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MamaSprout

17-year-old Freshman?

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Give me the good and bad on if your dc went away for Freshman year. Especially if they were 17 for most of the academic year. We're already doing dual enrollment, but at a private college where things probably won't transfer well.

This is a kiddo that only tolerates online classes, so I'm looking at options beyond sending her to boarding school (really.) Although she's gunning to get away from home, she's a little concerned about being the youngest in a friend group. She's already the only one who can't drive among her homeschool friends. I know some IRL family members who started on campus at 17 and they really were not fans of going away early, but they were guys.

Are there any colleges that really work with 17 year olds?

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My niece turned 17 the July before her freshman year and had no problems.  She graduated this year at the age of 20 and I don't know of any issues.

A close friend of mine in college also turned 17 the July before her freshman year.  She did fine but, looking back, she wishes she had an extra year of maturity before starting college.  She feels the extra year would have helped in many ways.  

I was 17 when I started college and my dd will be, too.  I'm torn about whether or not an extra year would be beneficial in her case or if it would have been for me.  

I do think that a lot depends on the student's personality, independence level, social skills, maturity, etc. 

 

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Most of the kids I know with birthdays Sept through December are going away to college at 17 so it really isn't that unusual.  I was 17 as well and my son will be 17 when he starts.  I don't think it's as uncommon as you think it is.  The not driving is probably not an issue either as many college freshmen don't have cars on campus (depending on the school).

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There are some challenges, to be sure. How much of the school year? My DD is away (800 miles) & 17 but will turn 18 before Christmas break Freshman year. Age isn't big but might be once the friend groups are turning 21.

She was ready to go & has done really well, adjusting & making friends better than I had dare hope, very little homesickness. Her college is not huge (10,000) and she's in an Honors community that is about 300 freshmen & 1,000 kids total.

I agree with @Kassia that a lot depends on the kid.

I will say that my experience with college freshmen is different than @Library Momma's in that most (way over half) are 18 going into college. It might be that in our part of the country, the K cut off has been in Sept or early October (& now even earlier) for awhile and many families hold their kids (esp. boys) back if they are summer birthdays. 

I think DD said she's likely the youngest in her friend group but there are a couple of others not too much older. Again, it isn't a big topic of conversation for them but they did cover it at one time.

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I had two kids start at 17. No problems. I think freshman issues can happen to anyone, no matter their age.

The only thing dd1 ran into was that she graduated early (At 20) and at her law school admitted weekend, she had to walk around with a bright red sticker on her name tag that said "Under 21." 

But there was one other guy there in the same situation, so at least she wasn't the only one.

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41 minutes ago, Library Momma said:

Yes - Here the cutoff is Dec 31st and holding back/starting later isn't that common.  

The cutoff here is Sept. 1st.

I had two summer birthday kids go off and start a month after they turned 18.   That was fine.  My youngest has just gone away to school at 18, but she's a junior already as she did a transfer after her AS.  That was her idea because she doesn't much like school and has been in a big hurry to be done, but now she's suddenly realizing the real world is only 2 years away - she's already had to interview for internships.  We shall see how that goes.

I myself was a young one - I turned 17 in Feb. my senior year of high school.  I myself didn't feel ready to go off to college quite yet, and did a gap year in Germany - I was living with a host family and going to a secondary school (Gymnasium).  For myself, I was glad to take the extra year, and felt much more ready after I got back - but I'm also glad I was accelerated in high school - I was bored enough as it was.  But I was also young for my age socially, so living with a family thousands of miles away seemed less intimidating than a dorm an hour and a half away.  So much depends on the individual kid and where they're at.

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Thanks all. She would be 17 probably until almost finals second semester. We un-grade-skipped her in 8th grade to give her the option to wait, and she's really blossomed this year. If she went early she would be applying after her Junior year, but will have plenty of credits. She's looking at a boarding school, and it's kind of a least-worst option right now. If she stays home, all her friends here will be graduated and gone. Academically she could be ready by the end of 10th grade. ETA, she’s fairly mature, although in some areas she’s very much her age. I could see her doing well in an honors dorm or on a smaller campus. We have already toured a smaller college, and the girl give us a personal tour did say there could be some issues with leaving campus as a 17 year old for competitions and such. She was an RA and said about 50% of the 17 year olds do fine- and the closer to 18 they are the better.

