Am I an undergraduate student or a high school student?

Nov 13, 2019
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Hello folks. It seems this is my second post on this forum, so I'm pretty new to this all. I just wanted to get an opinion on my situation.

I am a current high school sophomore. However, I have also been taking community college classes for college credit since freshman year with the intention to use those credits to transfer to a UC through the transfer program. I would be a university junior the year I transfer into university, because I will have completed the first two years of undergraduate coursework then. Obviously, that leaves me only two years of officially being in an university.

I am planning on doing my extracurriculars and things like shadowing, volunteering, and research now, since I will not have a lot of time to do ECs once I transfer into university.

So, the question is, do I count as a high school student or an undergraduate student? Or: do my ECs count as undergraduate extracurriculars?

Since I am currently earning credits towards an undergraduate degree, shouldn't I count as an undergraduate student? Or does my high school student status override my current status as a community college student?

Thank you all for reading.
 

Goro

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Hello folks. It seems this is my second post on this forum, so I'm pretty new to this all. I just wanted to get an opinion on my situation.

I am a current high school sophomore. However, I have also been taking community college classes for college credit since freshman year with the intention to use those credits to transfer to a UC through the transfer program. I would be a university junior the year I transfer into university, because I will have completed the first two years of undergraduate coursework then. Obviously, that leaves me only two years of officially being in an university.

I am planning on doing my extracurriculars and things like shadowing, volunteering, and research now, since I will not have a lot of time to do ECs once I transfer into university.

So, the question is, do I count as a high school student or an undergraduate student? Or: do my ECs count as undergraduate extracurriculars?

Since I am currently earning credits towards an undergraduate degree, shouldn't I count as an undergraduate student? Or does my high school student status override my current status as a community college student?

Thank you all for reading.
current high school sophomore

There's the answer to your question.

Enjoy high school and save your ECs for college. You're expected to walk and chew gum at the same time. Time mgt skills are essential for medical students.

Just to verify, you'll have TWO year's worth of college courses by the time you finish high school?????
 
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All your college class you take before you graduate HS will be listed under HS. Your ECs will be the same. Even if you transfer the credits, they will still be counted from the original CC
 
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Mar 14, 2019
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Hello folks. It seems this is my second post on this forum, so I'm pretty new to this all. I just wanted to get an opinion on my situation.

I am a current high school sophomore. However, I have also been taking community college classes for college credit since freshman year with the intention to use those credits to transfer to a UC through the transfer program. I would be a university junior the year I transfer into university, because I will have completed the first two years of undergraduate coursework then. Obviously, that leaves me only two years of officially being in an university.

I am planning on doing my extracurriculars and things like shadowing, volunteering, and research now, since I will not have a lot of time to do ECs once I transfer into university.

So, the question is, do I count as a high school student or an undergraduate student? Or: do my ECs count as undergraduate extracurriculars?

Since I am currently earning credits towards an undergraduate degree, shouldn't I count as an undergraduate student? Or does my high school student status override my current status as a community college student?

Thank you all for reading.
As long as you have not graduated from HS, you are a HS student. Period. You might rack up a whole bunch of transferable dual enrollment credits and be able to graduate college in two years, but you cannot be an undergrad before you graduate from HS! Everything you do before you graduate is a HS activity. For the record, you are not a "community college student." You are a HS student taking dual enrollment classes at a community college.

Bottom line, Dr. Howser -- your problem is not going to be not having enough time to obtain EC hours in 2 years of UG. It will be convincing med schools to seriously consider your application at age 19. The trend is toward schools preferring older students with one or more gap years, not younger students with less college years. No EC experience you obtain as a 16 year old HS student will be given the same weight as that obtained as a 20 year old college student. Trust me, if you follow your plan, you'll have plenty of time to obtain EC hours during the gap year or two you'll be taking after you graduate college.
 
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Pagan FutureDoc

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Darn, that's an issue. I guess I'll need to look into GED. Thanks folks!
Why would you need to look into a GED? Don’t tell me you’d actually consider dropping out of HS and getting a GED just so you’d be considered an Undergrad student.
medical schools like students who make good decisions, that would be a really silly one.
 
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Darn, that's an issue. I guess I'll need to look into GED. Thanks folks!
And that would clearly show your immaturity to anyone reading your med school application. And how exactly would you explain that if you got an interview? Why on earth would you become a HS dropout so you can say you are premed at 15-16? Med schools want students with a wide range of experiences but I’m thinking your plan to get a GED when there is NO reason for it, isn’t what they are looking for! Enjoy high school. You never get those years back. Grow up first!
 
