likely to both admit the student and be affordable - this is the "safety" school - the backup plan.  They include a couple of schools which will be affordable if the child gets some merit money; at least some of these being schools where the student is likely to be admitted.  And there's always the "reach" school - either financially or admittance-wise (or both) a long shot, but worth the taking the chance on.  Notice I"m talking about "families" here - I believe it is very important for parents to be involved in the school search, because they have a realistic view of finances (and in the case of homeschoolers, academics) and can advise the child accordingly.  College applications have become a very, very complicated game, and I've seen more than a few 17-year-olds end up in a challenging place because they didn't get enough counseling and had to navigate the process largely on their own.  So I would, NOW, reboot your school search to begin to create his application list.  The folks on this board can suggest tools to help you weed through the bazillions of schools to find a few that would be a good fit..  

 

As you search, take note - not all schools have a hard-and-fast deadline that has passed.  Some schools have a "priority deadline" and will take applications after that date.  There are always schools that have open spots once all the dust has settled after the May 1 deadline.  Do your research, to see if there are any affordable, accredited schools to which he can still apply for this coming year.    

 

Now - the next thing to figure out is what he can do, if he does not find a school this year, to maximize the chances of success next year.  This will be a combination of finding appropriate, affordable schools to which to apply, AND making sure his application is the best it can be.  What kinds of things can he be doing to beef up the likelihood of both acceptance and merit money?  First - does he have to graduate this year?  Can he do an extra year of high school?  That would add more courses to his transcript, and if you can include any dual enrollment or AP classes, give him credits that may transfer.  This would likely be my approach.  He can combine his classes with some career exploration, some interest-led activities, and perhaps even an internship or volunteer work in an area he may like to study.  Of course, if he'd like to continue his religious studies, he could do that through your church, or in high school or dual enrollment classes.  You see, I'd be concerned that attending the unaccredited school would both put him out of the running for freshman scholarships, AND not build his application as well as more rigorous high school or DE classes would, thus doing nothing to help with either admissions or merit money.  In other words, I fear that if he went to the unaccredited school, he'd be in the same spot, or worse, at the end of next year.  

 

I'd also talk to the school where he was accepted to understand what merit scholarships and need-based assistance he is likely to be eligible for, to get a realistic picture of how likely it is that he will be able to attend.  Find out what kinds of merit money they offer, and what the qualifications are - SAT scores, leadership, etc.  Then make sure you have documented everything that would help him, perhaps in a resume, and submit that to the school if they will accept it.  And I'd call the 30% school and see if there is anything more you can submit there, too.  

 

College admissions is a complex process, and most families have to juggle not only a Plan A and Plan B, but C,D,E, and more, and hit each of those plans hard to come up with a good-fit, financially-viable option come May.  Help your ds come up with Plans C, D, and E for next year's applications, and plan what he can do to maximize their success, while you both continue to work Plans A and B for this year.

 

Please - take this post in the spirit in which it was intended, and put aside any suggestions that aren't a good fit for your son or your family.  

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ANY courses taken at a post-high school institution will knock your student out of freshman status and into transfer student status, even if none of the credits taken actually are accepted as transfer credits.

 

In order to maintain freshman status for financial aid purposes, have your student apply for a gap year status once accepted to the university. And then take NO courses from any other school. For spiritual or personal growth, the student could self-study through Bible studies, podcasts of sermons, mentoring with a pastor, etc. Also, the student can use that gap year and work as much as possible, which is a *great* way to squirrel away money towards future college costs. Plus, working helps a student mature in life skills, give them some life experience, AND give them time to mature and think about what they DO want for their future.

 

Important to know that a college degree is NOT the best career path for everyone. I know a number of homeschoolers who skipped college entirely and after high school have hired on with good companies and are working their way up and doing well. So you can find a vocation or at least a career job without college. :)

 

Another option is to to not go to a 4-year university immediately, and either right after high school OR, after taking some time for growth/exploration, attend a community college (CC) that has a good credit transfer policy, take most of the general ed. courses that would be required for a degree, and transfer and finish the last 2 years of a degree at the university. There are transfer scholarships out there (our DS#1 went this route and earned scholarships at the CC AND transfer scholarships!), and starting at the CC, esp. if still living at home, is a very gentle stepping stone, often cheaper, AND, the CC often has scholarships too that can reduce the cost of the CC.

