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Dear all, what is your opinion regarding to early entrance to College for a gifted child ? Can a gifted child handle it emotionaly being the youngest child studing with 18 year old students ? His Academics will be at the same level but how about the social part ? What are your plans ?

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We decided against radical acceleration. Calvin went to an extremely good university at 17. If he had gone earlier, he might not have had the academic record to achieve that institution, and might have been less fulfilled where he would have ended up. It's impossible to know, but that was our feeling.

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This is uncommon, but not unheard of.  DW and I both started early, but not drastically so.  Yes, it is difficult socially, but we know kids 13, 14 years old who have started early and excelled.  Socially, it will always be awkward until they become adults, but they are often happier to be around ability-peers than age-peers.

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We probably will end up going that route. We've kind of run out of other options. (See the long thread http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/556064-would-you-move-the-whole-family-for-the-needs-of-one-child/ for background).

 

In general, though, being with college, or honestly, more often, graduate students has been the best thing for DD. Her interests and intensity, her focused herpetology work and advocacy is normal there. No, it's not a great social fit-she can't exactly go out to the bar with the group of noted reptile behaviorists at age 11, but there simply isn't a targeted magnet middle school for kids like her. So, our plan for now is for her to start checking college boxes to meet academic needs, continue to work in her focused areas of animal research and advocacy, and enjoy friends who share interests like Pokémon Go, nerf weapon fights and Calvin and Hobbes comics.

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When dd was the age of your dc that was a big concern to me.

 

The required Flemish exams took time (as we did first our own thing and then studied to the exams)

And as 'the basics' are solid now, we can add more subjects.

(More / deeper languages, more science, more math)

So dd can stil switch to a math science track, although she is registered as Latin - modern languages now.

 

You'll probably send your children somewhere else to study then Belgium, so too young will have consequences for the whole family.

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My just-turned-14 y.o. is taking 3 courses at the local community college and loves it. She loves the academic freedom to study mostly what she wants with even the general ed requirements offering a lot more flexibility than the "cookie cutter" high school college prep sequence (we live in California where they are particularly rigid). In terms of socialization, she's mostly still doing stuff with other younger teens. I imagine she'll probably get more involved with the CC activities as she gets a bit older.

 

As much as I would love for her to have the same kind of 4 year residential at an elite college experience that DH and I had, financially that's not realistic. We make too much on paper to qualify for need-based financial aid but due to the insanely high cost of living and my youngest daughter's healthcare bills we can't actually afford the EFC the FAFSA claims we can. DD doesn't want to "play the game" to try to compete for merit aid. Not when she can go the transfer admissions route to the University of CA.

 

It's sad that finances play such an outsize role in determining where students can attend college here in the U.S. but that's the reality of the situation for many families. :(

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My niece graduated high school a year early and started college just after turning 16.  We live in Ohio and she is in NH for college.  She is doing great academically and socially.

 

My dd wants to graduate early, but I don't see the point when we have a great CC close by.  She is taking classes there now as a high school freshman for DE and loves it.  Right now we're just thinking we'll wait and see what happens.  

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(assuming that we are discussing early entrance to 4-year university as a full time student) - In my son's case, early college entrance might not be a good option because I think that he will not be able to emotionally handle it. His areas of interest (STEM, computers, music study) are easy to accelerate to very high levels without early college (given that I live in an area with plenty of resources accessible). We accelerate him in those areas while he is somewhat ahead in all other areas (like languages, writing etc). He is working on non-academic areas with intensive focus and a high personal goal as well, which might not be possible if he graduates high school early.

 

ETA: DS plans to attend a particular university with a single digit acceptance rate (because he wants to follow in one of his parent's footsteps). It is also going to be purely based on his merit and no "hooks". Knowing him, it is fair for me to assume that he will not be able to compete with the super well prepared kids who are 17/18 years old. 

Edited by mathnerd
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I guess what you mean by early college is part of the question for me.  My oldest and youngest began taking classes at the community college at 16.  That has been a great opportunity.  My middle child began full-time residential college at 14.  I have mixed feelings about it. 

 

Academically it was a great fit for her.  She had plenty of REU and internship opportunities.  Was published at 16. Graduated with a 3.96 GPA. Had her pick of grad schools and chose a school that she wanted to attend.  