Edited by MamaSprout

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2 hours ago, MysteryJen said:

The only thing dd1 ran into was that she graduated early (At 20) and at her law school admitted weekend, she had to walk around with a bright red sticker on her name tag that said "Under 21." 

But there was one other guy there in the same situation, so at least she wasn't the only one.

That’s kind of funny, but yeah, my dd might be horrified. It’s like the scarlet letter.

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On the other side, I have a freshman that just turned 19.  He started taking the ACT in 7th grade and he was "college ready" then.  He was reading Harry Potter in first grade.  I will say I have no regrets about not pushing him ahead.  Holding kids back is definitely a norm in our area with a Sept 1 cut off.  He went to kindergarten and the oldest kid turned 6 in April prior to starting that all day kindergarten class.   

So I think it depend on norms in your area, options for academic older teens in your area, and just your kid's social and emotional maturity level.  I know someone who brought a 17 year old home from x-country by Christmas their freshman year too.  I will say my kid really dug into some extracurriculars and we had the option of 2 free years of DE.  Plus we just have a rich GT community here.  

My kid was kind of asynchronous on the executive function end and a bit socially quirky and he's just slowly built up confidence through his teen years.  I think we were able to consider a broader type of college program and he had more doors open to him a year later.  Anyway - I have no regrets.  But I totally get why some kids would flounder in a more rural area without the type of options we had.

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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Thanks. She’s been taking SAT since 6th- and college ready pretty much since then. We also had boys who started at 19- and it was completely a mixed bag for them. 

We’ve been looking for the elusive GT community here, lol. We’re in NUMATs territory, and they isn’t anything formal or informal. I’ve turned over every rock, and created a lot of stuff myself.

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Mine didn’t go away to college but was fully dual enrolled for junior and senior year. He found himself too mature for high schoolers  and too young for community college friends and groups. He graduated high school and took a semester more of cc and got his A.A. His options were to start junior year as an 18yo or take some time off, get a job, save some money, work on his music, and figure out what he wants to do. He took some time off. He complained to me many times toward the end of his senior year that he was tired of being the youngest in the room. But that’s him and how we chose to handle it. Academically, he was fine, but socially he often found himself in situations where he didn’t feel like he fit in. Good luck to you and your daughter. 

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My older son is a 19 year old senior, college senior.  Other than some issues with car rentals at job interviews it hasn’t really been an issue.  He told HR that he would rather take Lyft/Uber instead and they had no problem with that.  Car rental problem solved.  

It has been a wild ride.  I most definitely did not push him to do this, but I wasn’t going to block his way either.  

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As far as whether it is a good idea socially or academically, there are so many variables dependent on the individual that anecdotes are probably not overly helpful.  17 is also different than 15.

Factual disadvantages might be:

  • depending on the college/university application list, younger students can be a serious disadvantage b/c they have not that the opportunity to develop their CV fully compared to other applicants.  If applying to top competitive schools or scholarships, those students who have that extra yr might have achievements that leave younger applicants out of consideration.  
  • depending on where they end up attending and their long term goals, if graduating early has them landing at a less competitive school, what they are able to achieve there might also be influenced by age and impact their ability to participate in certain opportunities, which in turn might impact them beyond UG

I know that for my advanced kids that graduating early would have negatively impacted them.  My ds participated in SSP between his jr and sr yrs of high school.  He was not able to travel for research when he was DE bc he was under 18.  He competed in a physics competition and won 1st place that awarded him a large scholarship to his school that stacked on top of his full tuition scholarship.  His CV made him competitive for acceptance to an elite honors research program.  Bc he was advanced academically, he was offered multiple REUs every summer and was able to participate as part of his mentor professor's research team alongside her grads and post-docs.  All of those made him more competitive for his grad school applications.  (He was accepted where large numbers of kids from tippy top elite schools weren't.  THings are far more complicated than often portrayed in terms of simple acceptance, rankings, etc.) 