 

Also, starting at the CC gives you the option of a possible Associate's degree or certificate working in a skilled trade area -- some of those fields make good money, and are VERY rewarding and satisfying jobs -- and they don't require a 4-year degree. :) The WTMer 8FillTheHeart has a daughter who is very fulfilled working as an Occupational Therapist, which comes out of earning her Associate's degree. Again, a Bachelor's degree is NOT the path to a career for everyone! :)

 

 

Just some thoughts from our personal journey, in case it helps ;) :

 

Yes, going this route (2 years CC + 2 years university) you DO lose freshman scholarships, BUT… Going the route of starting as a freshman for the $$ -- most of the scholarships available for freshmen cover at most about half of tuition only, and none of room & board, books, supplies, transportation, and other college costs which can easily double the cost of tuition. So, if having to live on campus, a freshman scholarship cuts overall costs by about 20-25%. Ug. Not as much help as it initially sounds like.

 

I calculated up all of the costs and scholarships for the 3 options available to us:

#1 - 2 years at the in-town (live at home) CC + 2 years at either the in-town or out-of-town university

#2 - 4 years at the in-town university (live at home)

#3 - 4 years at the out-of-town university (room & board costs)

 

By doing option #1, a Bachelor's degree is costing DS $30-35,000 LESS than option 2 or 3, and that IS taking into account what the maximum scholarships that either of the universities would have offered DS as a freshman. (He would not have been a candidate for a full-tuition scholarship anywhere, but was eligible for partial tuition scholarships.) Interestingly, the out of town university has a lot more money to give and has more generous tuition scholarships -- but that gets balanced out by having to pay for room & board. The in-town university has very little money to hand out, so even living at home makes the costs pretty similar to the specific out of town university…)

 

 

Another possibility is a work-for-tuition or tuition-free college. Several people on these boards have highly rated the Berea College on that linked list… For more creative funding ideas for college, check out this past thread: "s/o: Cautionary Tale/high college costs -- a brainstorm $$ ideas thread!"

 

 

Just brainstorming with you! BEST of luck as you and DS think through all the options! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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...

He may end up doing a gap year if the financials don't work out.  Bible college would just be a good filler in that gap year if he could do it without hurting his financial aid in the process.  Maybe I will encourage him to look at a short term mission trip as an alternative.  There are many in the 3-6 month range that would keep him occupied although they are not as affordable as the Bible college is.

 

 

I think, under the circumstances, it would be better to shoot not so much for filling his time or keeping him occupied, but rather using his time to maximize his chances of being accepted to a college he can (possibly with merit money) afford to attend.  Even if he is not sure what he'd like to study, he can work on DE or AP classes, or perhaps CLEP, to earn credits that are likely to transfer, thus giving him 1) a better chance of being accepted, 2) a better chance at merit-based financial aid, and 3) perhaps enough credits to skip a semester (with the financial savings that would create).  Just something to consider, if you feel that college is the goal..  

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He would be a transfer, and not likely to get transfer scholarships coming from an unaccredited bible college. I'm not saying it's impossible, just unlikely. 

 

I would either have him apply to an affordable school with rolling admissions, or take a gap year. I wouldn't spend money on a long mission trip or anything, I'd have him work and volunteer locally. If the additional bible study is important to him, he can do various things through the church and/or online. 

 

And I don't want to be discouraging, but I think he would already know if he were up for a big scholarship at the school that admitted him. 

 

Have you run the net price calculator for the school he is waiting to hear from? We found that most schools with reputations for giving great aid were still mightily expensive if you are somewhat middle class. 

 

Good luck, it's tough to figure out!

 

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I didn't think of community college until Lori mentioned, but that's another option. 

 

If he decides to delay graduation, he might be able to dual enroll at either community college or a local university. I know CCs vary by area. We went with DE at the uni because, even though the credits do transfer, the CC is not up to par and many students get a shock when they transfer. 

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I didn't think of community college until Lori mentioned, but that's another option. 

 

If he decides to delay graduation, he might be able to dual enroll at either community college or a local university. I know CCs vary by area. We went with DE at the uni because, even though the credits do transfer, the CC is not up to par and many students get a shock when they transfer. 

 

Great points, katilac!

 

And, Original Poster -- just adding to katilac's thought: from your signature, it looks like DS is young (17) -- what about delaying official high school graduation for 1 year and have him do all dual enrollment at your local community college (or with a university, as katilac suggests). That gives your DS time:

- time to mature

- time to explore and get more of an idea of what he'd like to do

- time to accrue credits for transfer to college, while still coming in as a freshman

- and time to beef up his transcript for possibly improved scholarships

 

Since DS has applied to 2 colleges as a high school senior, you'd need to find out how (or if) this would work with re-applying next year.