 

She missed out on Fulbright Scholarship and similar programs because she was too young to apply. She is now 19 and in a PhD math program.  Fitting in with the other students has been hard.  They all meet at a bar on Wednesday night, she can't. She is teaching classes full of students 2 years older than she is that is intimidating. She had to confront a male student this week who was cheating.  She doesn't feel that she really fits in anywhere.  The kids her age are in a whole different world and the other grad students are nice to her but lets be frank they are just in a different place in life.

 

We hoped that she would find peers in her early college program but few of the students were as motivated and serious as she was.  There were issues with cheating and bullying.  The school did not handle issues in the student body well and there were significant issues with substance abuse and suicide attempts.  My daughter transferred after her junior year.

 

Oddly enough, she finally found a peer.  A young man in our area who is a year younger than she is.  He stayed home and took college classes at the state u all through high school, graduating at the usual time.  He is now in another state as a freshman in college and is not really that happy.  He doesn't feel like he really fits and he doesn't, he has had a hard time making friends.  They Skype most weekends for an hour or two.

 

I am sure that eventually my daughter will fit in with her co-workers and peers but she just hasn't gotten there yet.  My daughter speaks openly about the problems in the residential early college program and does not recommend it.  She also acknowledges that her friend who stayed home isn't much better off and feels that maybe being the odd-man out is just part of life for the PG students in adolescence.

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My kids are not interested in going to college early unless it is a commuter college so that makes it easy for us in that one less thing to worry about. We have two private and one state university within commute distance and the only one my kids are even mildly interested in has the lowest acceptance rate. The main reason they pick that one is because they are used to the campus from attending activities there so it is not because of academic quality or fame.

 

They are not keen on going to community college early either at this moment in time unless it is a summer intensive kind of class.

 

One more thing most of us don't see with kids under 12...a lot changes when they are teens. A lot. It's not only about academics, social, etc. The emotional changes can be huge. They become so much more aware about themselves. You start looking beyond whether colleges can be an academic and social fit to whether they can also fit the child in areas like gender equality and diversity and political atmosphere. There's a lot to think about, research and understand. For mine, the push is so hard from him that we are figuring it out as we go along. For other kids, it might be important to research these things first.

 

I agree. My oldest who is turning 12 soon is in a holding/indecisive pattern for music instruments. By the time he decide, he might have tried every common instrument in an orchestra *exasperated*. I did brass, woodwind, strings and piano so I can't really complain. He was in a holding pattern for math and science in 2014/15.

 

We are glad we did informal college tours early, My DS11 has decided he prefer large campuses with large student population (but not like U of Toronto which is smacked downtown or UCSF either) and with plenty of food courts, study rooms near cafes, libraries and campus bookstores. Having campus buses are a plus. We are planning to drop by CalPoly and Caltech when we go for our next SoCal vacation because my hubby is the one that is curious.

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Mine will probably matriculate at 16.  He's taking a course now and the plan is to add more next semester.  He took his first course last semester (he's currently 14).

 

This isn't a situation of he'll be going away to a college at 16 and living in a dorm though.  He'll still be home until at least 18. 

 

So far he has handled himself just fine.  Most of his activities involve groups where mostly adults attend (computer related user groups, clubs, etc.).  If there is any difficulty, let's just say nobody invites him to hang out afterwards.  Which is understandable because he is 14.  I'm ok with that, and he's ok with that.  They accept him in the group though.

 

In some ways he's very mature, but in some ways he is a typical 14 year old.  I would probably not agree to allow him to go away to a college and live in a dorm though.  I just don't think he's quite ready for that (or maybe I'm not ready for that...LOL).  He hasn't mentioned it though. 

 

 

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Our 2e DS started an early college high school program at our local community college at 14 and will receive his AS degree a week before he receives his high school diploma. It's been an excellent fit for him, but perhaps more socially than academically. He could have easily handled more academic rigor but the opportunities for social interaction with adults/older teens and his advanced school mates has been particularly beneficial. We wouldn't have considered allowing him to leave home for college at a younger than normal age, though. And I suspect we would have held to that even if he were neuotypical.

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There are many different aspects to this. Are you talking about a student taking college classes at a younger age, or enrolling in an early college residential program, or graduating from high school and moving away to attend college elsewhere?

 

My DD took her first college class at age 13 while living at home. She took a total of 32 credits at the local four year university during her high school years and worked as a tutor at the university's tutoring center for physics. We graduated her early at age 17, and she now attends a top university.

 

Being the youngest in her classes was absolutely no problem. The other students usually did not know, since DD had personality and poise well beyond her age. She formed close friendships with college students several years older than her. The only funny situations where age became relevant was when other students or tutoring clients asked her out and she had to reveal that she was only 15 - they then backed off very quickly. Academically, she was top of her classes easily and was not actually challenged.

