Skipping Senior Year??

Updated on April 24, 2013
P.M. asks from Mechanicsburg, PA
33 answers

Our son is an incredibly bright 16 year old, who will be 17 at the beginning of September. For numerous reasons, when the time came for school, we decided that since he was so close to the cut-off, we would wait to send him. He entered kindergarten right around his 6th birthday. We are convinced, again for numerous reasons, that it was the right decision for him for the last 10 years.

Fast forward 10 years. Said skinny child has seemingly matured overnight. He has goals for his future and is chomping at the bit to get started. His grades are good but not great, but his recent SAT scores were tremendous. (He tests incredibly well, but his class grades are brought down by zeros on missed assignments - a factor of his ADHD).

He is now asking about the possibility of skipping his senior year to start college. The college he wants to attend is VERY FAR from us, but we have good friends there who live practically on campus. They've raised 8 kids of their own and would step in as surrogate parents should the need arise for any face to face interaction.

I'd like to hear from those of you who have done this or had kids do it. Is it a good idea? Why or why not?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

To clarify...grades have gone up a lot this year. Class rank/grades were low freshman year, but he seems to have turned the corner and missing assignments are rare now. Recent grades are honor roll...but he's digging himself out of a bit of a hole due to bad grades freshman year.

We have spoken to the high school guidance counselor. He would get dual credit for the classes he takes in his first year of college and then would return to graduate from high school after his freshman year in college.

This is not a decision we have to make now. We have a year or so. We're just in the fact gathering stages now. He doesn't want to get out early for just any college. He has a specific one in mind. If he cannot get into that college early, he does not want to graduate early.

He has a plan mapped out. He tells me the kids he knows who are seniors now just waste the 2nd half of their senior year partying. They pretty much check out on school once they've been admitted to their college of choice. He sees the senior year as a waste when he knows where he wants to go in life.

Oh and yes...he's taken a number of honors and AP courses and hasn't had any problems with them.

Thanks for all your insights. We really have a year to make this decision. He has his college picked out (in TX and we live in PA, so it's quite far), but we're going to have him visit a few others to compare. He's got some things to work on to be ready maturity wise and we're going to follow up with him at least monthly to see how he's progressing. As we've researched, we've found a lot of people who have done this, and most all of them have found it to be a positive experience. Yes...he'd miss his senior prom...and some other senior social events - but he doesn't care...wants to get on with the adult part of his life. So...right now it's a tentative yes. :)

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Don't do it he may be smart but he still needs that last year for collage plus he will miss out on all the senior benefits. Keep him one more year.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I gradutated a semester early and it was the best choice for me. I started junior college (age 16) and then moved to a 4 year instituion. While I was ready for the adult atmosphere of college learning, I don't know if I would have been ready for the dorms.
What would the living situation be like?

More Answers


answers from Danville on

I skipped my senior year of high school. My parents were due to PCS (permanent change of station) with the England.

I wanted to NOT have a senior year elsewhere (and most of my friends were a year older anyway)...I had been in honors classes. I did have to take a night school english class to complete my requirements (and THAT was an educational experience in itself!).

I was a brand new 17 year old when my parents dropped me at college and left the country.

I do not know how they were able to DO that - as I think of MY kiddos (all 16 or older) I am not sure *I* could have allowed them that early intro to college...

ALL of that said...I did well...BUT it was hard. I only saw my parents x mas and summer breaks...short ones I 'farmed' myself out.

Not sure if this helps...just my experience

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am curious what about his plan. Is he suggesting dropping out of school and getting a GED? I can't imagine a college allowing him to attend without completing the requirements for high school, regardless of how outstanding his SAT scores are.

I left for college at 17. So I have been there and done it. My husband also started at 17. But we started school earlier and graduated from high school. From my point of view, it's not his age that is the issue. The question is he really ready? Is he really prepared? Is there a reason that he is suddenly chomping at the bit to go so early? Is it some part of a master plan or is he seeing and craving the freedoms that come with college life? Have his test scores suddenly motivated him, inspired him that he can become a more accomplished student? These are really only questions you can answer.

Zeros and missed assignments would be a big problem for me. Right now in high school this is only bringing down his average. In college, when you have fewer assignments, it could BE his average. If it's a factor of his ADHD, I would be far more interested in getting him the skills to deal with this while he is in high school and there is some leeway. My concern would be zeros and missing assignments and classes while he is away and you are paying thousands and thousands of dollars.

