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What should I do?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi everyone!

I am a high school sophomore (But I am 17... yes, I know), I would like to pursue an education in organic chemistry or physics, after all both fields are deeply connected. For anyone still wondering why I am a sophomore at 17, it is largely because I was enrolled with an online-correspondence based school, which in all fairness was a very pleasant experience. However, it has allowed me to pursue my own interests over the course work.

Right now I am almost finished with Stewart's Calculus 3rd edition... actually I think there is a review on this site. Although I can't say I found the book "easy", I did not find it particularly hard. Once I am finished with this I would like to begin either multivariable calculus or linear algebra in conjunction with Linus Pauling's General chemistry.
My schooling has stopped with 96-99% in hon algebra, hon geometry, hon chemistry, hon biology and a few english courses. And that is pretty much all I have credit for in high school. :cry:

I mean I have read other books and such of course.

I would love to go to M.I.T. or Caltech, but that would just be for my self esteem.

Now I have pretty much been dropped from my course because I didn't finish my other subjects. Sure if I had funds I could re enroll, but I don't. What should I do? Community college? How do students go about transferring from community college to state universities, and what university would be an option?

Thanks everyone :)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Ah, that's an interesting position to be in.

U.S. college, at least good ones like MIT, Caltech, and Columbia, will actually accept applications from home schoolers, even float out high school drop outs who have *not* completely any sort of correspondence programs, but who nonetheless kept studying on their own (so-called "unschoolers"). They only require, of course, that your application reflect your general ongoing interest in the sciences and your reediness for their programs, which it looks like you could probably demonstrate.

However, you absolutely will have to have excellent SAT and AP test scores, especially without a formal high school degree; but if you have good SAT and AP scores then you can get away with just about any sort of educational history. So, you don't have to leapfrog your way in via community colleges, you can just apply to state and private schools directly. Though, of school, going to a community college for the first year or two will definitely save you some money.

I have a few more detailed tips on doing college applications with unusual backgrounds actually, because I've talked extensively on the topic with the admissions people at the schools you mentioned, and a few others too. If you would be curious to have a more detailed sort of discussion about it then check your private message inbox, I just sent you my IM address.
 
  • #3
...who have *not* completely any sort of correspondence programs...
Type-o:
completely -> completed

Heh
 
  • #4
WannabeNewton
Science Advisor
5,803
530
Ah, that's an interesting position to be in.

However, you absolutely will have to have excellent SAT and AP test scores, especially without a formal high school degree; but if you have good SAT and AP scores then you can get away with just about any sort of educational history.
Well first of all, unis don't use your ap score to decide your admission and it is obvious from the fact that ap scores come much later than when regular college decisions are released; you don't even report your ap scores when applying. Secondly, the statement you made is highly inaccurate: do you think MIT and Caltech are really that naive that they would only rely on what they know is a joke of a standardized exam? There are numerous factors that are taken into account above the SAT.
 

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