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Early Entrance to College (updated September 2001)

The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
E-mail: webmaster@hoagiesgifted.org
Internet: http://eric.hoagiesgifted.org

I am the mother of a highly gifted son. I would like to know which schools or states offer an early college entrance option. Is there any research about student success and early entrance to college?

Early entrance is a way that highly gifted students can accelerate and enroll in postsecondary education before completing high school. There are different types of early entrance:

  1. Dual enrollment is admission to college courses while continuing to be enrolled in high school.
  2. Early admission is a program for gifted high school juniors who have exhausted their high school curriculum. Some of these students have met state graduation requirements by the end of their sophomore or junior year. Early admission programs allow these students to skip their senior year and go on to college.
  3. Early entrance programs offer the opportunity to start college or university work at an early age, some as early as age 12. These students might never attend traditional high schools.

The above programs are different from early decision or early action, which expect applicants to complete high school. Early decision programs give students the chance to apply to a college or university before the regular admissions deadline. By applying to an early decision program, a student is making a commitment to attend that school if accepted, assuming the financial aid package is acceptable. Early action programs allow students to apply and receive their notification early, without committing to attending the school if accepted.

Dual enrollment is more common than early admission or early entrance, and provides students with an opportunity to supplement high school coursework. Some students earn dual concurrent credit— is, credit for both secondary school and post-secondary courses. In some cases, particularly where a student has exhausted the high school curriculum offerings in one subject, a college or university course may be taken instead of the high school academic subject. A few public schools will pay for postsecondary courses when the student has exhausted the high school curriculum in one or more academic subjects, but the majority will not provide funds or transportation. Almost any college will allow a motivated student to enroll in one or two classes while completing high school, especially if the student has proven ability to master college level work.

Early admission applicants have completed 3 full years of high school. Students who have exhausted most of the high school curriculum and who have a reasonably high grade point average should not hesitate to contact any college to request early admission. Be persistent and patient. Early admission can be searched on the Internet by using metasearch engines such as http://searchenginewatch.com.

Early entrance is a viable option for some gifted students. There are currently 11 early college entrance programs at various institutions in the United States. In many of these programs, students simultaneously complete high school course requirements while taking college classes. Three of the 11 programs admit students as much as 3 to 4 years earlier than usual.

Early Entrance Programs in the United States

Bard High School Early College (BHSEC)
424 Leonard Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
866.537.3901 (toll-free)
In September 2001, Bard College and the Board of Education of New York City created a four-year alternative to traditional high school, designed for a diverse, highly motivated student body. Beginning in grades 9 and 10, students undertake studies in an alternative high school curriculum that prepares them to do serious college work at the outset of grade 11. In 2001, the school accepted 400 students at grades 9 and 11.

Early Entry Program (EEP)
California State University
Los Angeles, CA 90032-4226
The Early Entrance Program (EEP) for extraordinarily gifted young students was introduced at California State University, Los Angeles (CSLA) in 1983. EEP supports 80 full-time students, plus approximately 30 students who have matriculated into the normal university student status, between the ages of 12 and 17, all of whom maintain above average grades as they welcome the challenge of college courses.

Resident Honors Program (RHP)
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0153
The Resident Honors Program (RHP) at the University of Southern California is a 1-year early-entrance program for students who have exhausted high school curricula and are capable of college level work. Students earn a high school diploma while concurrently enrolled in USC classes.

Advanced Academy of Georgia
State University of West Georgia, Honors House
Carrollton, GA 30118
The Advanced Academy provides a bridge for an early transition to college for qualified high school juniors and seniors, nationally and internationally, who wish to enroll full time in an enriched residential university program and, in absentia, concurrently complete high school graduation requirements.

Georgia Academy of Math, Engineering, and Science (GAMES)
Middle Georgia College
Cochran, GA 31014
Selected high school juniors or seniors with a special interest in mathematics, engineering, science, and allied health fields take courses at Middle Georgia College. Students who complete the 2-year program are given an associate's degree and a high school diploma, and are classified as college juniors.

National Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (NAASE)
The University of Iowa, Belin-Blank Center
Iowa City, IA 52242
Selected students who have completed course work equivalent to the junior year in high school may accelerate their academic careers and move into the stimulation of university research and course work. Academy students are accepted automatically as freshmen into The University of Iowa Honors Program and live together on the Honors Residence Hall floors.

Simon's Rock College of Bard
Great Barrington, MA 01230-9702
Simon's Rock is the nation's only accredited 4-year college of the liberal arts and sciences specifically designed for younger scholars. It is a residential school. When students graduate from Simon's Rock they have either an Associate in Arts degree after 2 years, or a Bachelor of Arts degree after 4 years. Most applicants are 14 to 16 years old, and have completed 9th grade. The Acceleration to Excellence program at Simon's Rock College provides a two-year merit scholarship for gifted students in the 10th grade. Simon's Rock is not strictly a school for the gifted and may be suitable for other highly motivated students.