Is it possible to meet in the middle? Have him finish his senior year and possibly, co-enroll in community college. I know a few seniors who do this. It helps knock out some of the basic courses that are required. This will give him a jump and a taste of college life, while still allowing him to finish high school and experiencing all the things that senior life has to offer.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would treat this like I would if I were skipping a kid into/out of K. I would talk to his teachers, his guidance office, etc. Find out his rationale and if it makes sense and what the protocol is. I know kids who did it. My SD's xBF did, but he just wanted to be done with HS because his friends graduated. He took an extra English over the summer.

One of the downsides is that he skips all the senior experiences. Prom. Walking with his class. Whatever.

I would also think really really hard about whether or not he could live on his own at college. My sks lived on campus and each faced a serious problem. Had my SS been younger, I think he would have dropped out. Had my SD been younger, I'm not sure she would have been so level-headed (she had to go to the ER by herself 2x the first semester). Would you leave him to his own devices for a week or month in your own home?

You also need to find out what the school's policies are for a very young freshman, and how that might impact his major, housing, etc.

One of my friends my freshman year was a student that skipped senior year into a local college. She was brilliant...but immature and by the end of the first semester we were sick of hearing her talk about how she really wanted to be at Smith and how our college was just a stepping stone/trash. I'm not saying your son will do that. But I am pointing out that she didn't have the maturity to shut up. I was not that sad to see her go (I hear she's in France now, not to anybody's surprise). I'm not sure that living on campus was the right fit for her, though the academics part was fine. Does that make sense?

ETA: I also agree that if he's not motivated now to do his work and have good grades, then he's probably not ready for the self-monitoring required in college. Were it my child, I would ask that she start at the community college here, live at home one year, and then transfer to another 4 yr institution. You can find out at community college prices if he can do it or not. You also need to factor in everything like being able to travel on his own, unless you plan to fly out there several times a year.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I don't understand how he can start college or get accepted somewhere if he does not have his high school diploma? Unless there is something I am missing here? Is he planning to earn enough credits so that he graduates early? Will he care about missing out on prom and other senior year experiences? I know some community colleges don't require a HS diploma, or even a GED, and sometimes kids in high school can take a course at a community college before they graduate. If I read this right, he will be 18 at the start of his senior year, and technically an adult, and free to do as he chooses - but I don't see skipping his last year of HS to be very wise, or even possible if he wants to attend the college of his choice. Remember too that just because someone is academically advanced, doesn't mean they have the maturity to handle living away from home and attend college. Will zeros on missed assignments in HS continue into college? Because if he can't keep up with college classes, that will be a very expensive learning experience.

How about he actually contact the admissions office of the college he is thinking of and ask THEM what their admission requirements are and if they would accept a student that skipped his senior year of school and has the grades that he has? He may not even get accepted, depending on how competitive of a school it is. My stepsons had all these grandiose ideas about certain colleges they wanted to go to but the reality was that they didn't do the work required to be a candidate for admission - it was like they thought if they just wanted to go somewhere, they could, regardless of their grades and test scores. Not really sure where your son's head is at, or how well his ADHD is controlled, but if he were my son I would be telling him to cool his jets. His senior year may feel like forever, but really, it's just one year. Compared to the rest of his life, it's a drop in the bucket, but it could make all the difference in getting him better prepared for college and he still has the rest of his life to live and look forward to. I did start college just after turning 18, but I have a Sept birthday and had already finished HS and graduated in the typical time frame.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

my nephew did this .. he is very smart.. hated high school. never fit in ... wants to go off to college.. he will turn 18 in sept.. and will start college in sept.. not sure if it is a good idea yet.. but he work quite hard to get all of his credits so he could graduate a year early.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

If he is having trouble now completing and turning in assignments, College is not going to help. I knew a couple of kids who were bright but not not emotionally ready for college and it was a disaster for them. One was thrown into the frat scene and ended up failing due to hangover, the other simply stopped going to classes.

Have him use the next year learning how to organize himself. There are many classes he can take for college credit. Some schools even have arrangements with local junior colleges for duel credit (both college and HS) while under your watchful eyes on learning how to manage his time and turn in all his work.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

So he wants to drop out of school and go to college. He tests good but does not hand in assignments. You think he will survive in college. ,I am thinking not until he matures a bit. Sept he is going into his junior year. Why think about his senior year now while a sophomore. Things change, life changes. Would not even discuss it at this point.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am not even sure if I am understanding this. He is in his sophomore year?