For my dd, not graduating early enabled her to have a once in a lifetime opportunity.  She was selected to be on the US team for an international olympiad.  She received a fully funded trip with team and met amazing kids from around the world.  She also gave a speech that led to her being awarded a 3rd place award.  That is a memory she will have forever.   

There are trade-offs.  You as a family have to decide which ones are more important to you.  

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Well, perhaps this is not the most important factor, but what will you do about learning to drive, getting a driver's license, and being a new driver?  I've had two dc for whom we debated options for graduation year - in both cases we chose to delay and driving was a definite consideration.  Our state has a 6 month minimum wait period after getting permit (which can't be attempted until 16yo), plus a requirement for a certain number of driving hours with the permit (which seems to take us longer than 6 months anyway).  And I'd rather a newly licensed driver have some time under our roof as he/she gains experience.  Because of all of these things, we're not in favor of going away to college at 17.  That said, it's still a possibility for our younger ones depending on what happens between now and then.  

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My oldest was similar as 8Fill’s and my kids high school opportunities were music based.  I really felt like the opportunities presented to him his late high school years were unique and once in a lifetime.  They actually made some college programs and faculty we looked at pale in comparison.  But I think that can be so based in geography too.  
 

my 2nd kid is young for grade and again though she is fine academically to move forward I have considered offering her a super senior year because she also has some out of the box interests.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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Thanks all. I would love for dd to have the kind of opportunities that 8 is talking about- but they just don’t exist here outside of public school. And they don’t welcome homeschoolers for outside activities. That’s the only reason I’m even considering an early graduation. I graduated early, too, but I didn’t go away until I was 18.

ETA- She is applying to things like NSLI-Y and was disappointed when ND Ignite folded this year. She really needs peers sooner rather than later, and that is just not happening right now- although I am open to ideas!

My two older kids did a lot of dual credit, and it did not serve my STEM guy well. He didn’t have any easier classes left, and the classes he took in high school didn’t count towards his college GPA. 

Lots of good food for thought here.

Edited by MamaSprout
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They probably won't even know she's only 17 unless she tells them. MANY kids turn 17 just after hitting campus, all those kids who had September birthdays.  But even for the ones who won't turn 18 until much later it's really not a thing.  

1.  They're not drinking age yet anyway so they're all underage

2.  They don't bring cars freshman year to most campuses and most campuses discourage bringing of cars at all (exorbitant parking pass fees, and extremely limited parking, very high parking tickets, and also great transportation around campus and to local shopping and such.) 

So really they won't even know.  I don't think any of my son's friend's even know that he won't turn 18 until January.  The hospital where he is and all the doctors on campus consider college age teens automatically adults and emancipated as far as their medical care...that may be something to look into in your state and at the colleges she's looking at.  You want to be sure that she can get non emergency medical care without calling you or sending waivers back and forth etc.   So when my son needed to get treated for an allergic reaction or needed IV fluids in the ER we didn't have to worry about the doctors thinking they needed permission to administer the non-emergency part of the care.  That's in PA.  

Honestly, if she were 16 or 15 I would say that it might be a big deal as far as maturity, and as far as kids realizing she is younger.  But 17 isn't a big enough difference for anyone to really notice.

 

 

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PS we plan to do the same thing with our next in line, who won't be 18 till November of her freshman year.  SO, a little older.  We find that in my family, somehow genetically, they inherit a gene that makes them wonderful kids but who want to get the heck away from home by the time they are 18.  

LOL

Seriously though I would just make sure that you ensure now that she has adult executive functioning skills.  Makes her own doctors, knows how to and does deal with her own issues, communicates with teachers herself, doesn't need reminders to do basic life responsibilities, and knows how to do all her basic chores, etc.  My son texted me a lot when he was very sick and texts for advice and I'm here for him but you don't want them feeling totally lost about how to adult.  They need time for those things to sink in before going.  