 

 

One more thought: DS would need to know what he wanted to do AND he would need to be very motivated and self-disciplined in studying and test-taking, BUT, you can do an all on-line college degree via CLEP tests and distance learning through College Plus, doing it at home, in 2-3 years, costing approx. $13,000-$18,000 total. You pay as you go, so that cost would be spread out over the time it takes to do the degree. There are NO scholarship options in this route, but when compared to attending a traditional university for 4 years, even living at home, you're looking at $40,000 at least for a degree...

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<speaking gently>  I think I'd take a different approach.  Rather than "what will he do next year", I'd ask "where does he want to be the year after that?", and plan next year with that goal in mind.

 

 

 

I agree with most everything you have said here (and just quoted a small portion for brevity) and in fact I did do much of it.  I gave DS a list of 20+ schools to look at with a mix of safety, fits and reaches.  I've been hand holding every step of the way. But what I can't do is make up his mind for him and I can't make him fill out applications and write essays.  And unfortunately those 3 things are pretty much where our process stalled.  DS doesn't know where he wants to go.  He's not even completely sold on his prospective major even though it would be a good fit for him. He is an introvert and frankly I think the idea of going away scares him. He has often said he wishes he could just homeschool college (however with a prospective engineering degree that is not a possibility).

 

I really can't keep him home for another year of high school.  DS is profoundly gifted, he took calculus and advanced chemistry in 8th grade.  He's taking a senior in college math program through a private tutor.  He's taken 8 AP's (all 4's and 5's, ACT=34) etc.  This is not to brag it's simply academically he is so far beyond that there really isn't much more I can do for him at home.  The drawback to the gifted is that his emotional development has always lagged severely behind his intellectual development.  Emotionally he just barely ready to be planning his life course.  He's come a long way in the last year but unfortunately this is not an area I can just hurrying along because the clock says it's time for him to do these things. So I'm trying to figure out what he can do until he's actually able to handle making these decisions.

 

Bible school is safe because he has several friends from around the country that he knows through an activity he participates in that are or will be attending there.  He wouldn't be alone even if he isn't planning ministry for a full time occupation but it would give him a safer emotional environment to develop without the complete security of being home.  But obviously if these means is chances of pursuing an academic degree in the future (with the necessary financial aid that would be needed) are hindered we have to keep looking for options.  I don't really want him sitting home for a year doing nothing.  I can't see spending a year in a minimum wage job will do much for him developing other than telling him that he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life doing that but he could tell that now.  It's more than just where will he go to school next year or perhaps the year after.  It's really the "what do you want to do with your life" question that he's stuck on.  And until he is able to have a least a sense of that I feel like everything else is on hold.

 

I know we haven't approached things the best but I don't have a clue how to guide someone who doesn't have a clue where they want to go in life.  I know we need options C, D etc but that's what I'm trying to figure out what that will look like for this child.  He doesn't really have enough life experience yet to know and I'm trying to figure out how to get him the experiences without mucking up his chances of achieving those goals once he finally figures out what they are.

 

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...Our church offers once a month classes that our religious organization considers the equivalent of a Bible school program but I know places wouldn't consider that to be college.  I guess it goes back to what is defined as college?  

 

To be absolutely sure, you need to discuss with the university that DS plans on attending to know for sure whether that would count as "self-study" or as college coursework. And every university will likely vary, so you would want to check with both universities DS has applied to, or any others he might apply to.

 

 

My guess is that it involves things like:

- there is payment of money (tuition)

- there is teacher instruction/course work/grading of work

- "credit is earned"

- a transcript is created

 

But that is just a guess. :)

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And I don't want to be discouraging, but I think he would already know if he were up for a big scholarship at the school that admitted him. 

 

Have you run the net price calculator for the school he is waiting to hear from? We found that most schools with reputations for giving great aid were still mightily expensive if you are somewhat middle class. 

 

Good luck, it's tough to figure out!

At the admitted school, the big scholarship deadline was February 1 with the recommendation letters due tomorrow.  So they won't start looking at those till next week so at least I know he still in the running at this point.

 

The other school meets full financial need without loans below a certain income threshold (and we are below it), so if he gets in we are good, we can swing our EFC  But we know it's a long shot to get in.

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I didn't think of community college until Lori mentioned, but that's another option. 

 

If he decides to delay graduation, he might be able to dual enroll at either community college or a local university. I know CCs vary by area. We went with DE at the uni because, even though the credits do transfer, the CC is not up to par and many students get a shock when they transfer. 