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Nov 13, 2019
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Jesus, y'all. I'm not dropping out. Wrong diploma equivalency, meant the CHSPE. I'm going to continue schooling, just want my EC work to count.
 
Nov 13, 2019
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The plan is that I'm going to have technically graduated high school since I have the diploma equivalency, so I can finally get counted as an undergraduate. But I'm going to just do my third and final year so I can actually also graduate from my high school.

Either way, I'll have more or less 18 months before I transfer and begin college after I get my equivalency and I'll fit as many ECs in as I can, most likely hospice volunteering as I've already been doing, shadowing, scribe work, no problem. I transfer into college, where I'll do my classes, continue on ECs and add wet lab work to the mix, keep up my writing hobby, prep for MCAT in the summer of junior year, so on and so forth. I've got it figured out for the most part with some leeway, just gonna need to put it in action.

And if I do wind up needing a gap year or two, that's all good. Going to strive for getting in first try though, so we'll see.
 
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The plan is that I'm going to have technically graduated high school since I have the diploma equivalency, so I can finally get counted as an undergraduate. But I'm going to just do my third and final year so I can actually also graduate from my high school.

Either way, I'll have more or less 18 months before I transfer and begin college after I get my equivalency and I'll fit as many ECs in as I can, most likely hospice volunteering as I've already been doing, shadowing, scribe work, no problem. I transfer into college, where I'll do my classes, continue on ECs and add wet lab work to the mix, keep up my writing hobby, prep for MCAT in the summer of junior year, so on and so forth. I've got it figured out for the most part with some leeway, just gonna need to put it in action.

And if I do wind up needing a gap year or two, that's all good. Going to strive for getting in first try though, so we'll see.
No, you won't have "technically" graduated HS -- "If you pass both sections of the CHSPE, the California State Board of Education will award you a Certificate of Proficiency, which by state law is equivalent to a high school diploma (although not equivalent to completing all coursework required for regular graduation from high school)."

You are totally going to screw up your med school application by applying as a GED/CHSPE (same thing, but it's CA state specific as opposed to national) applicant, all for the purpose of having the optics of your ECs being performed in college, not HS. The harsh reality is that you will be accomplishing nothing, unless you invent a time machine and make yourself 18 when you begin, because no matter how you slice it, you'll still be applying as a 19 year old with less than 4 years of HS, which will end up being an issue. Good luck!!
 
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Beyond the age issue, which I will deal with in my own way, why wouldn't the CHSPE work? If you are given one, you are considered a high school graduate, aren't you? I don't believe the coursework part matters all that much since I doubt medical admissions look at high school coursework with much care. I simply don't see why having a diploma equivalency would be an issue when I will graduate normally from high school as well. I just don't see how it's going to ruin my entire application.

Thanks for everyone's time.
 
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Beyond the age issue, which I will deal with in my own way, why wouldn't the CHSPE work? If you are given one, you are considered a high school graduate, aren't you? I don't believe the coursework part matters all that much since I doubt medical admissions look at high school coursework with much care. I simply don't see why having a diploma equivalency would be an issue when I will graduate normally from high school as well. I just don't see how it's going to ruin my entire application.

Thanks for everyone's time.
You're right. Good luck. Please come back at the appropriate time and let us know how everything worked out.
 
Nov 13, 2019
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You're right. Good luck. Please come back at the appropriate time and let us know how everything worked out.
Instead of sarcasm, could I hear your reasoning for why you think the CHSPE would ruin my application? I can't exactly get anything out of an opinion with no explanation of how you came to that opinion nor any statistics or facts that I am able to see. Your thoughts on the age issue, at least, could be based on MSAR average ages. I do not know of any presumable evidence for the diploma equivalency part, so I'm afraid you might need to elaborate.
 
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Instead of sarcasm, could I hear your reasoning for why you think the CHSPE would ruin my application? I can't exactly get anything out of an opinion with no explanation of how you came to that opinion nor any statistics or facts that I am able to see. Your thoughts on the age issue, at least, could be based on MSAR average ages. I do not know of any presumable evidence for the diploma equivalency part, so I'm afraid you might need to elaborate.
I gave you plenty of reasoning, but you are rejecting it.

A Certificate of Proficiency is NOT the same as a HS diploma, and you are just not going to be able to accomplish what you want. You WILL eventually get to med school, but it won't be two years early because you are dropping out of HS and obtaining a proficiency certificate so you can be considered a college junior at age 16.