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We have friends whose twins just turned 17, a few months younger than my son and they are in 11th grade.  I don't know how that works for them...I really can't understand it so their kids must be very different than mine. My son was doing all his own chores and managing his entire life by about 16, with no reminders, nagging, prodding, or anything from me (except college apps lol) other than basic mothering when he would get quite sick.  If he was still here this year, what would he be doing with his life, and then ANOTHER year on top of that?  Not going till after turning 19?  My kids would lose their minds, and it's not because they don't really love us, our home and had friends, hobbies etc.  He was just plain ready.

My dd is almost on the same path, with a few minor differences but even with her I can't imagine that.  My point however is not to make anyone that waits till 19 feel bad but to point out that all kids mature at different rates. My kids seem to be ready to go around 17.5, and yours might be too.  And others not till 19.  And, unless you're holding them back out of fear or pushing them on against their wishes, just do what's right for her.

Edited by Calming Tea

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@MamaSprout My kids didnt do those things locally and definitely didnt do them through public schools. For friendships, they sought out friendships based on interests completely outside of anything academic. 

With my ds, I spent a lot of time researching summer programs. Here is one place to start: https://cty.jhu.edu/resources/academic-opportunities/  He also worked with a prof in his lab at his DE U. He could not travel to a consortium event, though. He was 16 and the U did not allow anyone under 18 to travel. 

With my dd who loved languages, she completely immersed herself in self-learning or on working on Russian with Ms. Denne (online). Her international olympiad was based on being nominated for the team after being awarded best overall non-heritage speaker in a regional olympiad (in IL and we lived in the deep south at the time) and then writing an essay, getting LOR, and being interviewed.

Nothing local (other than DE for math and physics). Nothing with academic peers (ds did not hang out with the college kids. His friends were from church and they spent time doing things like zombie nerf attacks. 😉 ). We just made things work. But, graduating early is not an option we give our kids, so there really weren't any other options.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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3 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

@MamaSprout My kids didnt do those things locally and definitely didnt do them through public schools. For friendships, they sought out friendships based on interests completely outside of anything academic. 

With my ds, I spent a lot of time researching summer programs. Here is one place to start: https://cty.jhu.edu/resources/academic-opportunities/  He also worked with a prof in his lab at his DE U.

With my dd who loved languages, she completely immersed herself in self-learning or on working on Russian with Ms. Denne (online). Her international olympiad was based on being nominated for the team after being awarded best overall non-heritage speaker in a regional olympiad (in IL and we lived in the deep south at the time) and then writing an essay, getting LOR, and being interviewed.

Nothing local (other than DE for math and physics). Nothing with peers (ds did not hang out with the college kids. His friends were from church and they spent time doing things like zombie nerf attacks. 😉 ). We just made things work. But, graduating early is not an option we give our kids, so there really weren't any other options.

Thanks 8. I will check out the link. Since she's the only one left at home, I think she's putting too much stock in peers.

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This is something that I've had reason to investigate. 

In talking to colleges, in general, 16 is the sweet spot. Before 16, there are a handful of schools that have specific early entry programs for younger students, and some will allow non-resident students who live at home, but that's about it.  At 16, typically it is allowed to live in dorms, although sometimes not in Greek houses, and usually the student cannot sign a lease to move off campus, so they had better LIKE living on campus.  Under 18, there are sometimes restrictions in hands on experiences/internship type activities, such as clinicals for health professions or practicums for education majors due to federal privacy laws. For other majors, it is usually less of an issue, but it's something to keep in mind.  There are some legal paperwork things as well, but so far, every school we've talked to was fairly familiar with what was required.  And, of course, you need to be aware that from the college's point of view, UNLESS someone needs to sign for your kid for those few limited situations where they have required that you give POA, your kid is an adult. 