Here is the thing, it is different to skip in grade school, quite another in high school. There are requirements for earning a diploma. Now you can skip those requirements and get a GED but most universities aren't going to take you with a GED.

So far as knowing people who have done this, I don't know a soul. My daughter graduated from high school with her diploma and 36 college hours. My son graduated with 9. That is what kids do when high school gets boring, they finish high school by starting college. If he can't pull that off he has no place in college.
Oh yeah, I do know a couple kids that graduated a year early but they earned extra credits to do so. They didn't just declare I am old enough therefore I am done. They set their minds on this their freshmen year though because they had to forego all their study and extra periods and just take the required courses.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Did my senior year of HS, but was young for my grade, and was not yet 18 when I entered college. I accelerated college (completed in 3 years) and was not yet 21 when I went to law school.

If you think he's got the life skills, and the maturity to take it on, by all means do it. Be sure that you look into matters of legal consent though, i.e. as he is not yet 18, if he were to get hospitalized, needs to sign loans, get a rental apartment, etc, who is going to sign/ co sign (will those surrogate parents take on the responsibility).

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Nope, don't let him skip senior year to start college. Chances of him getting early admission are slim if he's "capable" but not making the grade. You don't get into college on SAT scores alone.

He needs this senior year to mature and to get himself organized. This should be his "college prep" year. This is the year where he can focus his studies and start to figure out what course of study he might want to pursue in college or university. He might be able to take some classes in his senior year that earn college credits. He really needs to apply himself and take senior year seriously and bring up his grades, and get himself invested in good study habits.

If he can bring his grades up and get organized and get assignments in consistently and make it all habit, he might even find that he qualifies for scholarships and grants next year.

Even if a college took him seriously and accepted him, he would be in the middle of the ocean without a raft or life vest. He'd be sitting on a log trying to stay afloat. Without a compass.

Make him wait.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I skipped senior year, and I don't regret it. (Actually, I graduated early, and started college senior year.) I did fine. The only downside, was that I was really starting my life and all my friends weren't. When they started college I was off on my own and taking care of myself, and doing well. They weren't, and so I had to make new friends at the college. It was hard for me, as I'm pretty introverted.. I was still younger then the other college kids, so making friends with them was more difficult. I was in between the kids at the college, and my other friends. I still don't regret it, but that was honestly really hard.

The is one caveat, though. You mentioned him skipping assignments and having not so great grades. College is completely up to him. No one is there reminding you of assignments, or giving you compassion. There is no one there to feed you, get you up, get you to class. No one there to do anything for you. It's all on you. You are successful or fail on your own doing. I never had a problem getting myself to study or do work. If he is struggling with that still, I doubt he will suddenly be able to keep himself on track. I almost think it sounds like he needs another year of maturity to handle the responsibility. I didn't just crave independence, I was actually ready to be an adult. Ask yourself honestly, is he ready to be an adult? Is he ready to be 100% responsible for himself. Is he ready to not fit in and struggle to make friends?

Why not meet in the middle? Have him take college courses while he finishes senior year. He gets a little independence, while still being home. He has become somewhat responsible very recently, and college can totally overwhelm. I had been taking care of myself for nearly 4 years when I skipped senior year. The responsibility and Independence was not new to me. I'm afraid he really isn't ready to be completely independent.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I have no personal experience but I think he would have to accelerate and complete his high school requirements with the blessing of the school.

If he has the ability of college level classes could he be dually enrolled in high school and a local college?

You may want to discuss all of this with the high school guidance counselors and the other powers that be,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

So I assume he would be getting a GED? I don't see how he could get a regular diploma if he misses an entire year.
Will that affect his acceptance into the college he wants to attend?
Make sure you meet with his counselor, and maybe a college advisor as well, before making such a big decision.
And how will he handle organizing his work and getting assignments turned in on time? There are some support services available to ADHD and similar students but it's not the same as an IEP. He will need to be mature and proactive when it comes to getting his work done and turned in, otherwise he could quickly flunk out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Here in Austin, the seniors that qualify can attend Community college at NO CHARGE! They can get college and high school credit. JUst ,make sure the credits will transfer..

Or here in our school district there is an alternative high school for students that want o go at their own pace. This way he will graduate with his class, but he could be finished in weeks or a few months, depending on how quickly he works on it.