All of your ECs will still be obtained before age 18, and they will be viewed as such, regardless of your attempt to game the system by leaving HS early to not be considered a HS student, and, unless you are some incredible super genius that the med schools just can't wait to enroll, they are going to want you to mature a little more rather than admit you at age 19 or 20 into a class where the average age of matriculants is the mid 20s.

Not completing HS will be considered a negative in your case, not neutral and not positive. Someone who had to leave HS early to raise a child or support a family, who then comes back as a non-trad with a GED will receive sympathy by an adcom, but not you under these circumstances. GEDs are not the same as HS diplomas, and community college prereqs are not the same as 4-year university classes. Again, you definitely should do what feels right for you. You don't need my blessing, or that of anyone else here.
 
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I gave you plenty of reasoning, but you are rejecting it.

A Certificate of Proficiency is NOT the same as a HS diploma, and you are just not going to be able to accomplish what you want. You WILL eventually get to med school, but it won't be two years early because you are dropping out of HS and obtaining a proficiency certificate so you can be considered a college junior at age 16.

All of your ECs will still be obtained before age 18, and they will be viewed as such, regardless of your attempt to game the system by leaving HS early to not be considered a HS student, and, unless you are some incredible super genius that the med schools just can't wait to enroll, they are going to want you to mature a little more rather than admit you at age 19 or 20 into a class where the average age of matriculants is the mid 20s.

Not completing HS will be considered a negative in your case, not neutral and not positive. Someone who had to leave HS early to raise a child or support a family, who then comes back as a non-trad with a GED will receive sympathy by an adcom, but not you under these circumstances. GEDs are not the same as HS diplomas, and community college prereqs are not the same as 4-year university classes. Again, you definitely should do what feels right for you. You don't need my blessing, or that of anyone else here.
Once again, I'm NOT dropping out of high school. I'm getting the equivalency, but I'm continuing high school with the equivalency in hand and earning the diploma from my high school too. I will have actually completed high school when I transfer to university.

Why is my age when I do my ECs so impactful? I'd be 17 during my university junior year, does stuff from then not count either?

Thanks for adding more details.
 

candbgirl

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Instead of sarcasm, could I hear your reasoning for why you think the CHSPE would ruin my application? I can't exactly get anything out of an opinion with no explanation of how you came to that opinion nor any statistics or facts that I am able to see. Your thoughts on the age issue, at least, could be based on MSAR average ages. I do not know of any presumable evidence for the diploma equivalency part, so I'm afraid you might need to elaborate.
Because you will really still be in high school. Your college transcript will list the date you enroll and from where. You will be enrolled from a high school with a ton of dual enrollment credits. That is very different from enrolling at a university from a CC. I don’t know anything about this certificate your are planning to get but I’m thinking it’s for showbiz kids or kids that don’t go to school for some reason.
Another thing. ADCOMS look for signs of maturity in their applicants. When an applicant is very young close scrutiny is paid to that applicant to see if they are emotionally stable enough to withstand the rigors of med school. You are currently displaying regular teenage maturity. You aren’t open to suggestions or advice. It’s your way or no way. You aren’t unusual . You are just like most other 15 year olds. Just slow down. Have some fun. Adulting will arrive soon enough.
 
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Because you will really still be in high school. Your college transcript will list the date you enroll and from where. You will be enrolled from a high school with a ton of dual enrollment credits. That is very different from enrolling at a university from a CC. I don’t know anything about this certificate your are planning to get but I’m thinking it’s for showbiz kids or kids that don’t go to school for some reason.
Another thing. ADCOMS look for signs of maturity in their applicants. When an applicant is very young close scrutiny is paid to that applicant to see if they are emotionally stable enough to withstand the rigors of med school. You are currently displaying regular teenage maturity. You aren’t open to suggestions or advice. It’s your way or no way. You aren’t unusual . You are just like most other 15 year olds. Just slow down. Have some fun. Adulting will arrive soon enough.
This^^^^^^. If you are actually going to stay in HS, the equivalency certificate will be entirely meaningless and superfluous for you. You are in HS until you leave. If you don't leave, you are still a HS student, even if you think you aren't because you have a certificate.

