With the increasing prevalence of online degrees being awarded every year, and high school students graduating earlier and earlier, it is quite common for teens to become excited to get into college. Some teens as young as 15 have enrolled in universities to continue their education after their early graduation. If you are able to graduate early from high school, it may be a good idea to use this article’s advice when deciding your post-high school plans.
1. Age Requirements
Under official United States law, it is illegal to discriminate against any persons age when deciding upon college admission. What this means for you is that there is no official age for attending college. However, it might not be a good idea for a twelve-year-old to become a college student at your local university. Online Colleges have become increasingly valuable to younger students, as they can obtain the education they need while staying safe at home.
2. The “Best Fit” Clause
Another reason to consider online colleges over traditional universities is that online colleges usually have distinct best-fit clauses. A best-fit clause is a general catch-all statement that universities post in their terms of enrollment. This clause states that along with certain educational requirements, like GPA and diplomas, you must be a certain age to fit into the university. To get an online degree, you usually do not need to meet these requirements. Traditional universities usually walk the line between legalities with this clause, and this clause is commonly the reason early graduates do not begin college earlier in their career.
3. Online Degrees
Online schools are a great option for younger students. The flexibility of schedule and lower cost of attendance can be a great asset. Online education offers students a way to progress at their natural pace while avoiding unnecessary annoyances like living in a dormitory. Online degrees are becoming more and more commonplace, and it is not uncommon for online universities to be as accredited as state-run colleges. These reasons make choosing an online university appealing for younger students.
4. Waiting Periods
Attending an online university can be an excellent way for younger students to earn a degree at their own pace. While there is no official minimum age for traditional colleges, admissions offices will utilize their best fit clause mentioned above to screen younger students. While this is not necessarily illegal, it definitely makes the college process harder for homeschooled students and other early graduates. Online universities do not discriminate with this “best fit” clause, due to the fact that the learning environment is virtual. More and more we are seeing younger students pursue online degrees over traditional ones, simply due to the fact that traditional universities will deny admittance to students under the age of 18.
Pursuing an online degree can be a great solution for advanced early graduates. These students can always move at their own pace, and won’t be forced to wait until a certain age to begin their college experience.