We have a neighbor that did this and finished 2 years of high school in 3 months! She then began working to save up to go on a trip to Europe before leaving for college. She was just done with High school. Her home life was not stable..

I would look into him staying home and attending a local college first.

He has no idea if he will be able to keep up with all of the responsibilities of taking full care of himself as well as meeting the rigors of college in a place so far away.

Treat him as a renter. Have him pay for his gasoline, rent, part of the utilities, food., clothing. Make sure he does his own laundry helps with the upkeep of the yard and housekeeping (Save all of the money he gives you so he can use it for when he leaves for college)

I am sending you strength.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You don't mention whether he has done any research about the admission standards for this or any other college. If he has -- great! That shows initiative. If he has not, he needs to do so right now. Also, has he talked with his high school counselor about this idea? The counselor might know of past kids who did this and could direct him to those students for advice either way.

Most colleges are going to be less receptive to a student with a GED or other "certificate" than a student with a high school diploma. Has he checked that his desired college would take him if he does not have a diploma? If they say, yes, you can get in with a GED, has he asked how that affects the courses he's allowed to take his freshman year? Some colleges might require students without a diploma to take certain courses that he might find boring.

Good SAT scores are not the end of the story. Getting into college is very competitive at most schools now. His grades junior year in particular do count -- a lot, for some colleges. Also, if things are extremely competitive, a college is going to look at a student's extracurricular activities too; having extracurriculars that demonstrate academic ability and an interest in the world can tip the balance between who gets accepted and who does not. Does he have anything like that under his belt?

I knew one kid who did just what you describe and it worked out OK for her -- but she did it because of pure financial necessity in her family and had to get into college fast, after junior year, to be eligible for certain funds that were essential because her family had nothing. If your soon does not need to do this, what is the rush on his part? You don't give any clues as to why he's suggesting it; is he bored with schoolwork because he's smart and the HS doesn't challenge him? Is he having social problems and wants to escape them--or is he socially just great and outgoing so he wants to move on to the next big thing eagerly, and that's college? Does he have a career he's set his heart on, so he really wants to get going on college so he can get the degree that will lead him into that career? What is his motivation, and is it a mature one?

Regarding the family friends in the area of the college he wants: If you feel you need the emotional backup of knowing someone would "step in as surrogate parents should the need arise for any face to face interaction" -- then you and he both may not be ready for him to go to college. Don't let the presence of these friends influence your thoughts here, because if he is not ready for college life, he should not go--you can't rely on another family to become his family IF something goes wrong (or even if he just feels homesick). He should feel free to go wherever he needs to go to get the right degree for him, and should not feel that mom is likelier to say yes to College X because mom's good friends live nearby. It's a very nice plus, absolutely! But it's just a plus, not something to factor into the decision for you or for him. If you would say no to this if your friends weren't there, then say no to it period. For college, even iin another year's time, he needs: A strong, sensible motivation; a terrific and mature solo work ethic (because nobody at college tells you when to study, or reminds you a paper's due, or cares if you are missing class); if he can handle the social pressures of college; and if he has a realistic reason for wanting to go to college: Consider it. But the missed assignments are a big red flag -- unless he spends all of the next HS school year doing all his work on his own, on time, without reminding - he won't be ready for college the next year after that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I had wanted to do that, but my mother didn't let me. I was going to "miss the best year of my life, senior prom, graduation yada, yada" absolutely nothing that made it on my list of importance to factor into the best year of my life. I lost my drive that year. I felt like I was stalled and in a holding pattern. I had exhausted my high school curriculum and was just bored. I lost a lot of self-motivation and enjoyment of school. I never got it back. I feel my mother truly did me a disservice in that regard.

I had a college roommate that also did this. She was 17 when she started college. She did wonderfully. Lots of friends, went on to get a PhD at Harvard. Thrived.

Especially since you held him back, he'll be normal college age. If the college accepts him, I say go for it. He's old enough to decide what he wants to do with his life choices.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Beyond talking to the high school, have you talked to the COLLEGE. The high school may be willing to accept college credits as concurrent enrollment, but... he has to get in to college. The only colleges I've ever known to do this are community colleges... and even that typically requires that a student still be enrolled at the high school and taking SOME class there, so unless he's going to enroll in a local high school near the college, it wouldn't work in any way I am familiar with.