Our CC has a great transfer program into the local university.  The problem is that the classes are not very advanced.  Meaning DS has passed most of what they offer with the AP classes he has/is taking.  If DS went to the local university he has everything but one classes needed to declare an engineering major (they won't let you declare until you have met a bunch of intro classes (chemistry, physics, calc etc).  However DS is adament he doesn't want to attend local university.  I can't blame him, it's huge and overwhelming.

 

Great points, katilac!

 

And, Original Poster -- just adding to katilac's thought: from your signature, it looks like DS is young (17) -- what about delaying official high school graduation for 1 year and have him do all dual enrollment at your local community college (or with a university, as katilac suggests). That gives your DS time:

- time to mature

- time to explore and get more of an idea of what he'd like to do

- time to accrue credits for transfer to college, while still coming in as a freshman

- and time to beef up his transcript for possibly improved scholarships

 

Since DS has applied to 2 colleges as a high school senior, you'd need to find out how (or if) this would work with re-applying next year.

 

 

One more thought: DS would need to know what he wanted to do AND he would need to be very motivated and self-disciplined in studying and test-taking, BUT, you can do an all on-line college degree via CLEP tests and distance learning through College Plus, doing it at home, in 2-3 years, costing approx. $13,000-$18,000 total. You pay as you go, so that cost would be spread out over the time it takes to do the degree. There are NO scholarship options in this route, but when compared to attending a traditional university for 4 years, even living at home, you're looking at $40,000 at least for a degree...

DS actually just turned 18 a month ago.  I have a hard time remembering to update my signature every time someone has a birthday!

 

Another year to mature is exactly what DS needs, perhaps even two.  But I'm stuck with the reality that DS is advanced academically and behind emotionally and am struggling to find a fit that is appropriate for both of those issues simultantiously

 

DS is considering an engineering degree and for that to be worth anything it has to be ABET accredited.  To the best of my knowledge there is not any ABET accredited online classes.  I did try looking for some to see if we could keep DS home another year but struck out. 

 

Since the consensus is that Bible school is likely to harm more than help in acquiring a secular degree, I will tell DS, that he is welcome to keep Bible college on the table if he wants to go into the ministry but if he's doing it to delay making other decisions that he will have to find other options.

Edited by cjzimmer1
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You should ask the colleges to which he will be applying.

 

I had some personal experience with this when I was the Registrar of an (accredited) Christian college. I had a couple of students over the years who thought they were transferring from other Christian "colleges."  However, when I researched these places, most were in no way a college, no matter what they called themselves. Some of the red flags were that the instructors had no academics credentials whatsoever themselves, there were no credits associated with the courses, and "transcripts" were just a list of classes available in the program (not personalized to the student). Of course, they were also not regionally or nationally accredited and could not accept federal student aid.  The institutions amounted to specific denominational training, but did not count toward actual college attendance and the students weren't transfer students.

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You should ask the colleges to which he will be applying.

 

I had some personal experience with this when I was the Registrar of an (accredited) Christian college. I had a couple of students over the years who thought they were transferring from other Christian "colleges."  However, when I researched these places, most were in no way a college, no matter what they called themselves. Some of the red flags were that the instructors had no academics credentials whatsoever themselves, there were no credits associated with the courses, and "transcripts" were just a list of classes available in the program (not personalized to the student). Of course, they were also not regionally or nationally accredited and could not accept federal student aid.  The institutions amounted to specific denominational training, but did not count toward actual college attendance and the students weren't transfer students.

 

That's what I was wondering.  Our church denomination has about 5 Bible colleges.  They are for training ministers and missionaries etc within our faith.  There is no financial aid available and definitely no federal loans available.  I don't know how they do credits or transcripts. But because I know they aren't accredited outside of our faith, I wasn't sure if other colleges would even consider them to be a "real" college.

 

I know everyone keeps saying talk to the colleges he is interested in.  But beside the two he has applied to, I haven't been able to really get him interested in anything else.  So it's pretty hard to talk to school when there is no list of possibilities.

 

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Is there a smaller state University that he could still apply and get accepted to, possibly even with scholarships for next year? It wouldn't be too late for State U's here. I have a 2E child and I totally get the gifted by immature thing. I did sit with him and do applications. I helped edit essays. Dd is going to a college that had no essays on the application. I think you should start looking for late application options.

 

I get that he doesn't know where or what, but I think he would be much more likely to figure those things out if he went somewhere! The bible college idea sounds great, except financially. It will probably put him in a bad place for scholarships to engineering schools.