The certificate is for people who left HS without graduating and later need an equivalent to the diploma to do certain things, like enroll in community college or apply for jobs that require a HS diploma, or equivalent. It's not for you to be able to say you are a college student while you're still enrolled in HS. :laugh:
 
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Because you will really still be in high school. Your college transcript will list the date you enroll and from where. You will be enrolled from a high school with a ton of dual enrollment credits. That is very different from enrolling at a university from a CC. I don’t know anything about this certificate your are planning to get but I’m thinking it’s for showbiz kids or kids that don’t go to school for some reason.
Another thing. ADCOMS look for signs of maturity in their applicants. When an applicant is very young close scrutiny is paid to that applicant to see if they are emotionally stable enough to withstand the rigors of med school. You are currently displaying regular teenage maturity. You aren’t open to suggestions or advice. It’s your way or no way. You aren’t unusual . You are just like most other 15 year olds. Just slow down. Have some fun. Adulting will arrive soon enough.
I'm open to advice that has weight to it and has taken into consideration what I said instead of making presumptions. From Knight, he ignored the message I sent saying I was not planning on dropping out of high school. From you, the assumption that I'm in dual enrollment. And it's not as if I won't grow in the four years of time before I would apply to medical school.

I'm not in dual enrollment. The credits from community college have nothing to do with my high school and are worth nothing to my high school. I found the community college on my own and will be using their resources to transfer.

I don't think it matters who usually gets the CHSPE. I'm planning on getting one regardless.

Thanks for the input though.
 
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This^^^^^^. If you are actually going to stay in HS, the equivalency certificate will be entirely meaningless and superfluous for you. You are in HS until you leave. If you don't leave, you are still a HS student, even if you think you aren't because you have a certificate.

The certificate is for people who left HS without graduating and later need an equivalent to the diploma to do certain things, like enroll in community college or apply for jobs that require a HS diploma, or equivalent. It's not for you to be able to say you are a college student while you're still enrolled in HS. :laugh:
Alright, fair enough. I had believed the CHSPE would serve a purpose like a divider bar, indicating that I had technically graduated from high school by a legal definition (because it is legally the equivalent of a hs diploma in California,) so I could technically categorize the ECs I took after earning the legal equivalent of a diploma as work done after high school graduation. I'll consider my options some more and see.
 

candbgirl

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I'm open to advice that has weight to it and has taken into consideration what I said instead of making presumptions. From Knight, he ignored the message I sent saying I was not planning on dropping out of high school. From you, the assumption that I'm in dual enrollment. And it's not as if I won't grow in the four years of time before I would apply to medical school.

I'm not in dual enrollment. The credits from community college have nothing to do with my high school and are worth nothing to my high school. I found the community college on my own and will be using their resources to transfer.

I don't think it matters who usually gets the CHSPE. I'm planning on getting one regardless.

Thanks for the input though.
Oh sorry! Usually people taking community college courses do it through their high school! You really need to be more open to advice from people way older and more experienced than you! You asked the question and people responded. It’s not our fault that the response wasn’t what you want or expected! Now I’m out. Good luck!
 
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I'm open to advice that has weight to it and has taken into consideration what I said instead of making presumptions. From Knight, he ignored the message I sent saying I was not planning on dropping out of high school. From you, the assumption that I'm in dual enrollment. And it's not as if I won't grow in the four years of time before I would apply to medical school.

I'm not in dual enrollment. The credits from community college have nothing to do with my high school and are worth nothing to my high school. I found the community college on my own and will be using their resources to transfer.

I don't think it matters who usually gets the CHSPE. I'm planning on getting one regardless.

Thanks for the input though.
Well, with all due respect, some of what you are saying now just doesn't make sense. What community college allowed you to enroll without a HS diploma, or GED, or as part of a dual enrollment program???????
 
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Alright, fair enough. I had believed the CHSPE would serve a purpose like a divider bar, indicating that I had technically graduated from high school by a legal definition (because it is legally the equivalent of a hs diploma in California,) so I could technically categorize the ECs I took after earning the legal equivalent of a diploma as work done after high school graduation. I'll consider my options some more and see.
Okay, but, if you "technically" graduated from HS, then you are no longer in HS. That's why it never occurred to me that you would be getting the certificate and staying in HS. Who gets two HS diplomas, and why? To pretend on AMCAS that you were a HS graduate while participating in ECs at age 15?

It just won't work. Among other reasons, they'll see you graduated HS in 2022 while participating in ECs as a college student in 2018. It's all pointless. At the end of the day, you'll still be a 19 year old applying to med schools along with all the 22, 23, 24+ year olds. You'll be at a disadvantage, and you'll end up needing gap years, just like 2/3 of all the other matriculants.
 
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Well, with all due respect, some of what you are saying now just doesn't make sense. What community college allowed you to enroll without a HS diploma, or GED, or as part of a dual enrollment program???????
California community colleges take students without high school diploma without dual enrollment. I just had to let my school know that I was taking classes at a community college. K-12 programs are pretty neat.
 