 

 

 

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My ds was 17 his entire freshman year (summer birthday).  He graduated at 20.  He was 1,800 miles away.  He did have a medical issue his freshman year. That required some finagling for forms for treatment, insurance, etc.  Nothing insurmountable, however.  We had to sign a permission slip (release??) for his dorm’s ski trip and for an out-of-state weekend trip that was taken for a class.  Permanent offers from his summer internship (done the summer before his senior year) typically included a bottle of Dom Perignon, but he couldn’t receive one with his offer because he was not yet 21. He also couldn’t enroll in his school’s wine-tasting class because he wasn’t 21.  Lol

Other than those things, I can’t think of anything else. 

He had attended multiple summer programs (music related, academic, camps, Scouting) and was typically gone anywhere from 5-7 weeks over summers.  So, he had had some “practice” with being away, living in a dorm, etc I don’t think he had a lot of homesickness at all.  

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I was 17 and a few months when I started 4 year university way back when. (Had skipped a grade so was always a year older - so a bit different as I started when all my friends started...). My friends were always more or less a year older - and it never seemed a big deal. I don't look back and have any regrets starting at 17... But again, I'd always been a year younger than everyone...

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19 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

PS we plan to do the same thing with our next in line, who won't be 18 till November of her freshman year.  SO, a little older.  We find that in my family, somehow genetically, they inherit a gene that makes them wonderful kids but who want to get the heck away from home by the time they are 18.  

LOL

Seriously though I would just make sure that you ensure now that she has adult executive functioning skills.  Makes her own doctors, knows how to and does deal with her own issues, communicates with teachers herself, doesn't need reminders to do basic life responsibilities, and knows how to do all her basic chores, etc.  My son texted me a lot when he was very sick and texts for advice and I'm here for him but you don't want them feeling totally lost about how to adult.  They need time for those things to sink in before going.  

That is my kids. I spend their senior year handing things off to them. Banking, doctor's appointments, schedules, car maintenance, etc. Every single one has been chomping at the bit to leave that last semester of senior year, no matter their age.

 

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I was 17 through my entire first semester. It was fine. I lived on campus and didn't get a driver's license until the summer after my freshman year (age 18.5), and couldn't afford a car until the summer before my senior year anyway. My grades were good and I picked friends who stayed out of trouble. (Think of the pool of students who will become librarians. Those are my people.) I called home about once a month (long distance!) mostly to arrange a ride home when the dorms closed for breaks.

I would've been capable at 16, but then would've run into issues on the other end because some states will not award a teaching license or other professional certificate to someone under 21 regardless of other qualifications.

Edited by whitehawk

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22 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

MANY kids turn 17 just after hitting campus, all those kids who had September birthdays.  But even for the ones who won't turn 18 until much later it's really not a thing.  

The hospital where he is and all the doctors on campus consider college age teens automatically adults and emancipated as far as their medical care.

I've been trying to figure out how "many kids turn 17 just after hitting [college] campus." Let's say they start Kindergarten at 4 and live in California which I believe had a Jan 1st deadline for turning 5 to start K for a lot of years. For the sake of argument assume no grade skipping, so this kid is the youngest you can be to start K (birthday Dec 31st). The theoretical kid would be 16 when starting senior year of high school & 17 when hitting college Freshman year (turning 18 during the semester break). Most states have much earlier date cut-offs. I can't mathematically get "many" kids turning 17 just after hitting campus. I can't get any, actually, except for grade skipped kids.

Also, if lots of college freshmen are 17, I can't imagine your second mentioned assumption to be so generally followed. I do think most college freshmen these days are closer to 18 (or already 18) when arriving on campus.

My comments in previous posts are about my kid who was not grade skipped as I started her in K at 4 but reserved the right to add a super senior year if she needed it. I currently plan to give my next kid a super senior year even though that will make her 19 when she starts college. Each kid is evaluated individually.

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22 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

 

My comments in previous posts are about my kid who was not grade skipped as I started her in K at 4 but reserved the right to add a super senior year if she needed it. I currently plan to give my next kid a super senior year even though that will make her 19 when she starts college. Each kid is evaluated individually.