 

For us, this scenario was ideal. Graduating her only one year early instead of three allowed her to build a strong transcript and get admitted to a highly selective college that rejects 92% of its applicants. This is where she finds the academic challenge that our public STEM uni could not provide for her. She could have been big fish in a small pond here and finished her degree work easily, but she benefits from the much higher level of course work at her current school.

When making decisions about early college, this is worth keeping in mind. In admission for selective colleges, there is no bonus for being younger; students are measured against the regular age applicants.

Edited by regentrude
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...

I am sure that eventually my daughter will fit in with her co-workers and peers but she just hasn't gotten there yet.  My daughter speaks openly about the problems in the residential early college program and does not recommend it.  She also acknowledges that her friend who stayed home isn't much better off and feels that maybe being the odd-man out is just part of life for the PG students in adolescence.

 

I find that very interesting.   Y'll remember what patient zero in that longitudinal study of early college said about social aspect?  He said something like, "It wasn't as if I would have fit in at High School."   

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The thing that we're hitting and musing is that DD wants to be a herpetologist. Now, there are a couple of really highly competitive schools that have great herpetologists on staff and do amazing work-but for the most part, they're doing so at the graduate level.

 

The schools that actually have significant numbers of undergraduates who are researching, presenting, and submitting papers to competitive journals are mostly state universities, usually ones that are in the "accept more kids than they turn down" category, with score averages such that DD could easily be very competitive for them, and in many cases, likely qualify for merit aid, by age 13-14. And she's developing quite a number of such schools where, after meeting her, the faculty member will quietly pull me aside and suggest that they are more than willing to advocate for early admission.

 

If one were only within commuting distance, it would be a no-brainer. Since they aren't, it makes it tougher, which is why we're pursuing the "classes locally for now" options.

 

 

 

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Wow, that last response looks familiar!

 

We are working a very similar route with younger DS. He is only 10 now, but is picking up very advanced geometry and rudimentary multivariate calculus. His track is clearly aimed at theoretical physics, and the local directional U can help him develop his skills in depth as he matures.

 

He is probably a year away from having minimal communication skills, but that is perfect timing for mathematics. So, we are looking at starting DE in 6th grade, letting him have a few years of language arts development, and applying for merit aid either there or at a more prestigious uni when he hits 14-16. The timing there depends upon when we run out of runway at home.

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I am guessing you are asking about 4-year university and not simply CC/DE classes, though I wonder how applicable US perspectives are when you are dealing with the European system.  Some older random threads about early college:

 

How can a child go to college early?

Ask the Mom of an Early College Kid

If you CAN do college early...should you? Musings...

Early College

 

For the kid who has no idea what direction they are headed in and/or changes his mind frequently, I tend to feel a lot better about aiming for selective or highly-selective schools (or special programs, honors etc at less-selective schools with corresponding scholarship opportunities), closer to the normal age (17-18), rather than early but non-selective colleges.  I think about differences both in course depth and in peer ability.  (I oversimplify to demonstrate differences even though in reality there is a vast continuum in between these categories.)

 

With regard to fields of study, I have a vague sense that level of college selectivity in the US may be somewhat less important in some of the STEM majors, that there may be smaller marginal differences in course depth and peer ability as compared to humanities fields.  I'm pretty sure that is the case at our particular state flagship, for example.  However, I also recall the example of regentrude's dd's experience, where there was a big difference in depth of a physics course - but what is the end result of that difference for the student's future career path?  I don't know.

 

It's also important to compare early college alternatives to homeschool and/or B&M school alternatives, including DE.  The European system is so different, I'm not sure any of my thoughts will be useful.

 

(FWIW, I slid through a selective college but still didn't really "find my people" until I attended a highly-selective grad school, though perhaps I was too aimless and unmotivated in my younger years.)

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However, I also recall the example of regentrude's dd's experience, where there was a big difference in depth of a physics course - but what is the end result of that difference for the student's future career path? I don't know.

For engineering schools, as long as it is ABET or recognized under ABET's Washington Accord, it is recognized. So our non-US engineering degrees are recognized by the US. However for the interview round for postgrad or jobs, it is the person's technical expertise which is tested and hubby feels he was well prepared by the high expectations from his lecturers, project supervisors and internship supervisors. He said he won't have applied for phd if he didn't felt as well prepared by his bachelors.

