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(Early) College Planning

"If these options for advancement had not been available to students..., boredom and lazy learning habits could have developed, Davis says, causing problems throughout their lives. Gifted students begin having problems when their intelligence is mismatched with their curriculum..." Sara Tennessen, in Little Man on Campus

See also ... (Early) College Success Stories, Early Entrance College ProgramsTwice Exceptional Students in College, College Scholarships and College Summer Research Programs

Bookmarked: Teen Essays on Life and Literature from Tolkien to Twilight Recommended by Ann Camacho
Young people from a wide range of backgrounds reflect on how words from literature connect with and influence their lives, goals, and personal philosophies. Topics include suffering the death of a parent, facing a life-threatening illness, letting go of perfectionism, making friends, realizing goals, and grappling with questions of faith and sexuality. Books cited range from The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby to Twilight and Lord of the Rings.

Teachers, guidance counselors, and parents working with teens on personal essays— including for college applications—will find useful samples, models, and inspiration. Teachers of literature, writing, and language arts classes can also use these essays as a way to help teens explore literature—and their own responses to it—through writing...

College is Yours in 600 Words or Less: The Roeper School College Handbook Recommended by Patrick O'Connor
A quick but complete guide that leads you through the maze of college selection with the simple, revolutionary idea that students already have great lives-- what they now need is a college where they can live that great life, and learn more about themselves and the world...
College Planning for Gifted Students: Choosing And Getting into the Right College Recommended by Sandra L. Berger (or from Amazon)
Everything you need to know and do, starting in 7th and stepping right through 12th grade, to plan for college for your gifted student.  Why don't the school counselors tell us this?!  Timelines, checklists, and more
Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges Recommended by Loren Pope
Thinking about college? Looking for the 'right' college for yourself, or your child? This book is for you! Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
Cool Colleges: For the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming, and Just Plain Different Recommended by Donald Asher
Thinking about college? Looking for the 'right' college for yourself, or your child? This book is for you! Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
College Summer Research Programs Recommended
Summer research opportunities for undergraduates, before and during college - these are important to a college student's future!
Considering Your Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Gap Year Opportunities Recommended by Davidson Institute for Talent Development
The overarching definition of a gap year is a “Break from formal education in order to become more immersed in another culture, to volunteer domestically or abroad, to gain experience and maturity, to improve your skills in a sport, language, the arts, or academics, or take on some combination of any of these things.  During a gap year the learning process continues, but in a different format and venue that will inspire and excite a student... (requires Adobe Reader)
A Myth About College Planning: It's Not Too Early to Start! Recommended by Avis Wright
A college planning checklist for middle school students and their parents, from knowing your support personnel to studying the right subjects to moving ahead with accelerated learning, distance education and advanced classes.  Time management and study skills are another important detail, and...
Parents' Perspectives of Early College Entrance For Profoundly Gifted Children: Readiness Issues and 1st College Class Options and Testing for Admittance and Choosing Enrollment Options Recommended by Beth Wright
A comprehensive look at early college, from soup to nuts!
Radical acceleration and early entry to college: A review of the research Recommended by Miraca U.M. Gross, in Gifted Child Quarterly
Research provides strong support for the use of thoughtfully planned and monitored radical acceleration as a process allowing educators to respond to the academic and affective needs of a significant subgroup of the gifted population. These students earn higher GPAs, and they are more likely to complete college on time or early, earn general and departmental honors, make the dean's list, enter graduate school, engage in research, and embark on prestigious careers. Research also documents positive outcomes for social and emotional development...
Acceleration: Valuable High School to College Option by Nancy Robinson and Kathleen Noble
Provides some practical part-time acceleration options, as well as full-time acceleration options. Not accelerating a gifted child causes them to abandon the intellectual pursuit and become at-risk for difficulties...