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Well, having tried to go to college before I was ready emotionally (academics no problem), I think in your shoes I would be trying hard to find something for him to do at home for a year or two.  I know he doesn't want to go to the local university, but is there any way he could do some sort of internship there?  Unpaid help with somebody's research or something?  Does he have any contacts there?  Could he could audit a class there?  I did that in high school and it made the whole college thing seem less intimidating.  I still wasn't ready to live away from home, but the college campus itself wasn't scary and it gave me a much better idea of what I wanted in a college.  I understand not wanting to go full time to the local university.  My children didn't want to go to ours, either, with good reason.  If he audited a class there, just for fun, it might let him get used to the hustle and bustle of a larger college and expand his college options for the future.  Maybe?  I don't know if auditing a class would eliminate him from the freshman category and make him a transfer student, though.  I can see your problem.

 

Nan

 

ETA - Are you sure taking a college class or two would make him a transfer student?

Edited by Nan in Mass
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<snip>  He has often said he wishes he could just homeschool college (however with a prospective engineering degree that is not a possibility).

 

<snip> I can't see spending a year in a minimum wage job will do much for him developing other than telling him that he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life doing that but he could tell that now.  <snip>

 

Ha, my youngest says the same thing about homeschooling college! 

 

I actually think that a minimum wage job might do a great deal for him in the areas that he needs development, and might be great preparation for going off to college - which is a huge change, and a challenge for many students, no matter how advanced their academics are. But it may not work if it would completely stall his learning or get him too far off track.

 

A lot of kids do get 'stuck' during the process, and anxiety keeps them from moving forward and making decisions. Can you look for at least a couple of schools with rolling admission and good cost or good aid? I filled out 2 applications for dd because she was eliminating schools right and left, and I felt better knowing she would have more choice. It was worth the time and application fees to make mom feel better, lol. 

 

Meanwhile, I would have him look for either a part-time job or volunteer work if he doesn't already do that. And I mean in a new situation, not with his church, not with his friends, so he can practice getting out of his comfort zone. If he absolutely balks at that, I'd think that maybe he's not going to be ready to go away.

 

I'm not trying to be hard on him, but I have that kid who had to be FORCED to go to summer camp (she could have chosen other things but wouldn't, and really, she had to get out of the house!). I don't mean a long camp or sleep-away camp, just a week of day camp 20 minutes from the house.

 

She didn't love it and didn't thank me for forcing her, lol, but she survived it, and I think that was important for her to see at the time. She did wind up at a camp she loved in later years, but she probably wouldn't have tried it if she hadn't experienced the first one and realized she would live to tell the tale even if she didn't like it. 

 

Now that she's older, it's stuff like getting her permit - she doesn't have to get her license, but I made her take the class and get her permit. She has to be pushed sometimes. 

 

If he's a perfectionist, that's probably not helping matters. It's very hard for a perfectionist to enter a situation where they might not do everything right. 

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Bible school is safe because he has several friends from around the country that he knows through an activity he participates in that are or will be attending there.  He wouldn't be alone even if he isn't planning ministry for a full time occupation but it would give him a safer emotional environment to develop without the complete security of being home.  But obviously if these means is chances of pursuing an academic degree in the future (with the necessary financial aid that would be needed) are hindered we have to keep looking for options.  I don't really want him sitting home for a year doing nothing.  I can't see spending a year in a minimum wage job will do much for him developing other than telling him that he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life doing that but he could tell that now.  It's more than just where will he go to school next year or perhaps the year after.  It's really the "what do you want to do with your life" question that he's stuck on.  And until he is able to have a least a sense of that I feel like everything else is on hold.

 

 

My quoting doesn't seem to be working properly but I want to highlight these two things. I think the fact that Bible school is safe is exactly why it might not be the best choice. The idea is to help him grow and expand his horizons. He can't do that well in a place that is safe and allows him to continue with the status quo. 

 

And I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea of a job. He would be at home, which would give him a safe place, but it would expand him beyond the fully comfortable environment and give him some independence and responsibility. Not to mention he would make money which would help toward his goals as well. 
 

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Is there a smaller state University that he could still apply and get accepted to, possibly even with scholarships for next year? It wouldn't be too late for State U's here. I have a 2E child and I totally get the gifted by immature thing. I did sit with him and do applications. I helped edit essays. Dd is going to a college that had no essays on the application. I think you should start looking for late application options.

 

I get that he doesn't know where or what, but I think he would be much more likely to figure those things out if he went somewhere! The bible college idea sounds great, except financially. It will probably put him in a bad place for scholarships to engineering schools.

 

The next two closest ones are 1 1/2 hours away. DS doesn't have a drivers license so it would mean living on campus.  One has engineering but no church of our faith withing 45 minutes and without a car/license getting there would be problematic. The other has a church but not an engineering program.  The only other one in state that has a church nearby and an engineering program is still big (20,000 verses the 40,000 one in town).  I sat with the applications he did and coached nearly every answer he did (aka when is dad's birthday, where does he work, and sadly how old is X sibling) and heavily suggested, proofed and edited essays.  It was exhausting.  Perhaps that is why we only got two applications out.  Maybe it was my lack of fortitude pushing him through the process as much as his fear.  The acceptance we have is an early action one and only got down then because there was no essay and no application fee.  It was a no brainer to get that one done on time even if it was difficult to get that little bit done.

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Well, having tried to go to college before I was ready emotionally (academics no problem), I think in your shoes I would be trying hard to find something for him to do at home for a year or two.  I know he doesn't want to go to the local university, but is there any way he could do some sort of internship there?  Unpaid help with somebody's research or something?  Does he have any contacts there?  Could he could audit a class there?  I did that in high school and it made the whole college thing seem less intimidating.  I still wasn't ready to live away from home, but the college campus itself wasn't scary and it gave me a much better idea of what I wanted in a college.  I understand not wanting to go full time to the local university.  My children didn't want to go to ours, either, with good reason.  If he audited a class there, just for fun, it might let him get used to the hustle and bustle of a larger college and expand his college options for the future.  Maybe?  I don't know if auditing a class would eliminate him from the freshman category and make him a transfer student, though.  I can see your problem.

 

Nan

 

ETA - Are you sure taking a college class or two would make him a transfer student?

 

I hadn't considered having him audit classes.  That is a very good idea.  He is a kid who needs to keep mentally stimulated.  That is what worries me most about a gap year.  If we end up in that spot, then maybe that is something we can use to keep him engaged until he is ready to launch into college full time.

 

We know people who attend school there but no one in the engineering department (or any of the STEM fields for that matter).  My mom used to work there but she's been retired long enough that I don't expect she has many contact left and those were mostly in entimology and I'm certain DS does not want to work with bugs.

 

Honestly I have no idea what makes one a freshman verses a transfer student.  I just know I keep seeing mentioning not attended any institiute of higher learning or something along those lines when discussing gap years.

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Ha, my youngest says the same thing about homeschooling college! 

 

I actually think that a minimum wage job might do a great deal for him in the areas that he needs development, and might be great preparation for going off to college - which is a huge change, and a challenge for many students, no matter how advanced their academics are. But it may not work if it would completely stall his learning or get him too far off track.

 

A lot of kids do get 'stuck' during the process, and anxiety keeps them from moving forward and making decisions. Can you look for at least a couple of schools with rolling admission and good cost or good aid? I filled out 2 applications for dd because she was eliminating schools right and left, and I felt better knowing she would have more choice. It was worth the time and application fees to make mom feel better, lol. 

 

Meanwhile, I would have him look for either a part-time job or volunteer work if he doesn't already do that. And I mean in a new situation, not with his church, not with his friends, so he can practice getting out of his comfort zone. If he absolutely balks at that, I'd think that maybe he's not going to be ready to go away.

 

I'm not trying to be hard on him, but I have that kid who had to be FORCED to go to summer camp (she could have chosen other things but wouldn't, and really, she had to get out of the house!). I don't mean a long camp or sleep-away camp, just a week of day camp 20 minutes from the house.

 

She didn't love it and didn't thank me for forcing her, lol, but she survived it, and I think that was important for her to see at the time. She did wind up at a camp she loved in later years, but she probably wouldn't have tried it if she hadn't experienced the first one and realized she would live to tell the tale even if she didn't like it. 

 

Now that she's older, it's stuff like getting her permit - she doesn't have to get her license, but I made her take the class and get her permit. She has to be pushed sometimes. 

 

If he's a perfectionist, that's probably not helping matters. It's very hard for a perfectionist to enter a situation where they might not do everything right. 

 

He already has a part time job, but his employers are my parents and my sister and all the employees are family members.  So mostly it's pretty safe.  He has to stretch by learning to interact with the customers and that has helped.  Last year he ran a stand solo so he had to deal with any problems himself.  He also volunteers concessions and was put in charge of a two person stand last fall (basically sales and inventory, similar to what he does for my family but different product).  And spent two weeks volunteering at church camp. I did see growth from doing all of these things but they were all somewhat safe because they were environments he had been in for years and just had his responsibilities increased.