Also, college application season has come and gone for next fall for all major universities. Again, if he's interested in a junior college, that's more likely still an option, but ...

Why not use his senior year to focus on getting to a university he really WANTS to go to for FOUR years, an not just jumping over to the one that will take a 17 year old without a high school diploma. Take a few more classes to bring up his GPA, really polish those relationships with teachers who will write letters of recommendation, maybe even retake a course or two from freshmen year over the summer to fix the transcript. Research schools and majors, visit campuses, make a smart transition. Of course he can transfer in two years from a community college to a university, but why not spend four years at an awesome school if he can?

Worth noting, part of ADHD (which both my son and I have) is impulsivity (obviously) and as he becomes an adult with ADHD that looks different than as a kid. Adults with ADHD often want to quit their jobs, or decide to move, or make a major purchase... but it's the same issue with impulse control that makes a little kid grab the scissors and cut his own hair, or pinch the kid sitting next to him because her arms looked fat and squishy. They're slower, bigger decisions, so they're harder recognize, but impulsive none the less. If he hasn't been in therapy for his ADHD recently, this might be a good time to get in with his psychologist and talk. He could probably use some strategies for how to think through decisions and manage some of the tendencies that are part of his ADHD (which will change as he gets older).


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

That's called a genius slacker. The genius slackers I know, kind of wobbled in college with its pressures.

You need to talk to the college advisor for relevant information. They would know the statistics on such a play.

Remember college requires a focus and maturity I am not seeing. I think you would be better off with college courses at the community college over the summer and see if he is still missing assignments.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My SIL was able to graduate at 16 and move on to college a year early and it was very successful for her. Everyone is different and you would have to find out from the school what requirements he is missing and if it is even possible. I know many of my classmates went to High School for part of the day and attended the rest in College courses at the community college OR at a vocational school. My friend graduated HS and Beauty School the same month by doing this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

So he is enrolled in AP accelerated courses and has the credits to graduate already? If not, I'm not sure how this would work. Testing well isn't the whole picture and most colleges want to see that you've put in the course work and have gotten the grades to go along with the SAT scores. If it were me, I would encourage him to buckle down his senior year and really strengthen those class grades. Not turning in assignments in college will lead to failure.

You also don't mention his maturity level, which must be taken in to consideration. If he's an Alex Keaton, hey, you'll have no problems, I'm sure. But not many 17 year olds are.

Lastly, senior year is a fun time. Kind of seals up the whole high school experience.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

If he wants to do this, great. This is not at all unusual - most high schools will award the child the regular high school diploma after successful completion of the first year of college. Many colleges allow early admissions - a good friend of mine went to Barnard after junior year of high school. Unfortunately while she obtained a BA from Columbia, she neglected to notify her high school and hence did not have a high school diploma. Which oddly enough required a petition for graduate school acceptance. I did not skip my senior year, but I skipped eighth grade so I graduated high school at 16 and started college at 17. Not a problem. I went to school 4 hours from my parents. Maybe not as far as your son wants to go, but when you are living on campus there is no real difference between 4 hours away and 10 hours away. Has he spoken with his guidance counselor about his ideas?



answers from Kalamazoo on

I am interested to hear what you decide and an update on how that goes. We, too, are dealing with a mismatch in what the school has to offer and where our son is at.

Rather than seeing this as an either/or situation, have you considered a hybrid solution? Keeping him at home for another year, for social and emotional maturing, while attending college courses online (or on campus, if close enough)? Or, if he is connected with some students at his current school, work out a program where he finished some of his senior year courses and takes others at the college or online?

Another option is to finish senior year via correspondence (to build the skills of being fully responsible, self directed and self disciplined in his academia) and immerse himself in another form of learning, like travel.

I respect your open minded approach to education. Good luck finding what works best for your son!


answers from Houston on

I think your decision will be ultimately based on how well you know your own child and are communicating with him. Does your son fully understand the magnitude of what he is asking? Going off to college is a big step regardless of age. Skipping the senior year only adds to the big dealness of the situation. In college you are combining studies (for many harder studies than they had in high school) with unstructured free time with adult responsibilities (paying bills, getting where you need to get when you need to get there, grocery shopping, cooking, talking to your professors when you need help, a job, etc.).

