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(The Skipping of) Senior Year

 
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Wren



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 797
Location: In my head, wondering how so many manage to step outside theirs.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: (The Skipping of) Senior Year Reply with quote

A young woman is in her junior year of high school. She gets a letter from a school, and both program and pitch seem tailored to her--her interests, her studies, her as a person. And so the school gets added to her list of "Colleges to Apply To." But the school is also offering her an interesting choice: skip senior year (high school), and go straight to freshman year in college.

My question: Is there anyone out there who took senior year and thought it was important? Useless? Someone who skipped it and it didn't matter, or you were better off for it? Or it hurt you? If either of the latter, why? Any ideas on how to figure it out for myself?

I know, I need to think about it, I figured I'd just try to get the opinions of some people who have no investment in the issue.

For those curious: The pitch is after those interested in the performing arts who are taking AP/Honor/IB classes and are exceptionally mature and intelligent. They need to take the SAT and ACT this year, and only twenty to thirty get in each year--so my odds aren't exactly stellar.

I appreciate anything you have to say.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, would you still get your diploma? Because if not that can hurt you later on, even if you get your GED.

Senior years aren't especially important if you have all your required classes out of the way. At my high school senior year was the year where everyone finally got to take fun classes, have independent study halls, and have free periods. There wasn't much to it, really. I enjoyed the classes I took, and the experiences I had; but if you have particular reason to stay for a senior year, I don't see why you should (since you have a legitimate reason for getting out of it).

I've never heard of skipping a year of high school altogether, but it's not uncommon here for high schoolers to be enrolled in college classes. If you think you're ready for college, I would say go ahead. Just make sure you know what you're getting into. It's a lot of work.
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Deadhorse3



Joined: 02 Sep 2010
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Location: School

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mother skipped her senior year of high school and she says she would have been better off if she had stayed in that program. So make sure it's something you plan to finish before you go for it otherwise use your senior year to find out what you really want to do. I stayed for my senior year and I think it was worth it because I took calculus with a really good math teacher and about half the math I do in college now I learned from him. I also stayed there because I was in Germany and it is a beautiful country with a wonderfully low drinking age. Don't base any decisions on that last part.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To preface this post, it's going to have a lot of questions which I think you should answer for yourself. But these are the questions I think are important, and I hope they help! ^_^

I do know people who skipped one year or another, but those cases were pretty unique, and don't apply to your situation. In my opinion, the relevant factors for you are: If you finished your high school requirements, if this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a really good school, and if there's nothing you're looking forward to in your senior year.

Like Nu said, the lack of diploma can be an issue for some people, in some fields, regardless of GED. On the other hand, is it an issue for the performing arts? I also know people who got their GED and went on to a stellar career in university.

The most important thing, I think, is finishing your high school requirements. Is that within reach? Is that important? Can you do without it? What does your school say? Can you work out a compromise with the administration?

I went to an extremely small all-girls school, which might explain their liberal skipping policy. But I know that bigger schools have all sorts of perks for being a senior - prom, pranks, relaxed classes, senior trip. Are these things you'll miss? Do you think they'll be important memories when you're older?

You also have to weigh the quality of the education you'll be receiving. If this is the only time you'll get this opportunity, and this is a good school, that lends weight to the one side. If this is just the local school, and you have a chance to get into, say, Julliard (or the equivalent)... which is more important?

I hope this helps, and doesn't muddy the waters...
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What happens if you go to this place and flunk out/discover it's not what you want? What are the prospects for graduates from that school like in your chosen area? What are the chances that you're going to end up effectively locked into one course, or a very limited set of courses, of action? What effect would taking the SAT/ACT this year have on your probable attainment?

My advice would be to go for whatever you think gives you the widest range of desirable options. It may be that you end up sacrificing one thing - the chance of getting into this program - in order to get a wider choice of other things. Or not. *shruggle*
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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1630
Location: Grand Forks

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like others here, I'd say it's worth investigating, but be VERY cautious to check the place out.

Check their accreditation. Are they currently accredited and in good standing? Who accredits them, and is the accrediting body legit, i.e. nationally recognized?

How much do they charge for tuition? Can you reasonably expect that tuition level to stay consistent (or only go up in small doses) over the next half decade?

What kind of aid package are they offering? What kind of scholarships can you apply for?

What are the job prospects for their graduates? Do they have a good careers office to help you find a job after you graduate?

IF it's an accredited school that checks out, AND the tuition is reasonable, AND they're offering aid, AND they have a good track record of employing students -- then it MIGHT be worth it.

Even then I'd be cautious. Sticking around your high school for one more year essentially guarantees you the HS degree, after which you'll be in a position to shop around for colleges.

If you have your HS degree and you go to a college for a year and it doesn't work out, you can still apply to other colleges without too much trouble. If you DON'T have your HS degree and you decide you have to switch colleges, well, things get a lot tougher.
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Squeeself



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Nem and Tin said, with this additional bit of wisdom: Don't be in a hurry to grow up. Even if you go with this course and become really successful and like what you're doing, you still may regret having missed out on that last year of HS. Because you'll never be in HS again. Trust me when I say that HS is NOTHING like college, career, etc., and that you should enjoy it while it lasts. If you're not enjoying it? Fix that, and make it enjoyable. You won't be going back to this period of your life ever again, so don't be in a hurry to leave it.

As Nem said, it's best to keep your options really wide open at this point in your life, as let me tell you, you DON'T know precisely what you'll be doing in your future, even if you're pretty sure you know now. HS, and even college to some degree, is all about keeping your options open so that when you do find out for sure what you want to be doing, you can go for it. Skipping a whole year and jumping to what sounds like a very specialized college is narrowing your choices down a LOT. Now, if it were a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, then go for it (as long as it checks out like Tin said). If it's merely another fish in the barrel of colleges that will shortly be along to court you, let it go. If this place wants you so much, it's likely that other, better places will want you just as much, places you may end up preferring. And it's likely that this place will still be available in a year, and then you'll be able to pick from a LIST rather than a single one.
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Wren



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 797
Location: In my head, wondering how so many manage to step outside theirs.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you to everyone who commented. I haven't made my decision yet, and I'll certainly take into account what y'all said.
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