 

His recognized phd did help for labor certification for H1b and then for the EB1 category for green card. He did have US patents filed by the time the green card petition was put in. So if OP is considering global employment for her children, that might be something to think about.

 

I felt that my engineering classes could have more depth and if I had gone to a less selective college, I might have fail out of boredom. So in a sense my undergrad and postgrad courses were deep enough for me not to flunk out but not so deep that it satisfy as a mental challenge. I did know I wasn't cut out for R&D before I went to college so in that sense my career path didn't change.

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With regard to fields of study, I have a vague sense that level of college selectivity in the US may be somewhat less important in some of the STEM majors, that there may be smaller marginal differences in course depth and peer ability as compared to humanities fields.  I'm pretty sure that is the case at our particular state flagship, for example.  However, I also recall the example of regentrude's dd's experience, where there was a big difference in depth of a physics course - but what is the end result of that difference for the student's future career path?  I don't know.

 

I am pretty certain that the level of the college where one went to undergrad makes a difference when it comes to graduate school applications. Graduates from the top colleges get into the top grad schools. Later, the name of the schools does make a difference when it comes to hiring; it is not the only criterion, but it counts. 

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I am pretty certain that the level of the college where one went to undergrad makes a difference when it comes to graduate school applications. Graduates from the top colleges get into the top grad schools. Later, the name of the schools does make a difference when it comes to hiring; it is not the only criterion, but it counts. 

 

Yep, which is why we are considering the "DE" approach with tons of depth.  DS could then apply as a freshman to a more prestigious uni, and be more than adequately prepared to excel.

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It really depends on the particular kid, their personality and their level of advancement. Also, on the financial situation of course.

 

If the finances don't allow for a high priced, no merit aid college then delaying college entrance to build a resume to get accepted to one isn't really a factor.

 

If a kid's personality is such that they need same age peers or more parental involvement no matter their level of academic acheivement, then early college isn't really a factor then either.

 

As for level of advancement, sometimes it just doesn't make sense to delay any longer. In my son's case, by the time he was 14 he had finished the courses needed for a math undergrad as a dual enrollment student and needed graduate level classes in order to continue progressing. It made no sense to try to continue dual enrollment for another four years until he was 18. Also, getting approved for graduate classes is much more difficult as a dual enrollment student than an undergraduate student. Officially enrolling as a freshman allowed him all the perks the come with it - graduate classes, advisors, eligibilty to attend and present at conferences, apply for internships, etc. He's a very happy PhD student at a top school now so his path worked out for him.

 

I think it's great to get anecdotal advice but it really is such an individual decision that each family has to make on their own.

Edited by Butler
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If the finances don't allow for a high priced, no merit aid college then delaying college entrance to build a resume to get accepted to one isn't really a factor.

 

I disagree. Several of the top selective private colleges give very generous need based aid, even for families with fairly good incomes.

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Per Regentrude's post (sorry don't remember how to quote), I specified merit-based aid.

 

Edited to add: we're a somewhat debt averse family. The only need based aid that would have been acceptable to us would have had to bring costs down close to zero, which unless a family is extremely low income is not going to happen. Our solution, since our son was a very high stat/achieving student was state flagship with honors scholarship at 14 for Bachelors, then a highly selective top school fully funded for PhD at 18. End result is a doctorate degree from a top school for almost zero cost. Getting his Bachelors from a highly selective school might have made acceptance to a top grad school a more sure thing but it didn't matter in the end. He was able to accomplish what he needed starting from a good low cost public state school. And he didn't have to delay his educational progression which was very important for him. He might be an outlier but since this is the accelerated learner board I think it's valuable to share the different paths that can be taken to success for children like this.

 

Also edited to remove some identifying details.

Edited by Butler
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From what I understand, automatic merit scholarships (eg half or full tuition) at somewhat less selective schools often rely heavily on test scores. Some kids may score better at 16-17 than at, say, 14. Obviously that depends on the kid. So perhaps it would help to see how well the student performs on sat/act before getting set on a path.

 

I would guess that non-automatic merit scholarships may take into account the same things that are important for selective college apps, though I do not have btdt experience. (Back in the old days, I had a full tuition scholarship to a selective undergrad but it was a combo merit/need. Test scores were a significant factor. My dh had a rare full ride merit scholarship to a top tier professional school and turned down harvard to take it; that relied on all the usual selective criteria. Professional grad schools typically offer little need-based or merit aid. I borrowed the whole wad for that)

Edited by wapiti
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Or, a kid could score worse at 17 than at 14.   For a math accelerated kid this is likely on the math section.   I know the more higher level math I had, the more ... sluggish my SAT-level math became.  Things like 7*8 required a beat of thought.  The SAT-level math was more advanced than 7*8 but it is still a pretty low level for a math accelerated kid.  