All Rivers Lead to the Sea: A Follow-up Study of Gifted Young Adults by Kathleen Noble, Nancy Robinson and Susan Gunderson
...accelerating one's secondary education is as healthy a decision for many highly capable students as remaining with agemates.  The social and emotional development of most highly qualified students has been neither compromised nor harmed by acceleration.  Early entrance to college may prove to be one of the most navigable rivers a student can run... (requires Adobe Reader)
Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Philosophy
Things to know when you're still in undergraduate... a 7-part series that answers many of the questions you have, or should have...
Boredom, bet lands kid in college at 12 by Marisa Shultz, The Detroit News
When James Ellison turned 16 last month, his first drive was not to high school -- but to the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he's a junior studying physics.  Ellison is not your typical teen, although he modestly says skipping five grades is attainable feat for other kids.  "It's just easy," said the Lincoln Park teen. "I don't understand why other kids couldn't do the same thing."  Ellison found himself in college at age 12 because of boredom and a bet...
But What About the Prom? Students' Perceptions of Early College Entrance by Kathleen Noble and Julie Drummond
This study examined student perceptions of early college entrance, focusing on the reasons students choose this unusual educational option; their experiences with peers, regular-age students, and professors; and the effects of skipping high school on their social, emotional, and intellectual development (requires Adobe Reader)
Career Planning for Gifted and Talented Youth (ERIC Digest E492) by Barbara Kerr
Youthful brilliance in one or more areas does not always translate into adult satisfaction and accomplishment in working life... Some factors that can contribute to problems with career planning are presented here, along with ways of preventing and intervening with career development problems...
College Application Follies: A Cautionary Tale by Valerie Bock
A timeline, for your amusement, and for those of you who have yet to experience this, a cautionary tale...
College Planning for Gifted and Talented Youth (ERIC Digest E490) by Sandra L. Berger
Gifted and talented (GT) students often have problems beyond those of most other students who consider college and career choices. A systematic, collaborative approach is needed...
College Results Online by The Education Trust
Compare college statistics, including graduation rates, record of diverse graduates, size, SAT scores, costs, and more...
Colleges That Change Lives
National college fairs featuring unusual colleges...
Considering the Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Early College Entrance (Parent Version) Recommended by Nancy M. Robinson and The Davidson Institute Team
For students whose development is markedly more rapid than that of their age-mates, there eventually comes a time when they are academically ready for college-level work at an atypically young age. For some, this may mean one or two semester early; whereas other students may be ready at a much younger age.  Designed to help you assess certain aspects of your child’s readiness for early college entrance.  At the same time, your son or daughter should be working through the Student Version, which is designed to serve as a self-study guide to help students gain perspective...
Considering the Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Gap Year Opportunities Recommended by The Davidson Institute Team
For students whose development is markedly more rapid than that of their age-mates, there eventually comes a time when they are academically ready for college-level work at an atypically young age. For some, this may mean one or two semester early; whereas other students may be ready at a much younger age.  Designed to help you assess certain aspects of your child’s readiness for early college entrance.  At the same time, your son or daughter should be working through the Student Version, which is designed to serve as a self-study guide to help students gain perspective...
Different strokes: Perceptions of social and emotional development among early college entrants by Kathleen Noble, Tara Arndt, Tristan Nicholson, Thor Sletten and Arturo Zamora
31 UW Early Entrance students participated in focus group discussions in which they discussed their social and emotional experiences as young college students. All believed themselves to be more mature than they would have been had they gone to high school and all reported themselves to be well-socialized...
The Early College Option by Kathi Kearney
The early college option is a positive one for many highly gifted students. When accompanied by academic readiness, strong motivation, support systems, and attention to the unique issues of family and individual development that become part of the accelerative experience...
Early Entrance to College: A Guide to Success by Michelle Muratori
Choosing the right college, preparing for college success, and making the adjustment to college... for early college entrants!
