2
a month ago
Admissions Advice

8th grade junior college
Answered

I live in Texas and have the choice to start "college" at this program that is a advanced center for you to earn your associate's degree. I hope to get out of this less time I will have spend in real college and less money but several questions have told me that's not the case. Many ivy leagues (which is what I am aiming for) do not accept dual credit. I do not know if it would make a difference if I said the program is linked from TCC??? Which is a large accredited junior college. I really want less time in college if I am going to spend five years working on my associate's degree. Right now I am in 7th grade and only have 1 month to make the choice of the five year commitment starting in 8th grade. Do you think most colleges would accept my credits earned?

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Accepted Answer
a month ago[edited]

As an Ivy league matriculate myself, I would NOT do this program at all. You're in 7th grade so making a 5 year commitment for the purposes of ultimately getting in to a top college is a ridiculous proposition to undertake if there is absolutely no guaranty attending this program has any merit. Here is my acid test for whomever runs this program. Ask them to show you a list of where every student who attended this program over the last 5 years ended up in college. Ask, exactly what percentage of these AA students ended up at Ivy League colleges? If you do not have the gumption to do this or don't want to upset them, I will tell you the percentage is going to be less than 1% and closer to 0.

If Ivy league colleges wanted HS school graduates with TCC AA degrees then every school district across America would have a similar program as Texas. But the kink is they do not because all these schools are between 156 and 385 years old, in fact 7 out of 8 of the are older than Texas (1845), so they have a traditions and a each has a very defined process of sorting out who they want and what successful admits have to show them to get in. None of them, prioritize anyone with CC AA degree.

Let me be clear, that I think if you wish to attend a competitive college in Texas, and remain in Texas for 4 years and plan on living in great state of Texas, then this is a wonderful way to get to your goals faster, cheaper and with higher chances of getting in to a top Texas college. While Texas may be biggest state in the US, with regards to higher education, it has very little clout with the exception being Rice, and certain colleges within the UT system (CS/Engineering).

I know you are only in 7th grade so if you don't understand any of this print this out and read it to your parents who will help you make the decision.

This is reality of the Ivy League versus Texas colleges. Over all 8 Ivys, there are only 14,000 seats available. If you add up how many freshman are at UT or TAMU, that is over 20,000. Next you and parents should understand the term ALDC. ALDC stands for recruited "A"thletes, "L"egacy candidates, "D"evelopment or "D"ean's list candidates (high value donors), and "C"hildren of faculty/staff/admin. Over 5600 or 40% of the 14000 seats go to ALDCs. Why? Because they are private institutions have a tradition to uphold which includes keeping together the "ivy league" sports teams, more money coming into the schools and happy people working there. So if you are quick to do the math you will see that now there are only 8400 seats available.

Since all Ivys employ their own DEIA policies, if you look up their demographic profiles you will see that about 15-22% of incoming freshman are from marginalized backgrounds and/or are first generation college students. Some of these student apply through Questbridge, Posse, and other community service non-profits. So lets just say that cuts the available seats down 2600 spots to 5800 if we use the middle 18.5% number. And then 13% on average are from foreign countries so that cuts it down 1800 to 4000. And if you are Black or Hispanic but not poor/first gen/ALDC, that's still a hook so let say that lowers the available seats by another 500, to 3500. So why am I doing this math? To clearly show you that if you do not have a hook, not ALDC, not poor, not first gen, not black or hispanic, then 75% of the seats are already gone before you even consider applying. If you are Asian or White, and happen to be super smart, you are all competing for the same 1/4 of available seats left.

So in order to get into an Ivy League college, you have to do what other Ivy league admits do who do not have have hooks to get in. You have to play by the rules and excel at them. There are plenty of CollegeVine official guide blogs and videos that will give you a great overview to get into them. But most successful students are those who began in 9th grade with a solid plan on how which classes to take, which ECs to pursue, a strategy for leadership activities, and developing exemplary expository writing skills. I'm not going to cover that because there are literally 100s of books on the subject.