 

 

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Yes. But if an accelerated kid (for example my 8th grader taking Alg 2) takes the sat at 14 and for whatever reason (even from slowness) scores under, say, 700 on the math, I would prefer he take the test again later following serious prep, for the reason that it would not reflect his potential. Perhaps this is an argument for the student who might aim for early college to take it as an 8th grader, to see. (Eta, my kids will apply to college at the usual time, so this is hypothetical. I am babbling, stuck at the tire store on my phone after a flat). Any reasonable amount of test prep should sufficiently review less advanced math for the older student.

Thinking some more here at the tire store, probably my kids aren't at the same level of others considering early college, but it's extremely unlikely that my kids would be competitive for our top in-state merit scholarships until at or near the usual time, from what little I know. Maybe that's at least in part due to recent significant population growth in my state; one of the top two state schools has gone from not selective to pretty selective in just the past few years.

Edited by wapiti
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Per Regentrude's post (sorry don't remember how to quote), I specified merit-based aid.

 

I understand that. But you also said if the expensive school did not offer merit based aid

 

 

 delaying college entrance to build a resume to get accepted to one isn't really a factor.

 

My point was that even if there is no merit aid, most families would still benefit from the very generous need based aid and building a strong application would be a factor. Princeton for example is free for students with family incomes under 65k, and heavily subsidized for incomes quite a bit higher.

Edited by regentrude
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I disagree. Several of the top selective private colleges give very generous need based aid, even for families with fairly good incomes.

 

That gets into the specific definition of "fairly good income". Because colleges take a "one size fits all" definition rather than looking at regional variations in cost-of-living, you'll get kids from families who have a lot of purchasing power (the $124k/yr income in a cheap COL area) getting free tuition at Stanford but families with a slightly higher income but with a lot less disposable cash not getting the aid that they actually need because they can't afford the EFC that the calculator spits out.

 

I haven't done my 2017-2018 FAFSA but it's laughable what this year's FAFSA claimed we could afford. No, we don't have an extra $3k/mo. lying around and the only way to get that would be for me to resume FT employment, but then they'd just up our EFC to reflect the higher income :glare:

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I understand what you're saying but I still think that a heavily subsidized tuition discount for a middle income family with more than one child to send to college is probably still not going to be enough for many to make it feasible. And the point I was trying to make is that if a school is unaffordable now with need based aid and it doesn't offer merit aid then there's a good chance it is unaffordable in 4 years so why delay college to build the transcript to get into that school? Now if your child needs the extra time to build up test scores, etc to make him/her competitive for scholarships (at not just top schools) to make a school affordable then of course it makes sense to delay college. As I said, we are very debt averse. Finances were very important to us.

 

My son is probably more of an outlier than many but I don't think he's the only one on this board. The path he took still had him going away to a top, highly selective school at 18. He just went for a PhD instead of an undergraduate degree. I don't see the downside of going to college early if you have a very advanced child with the type of personality that can handle that early college. It's defintley not for everyone, but it is probably a viable path for some here.

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Or, a kid could score worse at 17 than at 14.   For a math accelerated kid this is likely on the math section.   I know the more higher level math I had, the more ... sluggish my SAT-level math became.  Things like 7*8 required a beat of thought.  The SAT-level math was more advanced than 7*8 but it is still a pretty low level for a math accelerated kid.  

 

Our experience: for DS with the old SAT, math score at 11yo, after almost finishing Algebra 2 and before starting calculus (he skipped precalc)  was 700 < x <= 750. Math score at 13yo after finishing calc 2 was about the same range but higher than sitting 1. He reviewed and did some practice tests (hitting 800 in all practice tests, even harder than actual SAT) so I know he is capable of the perfect score. The actual testing environment was probably a factor for him. And something tells me that if we wait, he will only do worse or at most see a very small increase.

 

But he has a perfect SAT Math 2, top notch CC and a UC scores and several other things in his application. If he is rejected from his top choices I really don't think it is because he doesn't have an 800 for SAT 1 Math.

 

Our financial aid documents show a crazy high EFC. I am not hoping on a large award because I don't think he will receive one. He will most likely take Butler's DS's path (local flagship if they will have him followed by highly selective grad school if they will have him/ he will have them).

