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2 years ago
Admissions Advice
[edited]

How to navigate high school after skipping a grade (and how could this affect admissions)
Answered

I am a current 9th grade student. I also skipped 5th grade, which means that I am the youngest student in my grade. I will not turn 14 until the summer before sophomore year. Because of this, I am struggling to find summer programs, jobs, and volunteer opportunities that will accept me at this age. I am too young for high school programs, but as I am in 9th grade, I am also not eligible for middle school programs. First, does anyone know of reputable summer programs that would accept someone of my age? I am a straight A+ student in all honors courses with strong extracurriculars and a focus in science (I am conducting an independent research project through a program at my high school). I am also a varsity track athlete, so any athletic programs may also be a good match. Second, will it impact my admissions to top schools if I don't do a summer program this year? If I don't, I will probably continue my research and take courses through Coursera, so I feel that it wouldn't look like a total waste of a summer to colleges.

Mostly, I just want any advice you have for navigating extracurriculars, high school, and college applications as a young student. I know I listed a lot of questions, but really answers to any of them or any advice would be greatly appreciated.

edit: sorry i know i posted this twice. the website glitched and i didn’t think it posted the first time

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2 answers

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

I think you posted this question already and got some excellent responses. I agree with this respondent and the the previous one about taking a GAP year or going to boarding school because getting into the best college is NOT A RACE. There is absolutely ZERO advantage to applying to TOP schools 1,2 year before your competition, which is getting harder and harder each cycle.

Rather, I think is a curse and highlights the problems of public compulsory education not being about to properly support you and keep your mind advancing past your chronological age.

When you apply to college, you must realize that the people also applying have a 1 year or 2 up on you. That is an advantage because many of them will have accrued more classes and course rigor than you. In addition, they will have better ECs, better leadership roles, community service and have more advanced "spikes" and "wow factor". Last but not least, they will fit in and transition smoother, being able to excel at sports, clubs even join Greek life.

You said you are a runner. So you know that even Jakob Ingebrigtsen didn't peak as a teen, he's in his early 20s and only now breaking world records.

There are a couple college I read about like Bard College that offer a different proposition like starting college in 10th and 11th grade so maybe check it out. However like those accelerated DE AA degree programs, I think these are not a equivalent replacement to getting into a top school.

Good luck.

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1
2 years ago

Colleges typically won’t find it super impressive— because you skipped a grade in early middle school, it doesn’t say much about your academics in high school. Though It does give you more room to take a gap year if you were interested.

I’ve done a lot of research on my own about summer programs and internships, and while not being 14 before sophomore year may impact a couple of programs you’re looking at, a majority of programs are for rising juniors or rising seniors— meaning your age would be less likely to prevent you from applying to most of these, especially ahead of your senior year.

Aside from summer programs you could always dedicate your summer to learning new skills (maybe instruments or self teaching a language), starting a passion project (creating change in your community or doing something quantifiable with a hobby), or volunteering. As a sophomore your options are limited anyway, so I would suggest applying to what you can find, but ultimately waiting until your junior and senior years to worry about programs and internships.

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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
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SAT: 720 math
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