Early Entrance to College: Students' Stories by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
The essays that follow describe the fears, anxieties, hopes, problems, and triumphs of 11 students who chose to go to college early... (requires Adobe Reader)
An Eight-Year Evaluation of SMPY: What Was Learned? by Camilla Persson Benbow and Julian C. Stanley
We have examined the validity of SMPY's identification and educational facilitation procedures by means of longitudinal research. These principles, practices, and techniques were shown to be effective and transportable to various settings. If there is a special lesson to be learned thus far, it is that curricular flexibility, augmented by special fast-paced courses, can work wonders for young, able, highly motivated students...
Five Years of Early Entrants: Predicting Successful Achievement in College by Linda Brody, Susan Assouline, and Julian Stanley
This study evaluated the achievements of 65 young entrants as beginning undergraduates in a highly selective university. The group as a whole was found to be quite successful. Compared to nonaccelerants, the early entrants tended to graduate in a shorter period of time and earn more honors at graduation
From feds on down, AP students are being neglected by Walt Gardner
Until recently, the one program for gifted students in public schools that seemed immune to criticism was AP...  But AP is now facing a backlash that worries parents and students. A series of questions about the caliber of instruction have surfaced... With mounting criticism from so many sides, another college-level offering known as the dual enrollment course is slowly gaining traction. These courses are taken either at college or at high school, with instruction paid or supervised by the college...
Helping Gifted Children and Their Families Prepare for College: A Handbook Designed to Assist Economically Disadvantaged and First-Generation College Attendees by Avis L. Wright and Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Center for Talent Development, Northwestern University
Created to assist high school juniors and seniors and their parents prepare for the college admissions and financial assistance processes, this booklet will attempt to identify and explain assumptions, terms, and procedures associated with applying to college or financial aid; give helpful tips to parents and students; highlight resources which can lend support and assistance; and will also provide a checklist designed to chart those activities critical to the admissions process...  Also available in PDF format (requires Adobe)
How Can I Help My Gifted Child Plan for College? by Sandra Berger, an ERIC Parent's Brochure
Early steps parents and their gifted children can take to prepare for college and to ensure that the college experience is positive
The Impact of an Undergraduate Honors Program on Gifted University Students by Thomas P. Hébert and Matthew T. McBee
At the university, gifted students discovered within the honors program an intellectual and social network with other gifted individuals like them. Through several components of the honors program they developed significant psychosocial growth...
Keeping Their Talents Alive: Young Women's Assessment of Radical, Post-Secondary Acceleration by Kathleen Noble and Raina Smith
One way [to reverse the trend of women being underrepresented in technical and scientific careers] is to create an accelerated educational environment where females do not have to downplay their intellectuality to be accepted by peers... (requires Adobe Reader)
Love and Work: The Legacy of Early University Entrance by Kathleen D. Noble, Robert C. Vaughan, Christina Chan, Sarah Childers, Bryan Chow, Ariel Federow, and Sean Hughes
Early university entrants do not fit the stereotype of the socially isolated, unhappy “nerd.” Yes, they value intelligence highly. Yes, they seek a high degree of intellectual satisfaction and challenge in all aspects of their lives, both personal and professional. Yet overall the participants in this study revealed themselves to be well-rounded, balanced individuals... (requires Adobe Reader)
Middle-School Parents Have Good Intentions but Little “College Knowledge” in the Duke Gifted Letter
Despite good intentions, few parents of middle-school children are taking the actions needed to ensure their children can attend college.  Many families of middle-school students...are not sufficiently aware of postsecondary education options...
More About "Young Entrants to College: How Did They Fare?" by Julian C. Stanley and Ann M. McGill
Do students who enter college two or more years younger than the typical age develop well academically, socially, and emotionally? Do persons who graduate from college three or more years younger than the typical age prosper thereafter?  Generally, results were quite favorable for both groups, perhaps somewhat more for the young graduates...
My College Guide
College search, dear admissions, will I be accepted?, and tons more...
Navigating the Road of College Admissions for High-Achieving Students by Michele M. Paiva
High-achieving students are apt to look at higher learning institutions earlier and more in depth. They are looking at college guides; looking into scholarships and what the college has to offer...