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Okay, but, if you "technically" graduated from HS, then you are no longer in HS. That's why it never occurred to me that you would be getting the certificate and staying in HS. Who gets two HS diplomas, and why? To pretend on AMCAS that you were a HS graduate while participating in ECs at age 15?
I am planning on staying enrolled in high school because I would actually like to take the classes offered for final year students at my school and get Calculus BC in before I start college.

And why necessarily "pretend"? Would I not be considered a graduate?
 
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Oh sorry! Usually people taking community college courses do it through their high school! You really need to be more open to advice from people way older and more experienced than you! You asked the question and people responded. It’s not our fault that the response wasn’t what you want or expected! Now I’m out. Good luck!
Once again, I am pretty open to advice, if it does actually apply to me. Goodbye to you too, and thanks for the luck :)
 
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I am planning on staying enrolled in high school because I would actually like to take the classes offered for final year students at my school and get Calculus BC in before I start college.

And why necessarily "pretend"? Would I not be considered a graduate?
Not if you didn't graduate!!!!! Your college transcript, which the med schools will receive, will have your HS graduation date on it, not the date you got your CHSPE.
 
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Once again, I am pretty open to advice, if it does actually apply to me. Goodbye to you too, and thanks for the luck :)
You'll be fine. I'm just telling you that you'll find that you jumped through all these hoops for nothing, because the trend in med schools is toward gap years and having students be a little more mature, not rushing them along and taking them 2 years after HS, with or without ECs and a ton of community college transfer credits.
 
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You'll be fine. I'm just telling you that you'll find that you jumped through all these hoops for nothing, because the trend in med schools is toward gap years and having students be a little more mature, not rushing them along and taking them 2 years after HS, with or without ECs and a ton of community college transfer credits.
If it's for nothing I'll just take a gap year, no sweat.
 
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And I believe we are back to square one. Thanks a lot for the advice but I think I'll need to seek out an ADCOM's decisive opinion on what he or she thinks about this situation.
Or .., and this is just a thought, you can randomly, anonymously, call one or two med schools you are interested in and ask them how receptive they would be to an application from someone with one year of college, who expects to graduate in a year, with a ton of community college credits and EC hours obtained while still in HS. THAT will be your decisive answer,
 
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Or .., and this is just a thought, you can randomly, anonymously, call one or two med schools you are interested in and ask them how receptive they would be to an application from someone with one year of college, who expects to graduate in a year, with a ton of community college credits and EC hours obtained while still in HS.
Actually, 2 years of college. And what's wrong with the comm college credits? I was under the impression that transfers from community college are fine, so long as they do just as well for upper division coursework.
 
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To be exact, I leave high school in the summer of 2022 and enter university that same year in the fall. I'll probably apply for medical school by the summer of 2024, looking at the general premed timelines online.

Essentially: I graduate high school a year early, have my CHSPE 2 years prior to when I would've normally graduated from high school, and have 2 years worth of college credit with me when I graduate high school. I transfer and start university as a third year.

I'd be doing ECs the entire way through. I am trying this CHSPE plan so I can add an additional 18 months of work to be counted, but if that's absolutely not viable a gap year is in order and fine by me.
 
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current high school sophomore

There's the answer to your question.

Enjoy high school and save your ECs for college. You're expected to walk and chew gum at the same time. Time mgt skills are essential for medical students.

Just to verify, you'll have TWO year's worth of college courses by the time you finish high school?????
Oops, completely missed this reply. Yeah, I will have 2 years worth of college courses when I graduate. Does this pose an issue?
 

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Oops, completely missed this reply. Yeah, I will have 2 years worth of college courses when I graduate. Does this pose an issue?
Applying to medical school at age 20 brings along the risk of immaturity issues at interviews.
 
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Applying to medical school at age 20 brings along the risk of immaturity issues at interviews.
P.S. -- Although he doesn't realize it yet, he'd actually be applying at age 19, after only one year of college, since he doesn't intend to take any gap years! Also, ALL of his prereqs will be completed at a community college, while he is still in HS. :laugh:
 
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P.S. -- Although he doesn't realize it yet, he'd actually be applying at age 19, after only one year of college, since he doesn't intend to take any gap years! Also, ALL of his prereqs will be completed at a community college, while he is still in HS. :laugh:
Nah, I realized. Just wasn't thinking it'd be too much of an issue. I'm thinking I'll do a gap year to bump my application age up to 20.
 
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