I skipped my senior year and went to college early (a major state university four hours from home with no help locally at age 17). I was done with high school, its curriculum or lack thereof and ready to move along to the challenges of college. My father knew I would be faced with sink or swim decisions but he was confident I would rise to the challenges. It was a big step forward but I managed. It wasn't all roses but I could call home at any time for help (financial, mental, emotional, etc.). I am glad my father knew me well enough he helped me transition early. High school had nothing left to offer and a major university was what I needed. Temperamentally I was not a partier so there was no worries I was going to go nuts at college. My father rented me a small apartment on my own and let me get after it. Not a financial option for all but it worked for us with planning and sacrifices on my father’s part. I didn't have the stress and pressures associated with dorms and roommates. I had a place I could call my own with money my father supplied to pay my bills. He helped me get my feet under me by showing me how to pay bills, pay them on time, balance my checking account, etc. I learned how to budget along the way. I had to take public transportation everywhere until my last year which was an interesting lesson in and of itself. Nothing like lugging groceries home on the bus to make you humble and a planner. I struggled more with the coursework than I did anything else. Ultimately I got a handle on how to study and how to perform in college. Ultimately I did graduate with an engineering degree and a heck of a GPA to prove how hard I worked to earn my degree. As for being the youngest on campus, it was never an issue. I was treated as an equal from the beginning. Personally I have never once regretted skipping my senior year because I was miserable and bored in high school. I have more than once thanked my father for his support and assistance in getting me into college early. Good luck with whatever your family decides.

By the way I knew some of what my father was giving up to send me to school in my own apartment. It only motivated me more not let us both down. I was not to going to fail both of us by screwing up college. That is a fundamental part me and probably part of the reason my father knew I would succeed. It wasn't always pretty but I had the grit to see it through.


answers from Pittsburgh on

I have two scenarios for you:
1.) One of my older sisters graduated after 11th grade and went to college with great success. She went to law school and became a paralegal, then changed careers after 15yrs and did something else (for another 18yrs) so she could work nights while being with her sons during the day. It has worked out for her very nicely.
2.) I started kindergarten at 4yo (November bday) and never had a problem with being around older kids until we moved to FL at 14yo and was in high school. Because of the culture difference (kids were doing then what kids up here are just now doing) and the age difference (some high schoolers were 19yo, (I was the only one not driving until senior year), my younger age became a big factor. Education was also further behind, all I needed (at 14yo) was two PE credits to graduate. My parents didn't want me to graduate at all, I was 4th out of six kids with no college fund in place, they were struggling financially, so leaving school would have just meant more work (I was already working 30hrs/week). I stayed in school and goofed off (I still got good grades, but didn't care about any of it) until I graduated at 17yo. I went straight from the graduation ceremony to my own apartment. I'd saved enough money for 1-1/2yrs of community college, then dropped out, I hated it, it was just more high school IMO. I've always been successful career-wise, holding executive positions. But that was because of work ethics and experience, not because of education.

You have options and resources that are great for whichever decision you make. Good luck!



answers from Allentown on

All kids are different, some are ready to begin life early and others are not ready until a few years later. You know your child best. It sounds like there is a good system in place should he need support. Do you believe he can do this? Can he keep his grades up while dealing with the emotions of the huge change and living away from home? If yes, go for it. If no, wait. If you are unsure, you could always give it a trial. Nothing in life has to be set in stone, he could try it and if it doesn't work he can come back home and go back to high school. There are always options!


answers from Milwaukee on

I appreciate that your son has seemed to get his goals lined up & is focused on his future, that is great!

I began 1st grade a year early, & so I turned 18 in Jan of my freshman college year. One thing I realize looking back now is that I wasn't as emotionally & mentally mature as I needed to be to succeed (which I didn't my first time out!)

You know your son better than any of us can project in our responses. The key factor is whether or not he is mature in all aras to be able to do well. A lot of great advice & questions to ponder has been mentioned below.

As a parent, make sure that he has sound reasons for wanting to move forward with these plans, & not just to skip the partying of the senior year. Because let's be honest, there is plenty of partying in college, & it comes with a lot less structure in the home environment than living w/your folks during high school!!

I am in school now with people who just amaze the socks off me, with what they have already accomplished by age 19/20. Some options to consider in lieu of his starting college early would be to start a business/get a job in the field he wants to go into, take college credit courses (either over the summer or in coordination with his highschool schedule, i know some schools allow for classes to be taken at the college instead for the dual credit), get engaged in community development & extra curricular activities (volunteerism, etc) that will make him a well rounded candidate.