Edited by quark
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I know the OP asked about social repercussions. I answered earlier but went off topic and deleted it.

 

It has not been an issue for my DS so far. Yes, he is lonely and could do with more same age peers but it is not for the lack of trying. When you have a student you know will thrive from early college young, it also means it's going to be harder to find true peers. I do have friends with very advanced kids who do need that social component and that has factored very heavily into the decisions they have made. They have all chosen to keep the kids in activities with same age peers while choosing different activities to support the acceleration bit and it looks like their kids are thriving. They have no plans atm for early graduation but I suspect that will change in 2-3 years because their kids are very radically ahead.

 

The difference is (I think), where is the push coming from? If a kid is pushing for it despite knowing he/she won't have same age peers, will they be happy being delayed?

 

In my case, as I suspect with others with kids pushing for early college, DS would love to get his intellectual AND social fix from his area of passion and why he wants to apply early. He has already tried math talk with older/ undergrad students and loved it. He has already tried small talk with kids his age...nope, it only leads to frustration and disappointment afterwards. He is pretty tall and can pass off as a 17-18yo if one is not looking closely and that helps me stay hopeful that he will find friends eventually. When he was 11yo and starting CC for the first time, he looked much younger and received some social input from his music classmates for short intervals. We kept other things going in the background so that he could meet same age peers but apart from 2-3 close friends, nothing lasting caught on.

 

It's hard to find a social group if you have nothing in common.

Edited by quark
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My point was that even if there is no merit aid, most families would still benefit from the very generous need based aid and building a strong application would be a factor. Princeton for example is free for students with family incomes under 65k, and heavily subsidized for incomes quite a bit higher.

While that is true for most families across the U.S., most families here have two parents who both work at jobs that pay 50k per year (and a pension). The living wage in this area is 69k. There arent many families with college aged kids making under 65k, as they move to SC, GA, or FL so they can afford to eat. There are a lot of families at the 110k mark who get no college aid at all. Consequently, the families who have students at Ivies are either single parent on disability or double income professionals. The middle class is priced out due to col.the ones we meet are frank...passed up MIT because of cost, took the honors college at private school route and will try to get in to MIT for grad school. I have friends from college in my day who did the same...PhD State U, Law School Chicago or BS, MS State U followed by PhD Stanford. Very sharp intellectually, but priced out as teenagers. Edited by Heigh Ho
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I don't know if it helps anyone but I wanted to share something I've had to do with my guy ever since it became clearer that we were going to be taking the early college route. He is very tall as I have said and very capable and mature. But he is also 14. When he started CC full/part time he was 11 going on 12. He is very sweet and very good natured and extremely asynchronous. Over the years, the asynchronicity is somewhat leveling out but sometimes EF issues rear their head when he and I don't expect them to.

 

For a while, I used to get upset at the EF hiccups. Because he is tall and working so much ahead of normal age expectations, I sometimes forget and expect him to be more developmentally balanced than he is. I am not proud of feeling this way, believe me. But my own upbringing, my impatience and Type A nature are not always well controlled.

 

I've had to really school myself to remember that he is not normal/ typical. We are a tiny family with only a small group of friends (all with accelerated kids) and it's easy to forget this. What we are doing is not normal. It is more normal near where we live (SF Bay Area region but not Silicon Valley) but it is still not really normal. Other radically ahead math kids are mostly competition kids. He is not. They are into sports and Minecraft and coding. He is not. He was the kind of kid who from 11-12yo, would keep the door open for me to enter first. He reminds me of a 70yo man at times. He is still not normal in a group of accelerated kiddos. And his height makes that even more incongruous.

 

So I have taken to consoling him and myself that college will be his high school. That's actually really where he will be receiving his "high school" experience. It will be a pretty challenging, rigorous, very demanding "high school". Probably a huge "high school" with 30K kids if he goes to our flagship U. It will be unlike most kids' "high school". But I think of it this way so that I can understand and relate better to his needs. I suspect for some kids who are in university younger, their parents would have had to think of university as "junior high" or "middle school"!

 

So if you truly understand what I mean, you would understand that the social side is all upside down with these kids. Their true happiness lies with true peers, not age peers. Unfortunately, true peers may not realize that when they see a younger kid in class/ campus. Going full time is one more way we hope he will make friends with true peers e.g. through university clubs/ activities. If he keeps taking classes concurrently/ DE, he is not there often enough to make friends with true peers.

 

This journey has required a lot of mindset changing. More for me than for him.

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