 

At the same point he earned an all expense paid trip to St. Louis.  The catch was he had to fly.  He had never been in an airport before let alone dealt with security, changing planes etc.  He wanted to go on the trip but tried to back out at the last minute because he was so stressed about navigating the airport stuff.  I practically had to shove him out the door when I dropped him off.  He had a fabulous time and talked about it for months (and is still in contact with some of the people he met there even though they were only together for 2 1/2 days) but I totally understand the forcing them to do things outside of their comfort zone. 

 

And you have him pegged well.  He is an extreme perfectionist and I think you really nailed what we are struggling with. Now to figure out how to get him passed that.

 

 

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Maybe you could call the admissions office at your local uni and ask them if auditing a class or two would upset his freshman status?  Colleges vary, but since it is impossible to ask them all, you might call a few of very different types (state flagship, small state, a few private colleges, the colleges where he's applied) and see what they say about the freshman/transfer bit.  Or you could ask your public high school guidance counselor.  If he is accepted and you feel he isn't ready to go, you could ask about deferring.  That would require checking and double checking about college classes other places, both audited and for credit, just to make sure it didn't cause problems.  Could he tutor?  Could he tutor math at the community college?  That would suck up some of his time.  Or he might be able to find private students through church or at the library or something.

 

Nan

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My quoting doesn't seem to be working properly but I want to highlight these two things. I think the fact that Bible school is safe is exactly why it might not be the best choice. The idea is to help him grow and expand his horizons. He can't do that well in a place that is safe and allows him to continue with the status quo. 

 

And I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea of a job. He would be at home, which would give him a safe place, but it would expand him beyond the fully comfortable environment and give him some independence and responsibility. Not to mention he would make money which would help toward his goals as well. 

 

 

If he doesn't go to college in the fall he will have to get a job.  He already knows that is not optional.  He is not allowed to sit around here doing nothing.  Besides he is a kid who really needs to keep his brain engaged.  From very little on, we have behavior problems with him when he is not mentally challenged.  I just foresee that working a minimum wage job will be about as challenging as someone asking him to do an algebra problem (which he could probably do in his sleep), and encountering issues because he is bored out of his mind. If we end up there, we will look into the audting that someone else mentioned because I think that could counteract the boredom.

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This may not help his situation, but I will toss it out there just in case. Especially considering his strong test scores many colleges (including some quite good and accredited ones) would still be happy to get his application and consider him for scholarships. That is true even past official deadlines. If he wants to put in more applications this season it is not too late.  I personally would never advise a student to go a college without accreditation and the possibility of transferring credits. I've seen students after they've gone down this path and they are left out a lot of money and often so discouraged they will not continue for a real four year degree.

 

I understand it is really frustrating to parents when teens don't take initiative on applications and make it so difficult to get through the process. For what it is worth though, I've observed that this foot dragging reluctance to put in applications is not at all predictive of college readiness or performance. Some kids just need to get through the application process and they do very well once they are actually in college.

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Our CC has a great transfer program into the local university.  The problem is that the classes are not very advanced.  Meaning DS has passed most of what they offer with the AP classes he has/is taking.  If DS went to the local university he has everything but one classes needed to declare an engineering major (they won't let you declare until you have met a bunch of intro classes (chemistry, physics, calc etc).  However DS is adament he doesn't want to attend local university.  I can't blame him, it's huge and overwhelming.

;;;

 

Nonetheless, it seems like he's well qualified.  What if he applied (assuming let him at this point)?  He could live at home instead of in the dorms, which might help with the anxiety.  He could take the minimum number of credits to be full time, which would help him not get in over his head.  He could take classes a step down from where he places, to be sure he's got the ,skills down pat.  You'd have to help him with the application, which is indeed stressful for all involved, but it might be well worth having him in a challenging environment next year rather than twiddling his thumbs with unchallenging work, and getting more anxious and entrenched in the not-going-to-college mindset.  I would set him up for success by talking to the college's disability office to see what services are available to kids like him, possibly even considering getting an anxiety evaluation with the idea that it might help him to access services.  But trust me, he won't be the only introverted, young-for-his-age freshman in the engineering program.

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I am probably going to be massacred for saying this, but I think sometimes it is hard to persuade young extremely bright perfectionists with happy family situations to grow up. The adult world looks extremely undesirable. Things like uncomfortable, boring jobs do not help persuade them. Neither do unchallenging community college classes where everyone, including some of the professors, are uninspiring people with whom they have nothing in common. The trick, I think, is to find interesting things for them to do that will make them want to be grown up. The things have to be hard enough to make them grow and feel a sense of accomplishment and like they have contributed to the adult world and been successful at something truly grown up, but not so hard that their perfectionism balks. Exciting REAL things to do that don,t will lure them out of their ostrich state can be hard to find.

