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Should I dual enroll?? I'm afraid to go to my high school, but I really want to go to Brown.


Hi all. Brown is my top choice. I like everything about it (except it's wealth diversity but that's ivies for you)... Btw.. if you guys know a school that's easier to get into that is similar to brown (both in education and size) let me know! I need more targets/safeties

Anyways. Sadly, I lost my dad the spring of this year, likely due to COVID-19 (we don't actually have the coroner's report yet, they're really backed up bc of coronavirus). My mom is my everything and she's all I have left. She has multiple pre existing conditions that put her at high risk for covid-19. Like three lung problems and weight issues.

I'm telling you this bc I am afraid to go back to my very student dense public high school. Idk what they are planning on for next year yet, but it seems we will have in person classes, and I just don't know if it will be safe for my mom with me going. I can dual enroll at the local community college, which would make 5/7 of my classes online. But I would still have to go to my high school everyday bc of choir and Latin. I have already made commitments in these classes.

From my research, DE at a community college is not considered as rigorous as AP courses at a high school, of which I was planning to take 4 next year (max offered.) This is particularly true for T20 schools like brown (they won't even take credit). Collegevine said they count as honors courses :(

Basically, since I would still have to go to school everyday anyways, I'm not sure if online courses would be worth the bump in safety. I feel like it wouldn't be THAT much safer since I would be at the school everyday. The biggest thing for me is my mom's health. I'm just trying to gauge my options bc I feel trapped with covid either way. Idk what to do. I wish I could go strictly online.

For more context, Brown is of the cheapest schools on my list bc of their great financial aid policies (the other two are Cornell and Penn). My other schools are more expensive unless I get a really good scholarship (looking at you, Pitt and BU). So basically, having a kick-ass application is important for me financially either way


1 answer

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I’m so sorry for your lost, first of all. Just know that we’re here for you and that even though things are scary right now, they will get better with time. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself physically and mentally and reaching out to friends for help and to hang out.

What I’ll say is that i don’t think legally you can be forced to go to school during the pandemic. IMO it’s highly unlikely that your school will have no remote or stay-at-home learning option. I honestly don’t know what the dynamics of your school are like but you should definitely spend like an hour doing research online to find out if they have an online high school option, and if you don’t find anything,e mail your guidance counselor. Explain to them your situation and that you really cannot go back. I’m speaking from someone in the same situation (mom has lots of health issues) and my parents chose the online option where I’m doing schooling from home until 2021. See what the school offers or request additional info if there isn’t enough for you to make an informed decision. I don’t think going back is worth it since you’re getting a marginally better educational experience for a huge safety risk, but this is just my opinion.

To answer your question about DE: as far as I know it’s not possible for you to do dual enrollment INSTEAD of high school; rather, it’s a supplement to give you credit to earn scholarship/credits for high school. With the way the coronavirus situation is currently looking, I don’t think you’re going to go back at least for a couple of months, so you still have some time to think it over.

Also - good on you for recognizing that you need to have some easier-to-get-into schools on your list like safeties and targets. I’m also applying to Brown/Penn so I can at least share some of the schools on my list that you might want to look into. I’m not applying for aid, however, so I don’t know if any of these schools give great financial aid or not. For safeties/targets/hard targets, you should look at (easiest-hardest): American, Banard (if you’re a girl), BU, BC, NYU, any CUNY/SUNY if you live in NY, GW, NE, good state schools like Rutgers (NJ), Ohio, Penn, Maryland, etc, NW, Georgetown, CMU, JHU, etc.

Again I’m really sorry for your loss and I want you to know that things will get better. Hope this is helpful :)

Thank you so much!! I should have made this clearer but the DE isn't really a DE program as much as it as an attend college early (ACE) program, where you take community college classes instead of high school classes. I probably wouldn't take the equivalent of the AP classes but rather just classes I find interesting (I'm pre med and as far as I'm aware AP credits won't work for med school). Also, I have emailed the superintendent and am awaiting a response on an online only option.