You don't mention what his future goals are - if he wants to go into medicine, it might be possible for him to get a job @ a local hospital, & any volunteer work weighs heavily on an application to med school.
If he wants to get into business, many places offer internships.

It sounds like he is in his sophmore year now, so still 1 year left before pursuing whatever decision you as a family decide. Have him draw up a comparison of his proposed plan vs. staying in high school, with pros & cons of each, & then, 1 or two alternative plans like mentioned above, so that he really thinks through all aspects of his decision.

But utimately, I would make sure that you & your husband are comfortable with the final decision, knowing him as a person & his ability/difficulty to succeed in different situations.




answers from Denver on

I would make some kind of written contract with him.

It should include standards for grades, attendance and turning in work on time for the coming year.

It should also include financial accountability (keeping a checking account, balancing it, no fees due to insufficient funds, etc), keeping a file with insurance information (he should know his car insurance info, how to contact the insurance company, and he should know about either renter's insurance or what's covered on your homeowner's insurance in case he loses a laptop or breaks it or whatever, and how to inform the insurance company if he purchases an expensive piece of equipment that needs to be on an inventory). He should keep a record of serial numbers of computers, tablets, smartphones, or anything of value that he owns. He should know what his cell phone terms are (no going over minute limits, etc).

Also, you (and he) should discuss medical issues. Does he take any prescriptions? Would you give your friends power-of-attorney to make any emergency decisions in case he got in an accident and needed surgery?

Put the standards you expect him to maintain in writing together and give him the coming year to show you he's mature enough to manage his life so far away from home. It's much more than intellect that will determine if he's successful.

It sounds like he's determined and smart, and that's great. Now use this time to make him prepared as well.



answers from Allentown on

I skipped my Senior Year and went to college. I celebrated my 18th birthday in January of my Freshman year. There was no huge difference in age or maturity with the other students. I have not ever felt that I missed out on anything special from senior year, and I appreciated the educational options available to me in college. Freshman year was difficult in some respects, but I think in ways that are typical for all students transitioning from high school to college. If I had been held back from going to college, I think I would have felt resentful and frustrated.

But what's important for you is probably not my experience at all. It's what's right for your son / family. It sounds to me like you believe in him and already feel he has a reasonably good plan. I hope you've discussed it thoroughly as a family and considered the pros and cons for you as a family and for your son as an individual. It may be beneficial to take the discussion to an impartial third party, too. I hope you're able to get it figured out quickly and satisfactorily. Good luck!



answers from Boca Raton on

Assuming the proposed school accepts him I'd do it. He is, after all, going to be an adult (right? Did I interpret your question correctly?).

I would lay out clear ground rules as to the expectations for the funding of college studies. I.e., grades must be above a certain point; no crazy partying (and if we hear about it the funding stops), etc.

I've got one who will be 18 his senior year, too, and if he came to me with a good proposal I'd seriously entertain his idea. If anything it might motivate your son to really bear down through the rest of high school.

The last thing I would do is dismiss it outright, or pooh-pooh the idea because of his ADHD, grades, or anything else. Our job is to help them lay out a plan to achieve their dreams. Whether he executes the plan is up to him. That's how real life works.

He sounds like a neat kid - good luck.

ETA: I absolutely HATED high school and LOVED college so I'm probably a bit biased.


answers from Dallas on

As for seniors " checking out" of the last semester is completely FALSE here. Our kids at our top 1% of high schools in America work through the very end if school including any potential exams. Those exams push them further UP the ladder at higher schools. I

I don't recall from where you are but around here kids do their best to excel at every level and don't give up.

A huge part of being a student is being able to communicate , study and relate to each other. This happens a lot as a senior .

I can see a deterrent if a child is sent to college too early and not ready for the challenges which are also being emotionally stable.


answers from Dover on

You are in a tough spot. It's great that he knows what he wants to do and is able to do it. If I figure right, he will be starting his JUNIOR year this September (at age 17) which means he'd be a senior at age 18. From a legal standpoint, he can do what he's proposing if he wants (provided funding is there...which is where you really come in on this).

My son started his freshman year of college at age 17 but turned 18 in October but he had already graduated high school (was accepted right around his 17th birthday).

Typically, I think kids have something to learn at every grade level and senior year has some experiences that you don't get again. But only you know your child well enough to make this call for him. Can you wait until a bit later into this coming school year to make the call?

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions