More and more students these days are beginning to go to college early. Many of these students have been home schooled and now are ready to move on. Plus colleges and states have made it easier than ever to get into college early. By following a few simple steps, you will find that you can enroll your under-16 student into a community college to get a jump on his or her college education.
- Check to be sure that your community college accepts under-16 students. You may check by calling the Admissions office and talking to someone there about the enrollment process. This person should give you deadline dates for applications and other materials and the basic run-down of the process.
- Sign your student up for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT. Most community colleges will require that under-16 students, particularly those who will be dual-enrolled in high school, must have a certain SAT score to be admitted.
- Get your student's transcripts from his or her high school. One of the benefits of issuing report cards and taking standardized tests for home-schooled children is that you now will have all of the materials handy. Otherwise, find out from the college what kinds of transcripts are required to enroll your student under 16 in community college.
- Talk to someone from the college's admissions office throughout this process. While many larger schools have quantitative guidelines in place, smaller schools may want to discuss with your child his or her plans. They sometimes want to do this to gauge readiness of a student under 16 to enroll in community college. You also may find that the requirements for non-credit courses are less cumbersome, which may permit your child to sit in on a course for the exposure, but not have the requirement to participate.
- Have your student fill out the application. You child, rather than you, should fill it out for a couple of reasons. First, college is a big responsibility, and if your under-16 child is ready for community college, the application should be no problem. Second, most applications ask questions about career goals that your child - and not you - needs to answer.
- Once you have turned in the required materials, look for classes. If there's a plan to transfer to another college in the future, and your child knows where he or she will go to college permanently, have the student call the admissions office there to check about the selected courses. Make sure the community college courses will transfer and are required. If your child is not sure about where he or she will complete college, sign him or her up for basic classes. English 101 is not required at a lot of universities now, so skip it if you can. Instead go with survey history, college algebra, or another introductory course.
- As soon as you hear word about enrolling your under-16 student in community college, set aside a day to go with your child. Help her or him to get a student identification card, meal plan, parking pass, and other essentials lined up. Walk the campus by yourselves to get a feel for where everything is located. Find where her or his classes will be. Allow your child to get familiar with the campus.