 

Yes, three of my kids have August birthdays.  We graduated 2 at 18 who started college at 19 (twins) and my youngest will graduate at 17 and will turn 18 shortly after arriving on campus.  I have a Sept. birthday so I was 17 for my first few weeks of college.  

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1 hour ago, RootAnn said:

I've been trying to figure out how "many kids turn 17 just after hitting [college] campus." Let's say they start Kindergarten at 4 and live in California which I believe had a Jan 1st deadline for turning 5 to start K for a lot of years. For the sake of argument assume no grade skipping, so this kid is the youngest you can be to start K (birthday Dec 31st). The theoretical kid would be 16 when starting senior year of high school & 17 when hitting college Freshman year (turning 18 during the semester break). Most states have much earlier date cut-offs. I can't mathematically get "many" kids turning 17 just after hitting campus. I can't get any, actually, except for grade skipped kids.

Also, if lots of college freshmen are 17, I can't imagine your second mentioned assumption to be so generally followed. I do think most college freshmen these days are closer to 18 (or already 18) when arriving on campus.

My comments in previous posts are about my kid who was not grade skipped as I started her in K at 4 but reserved the right to add a super senior year if she needed it. I currently plan to give my next kid a super senior year even though that will make her 19 when she starts college. Each kid is evaluated individually.

 

Wow I feel sad.  You spent an entire page quoting my typing error.  Sorry!  It was supposed to say 18! 

MANY kids turn 18 AFTER hitting campus 🙂

VERY Few, almost none, go to college at 16.  I personally also would not recommend that in most circumstances due to the nature of what's going on on college campuses...unless for very good reasons, in extreme circumstances for very mature kids, that truly have no other options left to them to thrive at home.  🙂 We could have sent our ds to college at 15 and then again at 16 but chose to wait for reasons of safety, maturity, etc.  However, he's fine being there at 17, and due to having already finished his growth spurt as well as the main parts of puberty and been exposed to many crazy things at home, he was ready for the situation.  There are always spectrums, so I would never say never. BUT I'd encourage most people to wait for the 16 yos

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My DD went away to college at 17 and didn't turn 18 until the end of her freshman year. She graduated a few weeks after her at 21st birthday with a double major. Her age was never an issue.  It all depends on the kid.

For my DD, early highschool graduation was necessary; she needed the environment of a university with peers, and dual enrollment a the local university (where she did 32 credits, none of which she transferred to her terminal college) did not provide her with what she needed.

Edited by regentrude
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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

My DD went away to college at 17 and didn't turn 18 until the end of her freshman year. She graduated a few weeks after her at 21st birthday with a double major. Her age was never an issue.  It all depends on the kid.

For my DD, early highschool graduation was necessary; she needed the environment of a university with peers, and dual enrollment a the local university (where she did 32 credits, none of which she transferred to her terminal college) did not provide her with what she needed.

This is pretty much what dd's situation would be, although I'm not sure I'm willing to let her do that many college credits at our mediocre dual credit option.

The alternative is a regional university boarding school at 16. More of the credits would transfer, and the teachers are better, but the verdict is still out out if it would provide better than home what she needs in terms of peers. She has significant food allergies, and the food situation is dismal there.

We are in a fairly rural location, though. We're still doing some home-brewed classes and (selfishly on my part) if she'll let go of the idea of the early college school, I think we can do some more fun interest-led history and literature rather than the pre-reqs for the boarding school.

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Just now, MamaSprout said:

This is pretty much what dd's situation would be, although I'm not sure I'm willing to let her do that many college credits at our mediocre dual credit option.

The alternative is a regional university boarding school at 16. More of the credits would transfer, and the teachers are better, but the verdict is still out out if it would provide better than home what she needs in terms of peers. She has significant food allergies, and the food situation is dismal there.

We are in a fairly rural location, though. We're still doing some home-brewed classes and (selfishly on my part) if she'll let go of the idea of the early college school, I think we can do some more fun interest-led history and literature rather than the pre-reqs for the boarding school.