What I will tell you point blank, is that the best way for you and your parents to get you into an Ivy is attend a private college prep school that has a long standing relationship with Ivys and can show what percentage of cohorts get into Ivys. In the state of Texas, those schools would be St.Johns, St.Marks, Greenhill, Hockaday, St.Stephens, John Cooper, Atwy Int'l School, Kincaid. I can't tell you which one is best for you, so you should research them online and have them send your house a Brochure. If you parents want to dig further into their placements, ask for a college matriculation list and ask how many got into Ivys out the last senior class.

If attending a private school in Texas is not feasible, then I would transfer to a school district that where the high schools offer a lot of APs or IB courses. These trump Dual enrollment classes always. The caveat is that if you are exceptionally smart and can take college classes at a T50 college, that looks good as well.

Even though you will graduate with an AA degree from TCC, that degree will not shorten your duration of attending any Ivy college. The only way to cut your duration down is to place out of classes by showing you have received 7s on your IB exams in certain courses or getting 5s on your AP exams. Some Ivys like Brown do not allow you to use APs or IBs at all to reduce your course work toward a degree and others like Dartmouth have a cap on how many can be utilized (it used to be like 6 credits). Your AA degree while transferable to certain Texas colleges, are not transferable to Ivys. While there are some CC students who apply to Ivys that get in, the % number is less than 1%.

Even if you do not consider my input valid, I'm taking the time to write this out so other middle schoolers who are offered this same type of program, see that the merits do not outweigh the deficits when applying to Ivys. And I will add that if you are intending to apply to Elites like MIT/Caltech/Duke/ etc, it is no different.

You have plenty of time to do your research so you'll be busy during Winter Break.

Good luck.

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a month ago[edited]

Ivy League colleges will not accept CC credits. Sometimes, they do not even accept AP credits. They want you to take their courses. So if you are considering attending this school with that purpose in mind, this is not a good choice.

If you are considering this program because you want to be admitted to an Ivy League school and you understand that course rigor is super important and believe that starting CC in 8th grade will demonstrate this, as a fellow Texan, I feel obligated to share information with you on some programs I am aware of that would be better suited to this goal:

Texas has two really great programs for gifted high schoolers that you may or may not be aware of. These are the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) and the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities (TALH). These are rigorous early college programs that allow 11th and 12th graders to complete their final two years of high school and first two years of college at the same time (UNT for TAMS and Lamar University for TALH). These students live on campus and are largely integrated in the college communities while receiving their high school diploma. Many students transfer in-state and are able to maintain 60 university credits (about what an associate's degree from TCC would be), which can save a ton of time and money, but many also leave and go on to attend top universities out of state. Even if the credits are not accepted, they can use their rigorous course load to demonstrate to top colleges that they are prepared for their institution.

It sounds like from your post that one of these programs would be a much better fit for you based on your goals. While I realize it is early as you are only in the seventh grade (enjoy it while it lasts, that's a great age!), you are clearly someone who has big goals and is forward-looking. It is not too early to start thinking about these programs and plan your high school classes accordingly if they are something that you are interested in.

This post got really long- I apologize for that. When I saw you were from Texas, I wanted to jump in and share what I know :) . I hope it was helpful!

I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors!

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a month ago

It really depends on the college but look at the program you are going into and see if they are accredited or not. If you can't find this information you should call or get in contact with a leader of your program and ask them. It is very situation based and so it is different for many colleges. I am in a similar program and it is fully accredited but it might be different for you. Good Luck!

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a month ago

I would definitely sign up for the program. When colleges say they don't accept "dual credit" from high schoolers, they are usually referring to high school students who take community college classes or free online courses on the side. If you are a full dual enrollment student, who takes college classes by community college professors, colleges will usually accept those credits. Furthermore, being a community college student gives you access to internship and network opportunities that aren't present at high schools. You can get a college professor to write you a LOR, which looks cool. Lastly, community colleges usually have huge course catalogs with much more options than AP and IB programs at high schools. You have the freedom to take a whole bunch of classes in your specific interest, which is never guaranteed at a traditional high school. You also have the additional benefit of being able to apply to the Ivies 1 year later as a transfer student with a Associate's degree if you don't get in as a first year.

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