Achieving Theoretical Astrophysics at 15: Challenges & Opportunities

PhD from an ivy league.In summary, the teenage girl wants to be a theoretical physicist, and she is worried about whether she will be able to get a good scholarship to a university. She is in a top scholars program and has a 4.0 GPA. She should be able to get into any college she wants.f
  • #1
I want to be a theoretical physicist. I'm 15 and a sophomore in high school. I'll be graduating next year (3 year program) when I'm 16. It's not a minimun program, I'm actually on the most distinguished graduation program (Texas Scholar). I just get many credits in a short amount of time. Since this year I've made all A's excluding my English class in which I made an 85. I will have as many advanced maths and sciences as possible next year. I'm not at the top of my class, so I don't think I will be able to get a scholarship to a university. I know I need to be strong in math and science, especially Physics, to be a theoretical astrophysicist. So, I found my mom's old college Algebra and have been learning concepts from it for about a month. (I wrote an equation for the sums of two summations. Here's the URL: I'd like to get a PhD from an Ivy League college, but I don't know if I will be able to transfer from a junior college to a state university and then to an Ivy League. I'm aware that Theoretical Astrophysicists don't make a fortune for their work, but that's okay. I'd much rather have answers to my questions and love my job rather than wonder and be miserable at work. Does anyone think I would be able to get any good scholarships to a university anywhere or in the state of Texas? Does anyone know if there any scholarships for graduating early anywhere or to a university in Texas? Does anyone think I could get a PhD from an Ivy League college or transfer possibly from an average university to an Ivy League college eventually?
  • #2

Welcome to the club
  • #3

Why graduate early? Take AP, or equivalent and just graduate with everyone else. It'll give you more time to make yourself stand out. Plus, college is a large social adjustment, you don't want to make the leap early.
  • #4

Getting a PhD from an Ivy League university - even getting into a graduate program at an Ivy League-caliber university - is VERY DIFFICULT. (experience talking :-p) I can't claim to be an expert on grad school admissions but I would guess that one component of preparing yourself is to get your undergraduate degree at a pretty good university. It doesn't have to be an Ivy League or equivalent; there are a wide variety of colleges, including some state schools, that will give you an adequate preparation, but overall, roughly speaking, going to a better/higher ranked/more prestigious college gives you a better chance of getting into an Ivy-caliber PhD program.

Since you seem to be concerned about scholarships: remember that you can often get financial aid from the college you decide to attend (as an undergraduate). You may wind up not needing a scholarship Even some of the most prestigious (and most expensive) schools offer excellent financial aid packages. (again, experience talking :-p), so don't eliminate any college from consideration just because you're worried about finances.
  • #5

You're in a top scholars program, graduating with almost a 4.0, and worried about getting into a college? You certainly shouldn't have to start at community college, and you can probably get a full ride (or nearly) to many schools. UT Austin or Rice should be options even if you don't get a full ride, and there are many other schools out there that would be happy to consider you.

Yes, you can get into an Ivy League grad school from a state school, or a liberal arts college, or a private school. But anyone is going to find it difficult - it's a matter of high grades and test scores, great recommendations, and research experience - no matter where you go to college, try to spend your summers getting involved in research projects.
  • #6

I go with Feldoh... take advanced classes in school... i hope you can fulfill this plan...

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