 

Nan

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I am probably going to be massacred for saying this, but I think sometimes it is hard to persuade young extremely bright perfectionists with happy family situations to grow up. The adult world looks extremely undesirable. Things like uncomfortable, boring jobs do not help persuade them. Neither do unchallenging community college classes where everyone, including some of the professors, are uninspiring people with whom they have nothing in common. The trick, I think, is to find interesting things for them to do that will make them want to be grown up. The things have to be hard enough to make them grow and feel a sense of accomplishment and like they have contributed to the adult world and been successful at something truly grown up, but not so hard that their perfectionism balks. Exciting REAL things to do that don,t will lure them out of their ostrich state can be hard to find.

 

Nan

 

No massacre from me.  I would add that being in an environment of intellectual peers who are all taking on the same challenges, especially in an area of talent or interest, can set them up for success rather than boredom.

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I am probably going to be massacred for saying this, but I think sometimes it is hard to persuade young extremely bright perfectionists with happy family situations to grow up. The adult world looks extremely undesirable. Things like uncomfortable, boring jobs do not help persuade them. Neither do unchallenging community college classes where everyone, including some of the professors, are uninspiring people with whom they have nothing in common. The trick, I think, is to find interesting things for them to do that will make them want to be grown up. The things have to be hard enough to make them grow and feel a sense of accomplishment and like they have contributed to the adult world and been successful at something truly grown up, but not so hard that their perfectionism balks. Exciting REAL things to do that don,t will lure them out of their ostrich state can be hard to find.

 

Nan

 

I'd like this multiple times if I could.  This is so much of what I see in DS.  He has struggled to find friends for most of his life because we simply couldn't find kids with his interests who could converse on his level.  It's only been in the last two or three years that he has developed any sense of peer group and I think it's very hard for him to contemplate leaving that to start over.  I think the transition to college will be rough but I fully expect he will thrive there once he finds his place.  But as one who struggled for over a year to fit into college, I can understand how difficult that process is and I don't assume he will find his fit right away. And when one has spent most of his life trying to find somewhere to fit, leaving that to start over would be a very difficult thing indeed.  I have been pushing him,  I know he needs to leave, but convincing him of that is another matter altogether.  While I will miss him terribly, I'm actually looking forward to having time to focus on someone besides him.  He has been high maintainance since birth and frankly I'd like to get to know my other kids better without him overshadowing everything else.  But I don't want to throw him to to the wolves so to speak if he is really truly not ready.

 

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I hear you. Life is exciting when our oldest is around, also. He says now (28) that nobody should go to college before 21yo. He did plumbing for three years first, which for him was challenging, adult, very very real, obviously helpful, and "grew" him until he was at the point where he was willing to tackle engineering school. I,m not saying this is the right solution for your son at all, just explaining that I understand how one exciting oldest can suck up family resources. My particular kids have needed lots of support until they were 25. For my family of late bloomers, 25 seems to be the magic number. Things sort of "clicked" around that age for my husband and I as well. I thought at the time it was having a baby, but in retrospect, I think our brains sort of gelled then and having a baby didn,t have much to do with it. That,s probably not very helpful, but I spent a lot of time wondering why I wasn,t coping well with adult world before 25 and then wondering the same thing with oldest, and I thought knowing we got there eventually might be a comfort if you wind up in the same place. Also, I think you are right to fear boredom. The exciting kids become much more exciting when they are bored. Maybe with technology the way it is now, your son can keep his pack even if they all split up to go different directions? My niece has managed to do this, what with texting and chatting via ipad. It may be that your son,s pack, having found each other, will be highly motivated to stay a pack. My youngest, a junior in college now, still spends time in the middle of the night gaming long distance with his pack. They team up to play people in Europe. All of them look like they probably are going to hit that more-adult-at-25 target ok, but are needing considerable support before that.

 

Nan

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I haven't read all of the posts, but I wonder if this might be a possibility ~

 

If college applications do not yield the result you're hoping for, perhaps he could attend the bible college for his (new) senior year.  It would be akin to a year of study abroad.  His new high school graduation date would be after he finished his year at the bible college. 

 

You could add the courses taken at the bible college to your transcript and also arrange to have their transcript sent to the colleges to which your son applies. 

 

Would his coursework from the bible college, this year, and the past two years be sufficient for application purposes in that case?

 

He would need to apply for college entrance while away from home; however, presumably he has already completed necessary tests so would not need to do more test taking elsewhere.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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