A place to be Celebrated and Understood: The Impact of Early University Entrance From Parents’ Points of View by Kathleen D. Noble, Sarah Childers, and Robert C. Vaughan
One is the issue of parents following their children’s lead when it comes to early university entrance. Parents of EEPers (81%) were significantly more likely to choose early entrance because their children were unhappy socially in middle school, whereas 46% of Academy parents said that this was not an important factor in their decision to enroll their students in the Academy. This suggests that different levels of acceleration may better fit different kinds of students... (requires Adobe Reader)
A Primer on Economics for Financial Aid Professionals by Sandy Baum
Approaches financial aid from a perspective that is too often ignored. Written by an economist who has studied financial aid in depth, it asks aid professionals to think more broadly than they otherwise might about both the logic underlying the allocation of student aid and the potential impact of the aid system on the behavior of students and...
The Role of Nonacademic Factors in College Readiness and Success from ACT
To be sure, nonacademic factors also matter, especially as they relate to academic activities. Nonacademic factors can influence academic performance, but cannot substitute for it. ACT research indicates that students with higher academic motivation, self-discipline, and self-confidence are more likely to earn higher college GPAs. While academic and nonacademic factors both play important roles in college and workforce success, the strongest predictors of college success are...
Should Kids Be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade? by Kathleen Kingsbury, in Time Magazine
High school sophomores should be ready for college by age 16. That's the message from New Hampshire education officials. Students who pass will be prepared to move on to the state's community or technical colleges, skipping the last two years of high school.  Those who want to go to a prestigious university may stay and finish the final two years, taking a second, more difficult set of exams senior year...
Sifting Your Harvard Questions, Looking For Parenting (and Other) Lessons in New York Times blog The Choice
The drive to “get them into college” is, particularly in certain parts of the country, and among certain circles of parents, really the drive to “get them into the ‘best’ college.” When we say “the best college” what most parents mean (or say they mean, or should mean) is the one that is the “best fit”...
A Summary of Research Regarding Early Entrance to College by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
Research results suggest that early entrants continue to achieve at high levels in college. Also, most students make the adjustment to the social scene on campus easily and have friendships with typically aged college students...
They Went to College Early by The Fund for the Advancement of Education (1957)
Reviews the Program for Early Admission to College of the Fund for the Advancement of Education.  Includes details on the colleges, the students, academic performance, social and emotional adjustment, and more...
Thinking About Early Entrance to College by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
More and more colleges are instituting special early entrance programs to attract and nurture exceptionally able younger students...
Thoughts on College Planning for PG-lets by Carolyn K.
College planning for Profoundly Gifted (PG) kids is not always the same as for other kids.  Special consideration should be given to...
Tips for parents: Help with federal aid for early college entrants Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Many early college entrants and their parents run into roadblocks when seeking federal student aid. However, families and students should not give up. Early entrance college students are eligible for federal aid as long as specific requirements are met...
Tips for parents of profoundly gifted children on college admissions by Jon Reider
PG children will typically want and need to access college level material at an age much earlier than the traditional college student.... While a year or even two won't make much difference to a college, students in their early teens often face a challenge of being accepted by college administrators. Because these children are so bright, they can do the work..., but the "gatekeepers" like to imagine that they are experts on adolescent psychology...
Total enrollment in all degree-granting institutions, by sex, age, and attendance status, with high alternative projections: Selected years, fall 1993 to fall 2013 from NCES National Center for Education Statistics
In the Digest of Education Statistics, note the numbers for full- and part-time college enrollment, current and projected, for men and women 14 to 17 years old...
U.S. Census Statistics (requires Excel)
Showing younger kids in college.  Numbers for kids ages 14-17 are increasing in black students, while decreasing among white students, and remaining consistently low among Hispanic students...
Virtual College Tours
Virtual college tours, webcams, campus maps, college videos, movies and pictures
Last updated December 01, 2020

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