Should I graduate early?
So, I have been informed by my counselor that I have the opportunity to graduate early. I am a high school junior currently. I have a 3.9 GPA in high school and have gotten a 30 on the ACT already. I have finished all the requirements for high school graduation, and I have 4 credits in math, English, science, and social studies as well as 3 years of a foreign language. I have multiple leadership positions at my high school, and I have completed 7 AP/IB classes so far. If I graduate early, I am planning on going directly to college and taking courses. Since I am planning to go into the medical field, it would be beneficial to apply directly to college and finish a year early. Since the application deadlines are coming up for colleges, I need to make a decision quickly. If I wasn't to graduate early, here are the accomplishments I would have. I would receive 100+clinical hours, have more time for physician shadowing , and be able to take research opportunities during the summer. Also, I would probably take 3-4 more AP classes next year to challenge myself and prepare for college. So, based on the information given, would it be a wise decision to graduate early?
Earn karma by helping others:
I think only you can determine how important it is to graduate early and matriculate into college.
Many high achieving students are in the same situation because by junior year they have accumulated enough credits to graduate a year early.
This is not uncommon.
At my HS we need 24 credits to graduate and have 36 as a senior.
I decided to stay for the following reasons.
1.) In hindsight, staying at home was easier than being either in a hybrid college campus or an online campus this year.
2.) Getting a 35 on my ACT up from my 33 taken junior year was important to me
3.) Completing 11 APs was important to me.
4.) Having an undisputable spike in DEI and Community service work was important to me.
5.) Being the Editor-Chief of my newspaper was important to me.
6.) Getting the best possible recommendations was important to me.
7.) Applying to as many scholarships was important to me.
8.) Augmenting my intellectual curiosity with actual college courses was important to me.
9.) And lastly stacking my odds to get into a Top 10 School was important to me. Now the hardest colleges on my list are hard targets with 40% and former hard targets are safeties with 80%.
Sure, I, like many of my peers could have matriculated 1 year earlier but that comes at a huge cost of opportunity loss that I wasn't willing to take. I didn't want to settle for a T25-T50 school but rather earn my spot and the best school I can get into.
Good luck whatever you decide to do. It's your life and you feel compelled to practice medicine as fast as possible, go for it.
I wouldn't if I were you just because of how late in the application season it is. I decided to graduate a year early at the beginning of this school year and I have still felt rushed through the process. If you were to graduate early your teachers would be rushed to write you recommendation letters, you would have to spend all of winter break working on essays, and your parents would have to deal with the sudden expense of buying graduation materials and paying college application fees. So unless you have a reason to do it other than just because you can I would strongly suggest you wait.
Personally, I wouldn't choose to graduate early. It sounds like you have a lot of opportunities next year to continue to build your resume in some pretty impressive ways so, imho, unless there's some external motivator pushing you out of High School, I would stay put and get as much out of HS programs as you can, while you can. But it's up to you! If your eager and itching to go, there's nothing stopping you from being successful as a college student! Could you maybe apply to a few of the colleges/universities you're interested in just for giggles and make up your mind after getting in? Some institutions, especially medical programs, are pretty picky with age. It's best to have all cards out on the table before committing to something that still has some variability. This sounds like a hard decision. Best of luck!
I agree with all these other posters, I think it's best you should wait. For one, it's late in the application season like @roselightning mentioned and you don't want to rush your applications and essays. Second, even if you did get your applications and essays done early enough and you felt comfortable with them you'd still be applying against other students who have had more time to work on their overall profile. They will have had one more year than you of grades, more chances for strong standardized test scores, one more year of clubs/sports/ECs, they're just going to have an advantage over you in that sense. Third, if waiting to graduate means you can actually get 100+ clinical hours, shadow physicians, and do research over the summer then you should do that. Those are huge opportunities which will help boost your application in meaningful ways and help you with your resume for when you're applying. Based on your username I'm assuming you're looking at some of the more selective schools and I think your best chance at acceptance to one would be to hold off on graduating for now, especially if you are applying to BSMD programs.
I was in the same situation last year when I was making my senior-year plan. The main reason why I didn't graduate early was because of college admissions, I was told by multiple people that graduating early would hurt my application. But this of course was all before COVID and remote learning.
To keep this community safe and supportive:
- Be kind and respectful!
- Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
- Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!