We are in a small town, but our local uni is a four year STEM university which served her well for high school; she took three semesters of calculus based physics, five semesters of French, three semesters of English. We had briefly entertained the notion of boarding school and decided against it. IMO, it has all the disadvantages of early college and none of the advantages. 

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Mine commute, but my younger one graduated from high school and went to college early. She had completed all of the needed credits and was ready to move on.

Absolutely no problems. 

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SO there was one bummer this week, and your kids who are 17 freshman year may run into these sorts of things.  The Hackathon is only for 18 and up (has to do with intellectual property rights.)  My son was not able to hack or submit a project but he was allowed to attend, do the workshops, see some friends, learn about some new clubs, and get ideas for next year or the Spring one, when he will be 18.  

SO just something to remember - there are occasional 18 and up events at college.

Edited by Calming Tea
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On 11/6/2019 at 7:17 AM, Calming Tea said:

SO there was one bummer this week, and your kids who are 17 freshman year may run into these sorts of things.  The Hackathon is only for 18 and up (has to do with intellectual property rights.)  My son was not able to hack or submit a project but he was allowed to attend, do the workshops, see some friends, learn about some new clubs, and get ideas for next year or the Spring one, when he will be 18.  

SO just something to remember - there are occasional 18 and up events at college.

That is odd.  My son did a hackathon before he was 18 and it wasn’t a problem.  His team even won a prize and it still wasn’t a issue.  Maybe it depends on the school?

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On 11/7/2019 at 1:27 PM, JenneinCA said:

That is odd.  My son did a hackathon before he was 18 and it wasn’t a problem.  His team even won a prize and it still wasn’t a issue.  Maybe it depends on the school?

 

No it depends on the hackathon not the school.  My kid did lots of them as a teen but the hackathons that have investment from major corporations can offer students all kinds of things that only an 18 year old can accept- or they want to retain the right to keep the code that is submitted and turn it into a huge idea.... and it has a lote more to do a lot with intellectual property rights 

"

The competitive environment of a hackathon boosts participants’ creativity and inventiveness. In itself, this is a huge accelerator of innovation. But hackathons raise an essential question: who benefits from the intellectual property (IP) rights to the resulting projects? Participants are the inventors, designers and coders, so you might think that all the rights are theirs.

But hackathons’ conditions of participation may include alternative arrangements, such as exclusive rights, first-look rights, or shared IP rights. What’s more, the finalists and winners are generally given prizes or sums of money – essentially in exchange for the participants’ ideas.

The more revolutionary an idea is, the more coveted it will be – and the more care its creators will need to take when they reveal it to the public. As such, hackathon participants need to make sure that they properly read and understand what they’re signing up for before they agree to take part. Sometimes, only some projects will be given prizes, whereas the IP rights to all the other projects will be transferred to the organizing company with no prize in return."

quoted from   https://business.agorize.com/en/blog/the-pitfalls-of-hackathons-and-intellectual-property-and-how-to-avoid-them/

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The points is that if the hackathon organizers what to retain the right to actually use the student's code to start new amazing things, the students have to sign a form understanding that what they submit might ultimately not belong to them.  (or there could be buyout clauses and such) and in this case, they want to be sure that the student is over 18 and therefore legally responsible to sign the form.  

Some hackathons are afraid of getting sued for accidents, medical issues, food allergies etc. and that is why they don't allow under 18 to attend or participate.  

The one at PSU allowed under 18 to attend, eat, attend workshops and even stay overnight without any waivers.  So apparently they are not concerned about that issue.  BUT they allowed only 18 and over to Hack, and they had to fill out numerous forms.  SO my guess is this particular event was IPR issues.  🙂

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Another one of the 18 and up opportunities are college classes with travel components. Our CC's Honors College does a couple of travel classes each spring, but you have to be 18 at the time of the trip. Luckily for my dd, her birthday's in March so she'll be able to do one next year (fingers crossed).

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