a month ago
Admissions Advice

International student

Can I get into college at age 16.

I'm currently in the 12th grade. I didn't do kindergarten and I got double promotion in grade 5 so I skipped grade 6. Will colleges accept me?

@PBJPancakesa month ago


[🎤 AUTHOR]@Oyina month ago

What country are you from?

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Accepted Answer
a month ago[edited]

The good news is yes you can apply to any college and if you are qualified as a 16-year old competing against older students, it doesn't matter to the admissions officers because they just want the best students for their incoming freshman class.

The more complicated issue which you alone have to sort out is whether or not you will fit in socially or get the same level of respect on campus as those incoming at 18 or 19. Some schools in America have a very pronounced Greek Life like Cornell or Dartmouth or Vanderbilt. So let's say 30-50% of the incoming class will rush or pledge these fraternities and sororities because at those schools Greek life is the center of social activity, fun, and entitlement. You might find yourself isolated from certain social norms. I would say this to anyone regardless of what country they are applying from. So as a 16-year-old, you will find yourself being a 1% percenter in terms of finding other friends your age. It's much easier to assimilate into college life if you are +/- 1 year within the admit mean because you can have more access to adult activities.

While I feel that some 16-year-olds are extremely mature, competent, and accomplished academically and otherwise, they may not feel ready to experience all the intangible experiences colleges afford them like independence, figuring out meals, shopping, day to day living situations, traveling, keeping busy during school breaks, and holidays, etc.

If you have dream schools and are not at the very top of your game, consider your options before you apply so you have a realistic path of what to do next if you don't get into your top schools. I have read through literally thousands of posts on here and one thing I notice consistently is that regardless of where someone goes to school, is that many HS seniors feel very confident about getting into the same Top 25 schools out of 3200 that have increasing numbers of applicants and lower admit rates. It's like the weather service says the wave height from the typhoons is going to a 20 meters instead of 10 meters and there will be mass devastation if you don't get to higher ground immediately. But all the good surfers want to catch an epic wave and tell themselves they are great swimmers and there is nothing to fear. I love that raw determination, confidence, and bravery among all of you. Just heed the warning and be overprepared if you are going to have the attitude of "go big or go home".


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