Clarkson School's Bridging Year
Clarkson University
Potsdam, NY 13699-5650
The Clarkson School Bridging Year is an early entrance program designed primarily as a 1-year residential program for 12th grade students. Qualified high school juniors spend their senior year enrolled in college courses. The program is somewhat different from typical early entrance programs in that the Clarkson School community provides a strong, supportive environment for students, who live in their own residence hall, and who enjoy an array of field trips and social activities.

Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS)
Denton, TX 76203-5309
The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) is a residential program for high school-aged Texas students who are gifted in math and science and have completed 10th grade. While living on campus, students in this 2-year program complete a rigorous academic curriculum of college coursework at the University of North Texas (UNT). Upon completion, students receive a special high school diploma and are classified as college juniors.

Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities (TAHL)
Lamar University
Beaumont, TX
The Texas Academy for Leadership in the Humanities (TALH) is a 2-year residential honors program that allows juniors and seniors in high school to complete their last two years of high school credits and their first 2 years of college requirements concurrently, while taking only college courses. This means that a student completes the program with a high school diploma and 60 or more college hours. With advanced-placement tests and course opportunities, it is possible for Academy students to graduate from high school with even more college hours.

The Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG)
Mary Baldwin College (women only)
Staunton, VA 24401
The Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) offers young, academically talented women the opportunity to begin their college education 1 to 4 years early within a community of their peers. Qualified students may enter the program at any point after completing the 8th grade, although one year of the high school experience is frequently recommended.

University of Washington Transition/Early Entrance Program
University of Washington Early Entrance Program
Halbert Robinson Center for the Study of Capable Youth
Seattle, WA 98195
The Transition School, for students no more than l4 years old, and Early Entrance Program, for full-time university students who are "graduates" of the Transition School, provide an opportunity for younger students to work at a level of challenge. The Transition School enables students to move from their former school setting to the University of Washington with the skills and maturity needed for a university education. As students are ready, they take one or more progressively challenging university courses along with their Transition School work until they are ready for the challenge of full time university enrollment. The website includes nine scholarly articles about early entrance in PDF format.

In addition to the above, 21 states offer "dual-enrollment" options to high-schoolers, according to the Education Commission of the States in Denver. In some states that have "comprehensive" dual-enrollment programs, states pay tuition for college courses taken by high-schoolers, and the credits go both toward college and high school graduation. For more information, contact your state office for higher education.

Internet Resources from the U. S. Department of Education

How Can I Help My Gifted Child Plan for College? An ERIC Parent Brochure
Early steps parents and their gifted children can take to prepare for college and to ensure that the college experience is positive

Children, Youth and Families Education and Research Network (CYFERNET)

Early College Awareness Directory

Examples of Mentoring and Early College Awareness Programs: The Early Scholars Outreach Program, University of Washington

Student Financial Assistance

Think College Early

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used

early admission OR acceleration

EJ581787 EC621119
Different Strokes: Perceptions of Social and Emotional Development among Early College Entrants.
Noble, Kathleen D.; Arndt, Tara; Nicholson, Tristan; Sletten, Thor; Zamora, Arturo
Publication date: 1999
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education; v10 n2 p77-84 Win 1998-1999
Publication type: 080; 141; 143
Language: English
ERIC issue: CIJOCT1999
Describes an early-entrance program which enables gifted adolescents to enter college without attending high school. A study involving 31 participants indicated varying degrees of comfort in diverse social situations; however, all believed themselves to be more mature than had they gone to high school.
Descriptors: Academically Gifted; *Acceleration (Education); Adolescents; College Students; *Early Admission; *Gifted; Higher Education; *Maturity (Individuals); Peer Relationship; *Social Development; *Socialization

EJ565198 EC619095
The Talent Searches: A Catalyst for Change in Higher Education.
Brody, Linda E.
Publication date: 1998
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education; v9 n3 p124-33 Spr 1998
Publication type: 080; 120
Report No.: ISSN-1077-4610
Language: English
Examines the effect of talent searches that use the Johns Hopkins model for highly gifted secondary students on the policies and practices of colleges and universities. Discusses implications for enhancing students' readiness for college and colleges' responses in the areas of admissions and financial aid, credits and placement, accelerated programs, honors programs, and early-entrance programs.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; *Academically Gifted; Acceleration (Education); College School Cooperation; Early Admission; *Educational Policy; Higher Education; Secondary Education; Talent; Talent Identification; *Teaching Models
Identifiers: *Talent Search

EJ519826 EC613171
A Summary of Research Regarding Early Entrance to College.
Olszewski-Kubilius, Paula
Publication date: 1995
Roeper Review; v18 n2 p121-26 Dec 1995
Publication type: 080; 143
Report No.: ISSN-0278-3193
Language: English
Review of the research about outcomes for students who enter college early suggests that early entrants continue to achieve at high levels in college and adjust well socially. Early entrants tend to continue on to graduate school.
Descriptors: Academic Achievement; *Academically Gifted; *Acceleration (Education); College Students; *Early Admission; Higher Education; *Outcomes of Education; *Student Adjustment; Student Placement

EJ513586 EC612834
Keeping Their Talents Alive: Young Women's Assessment of Radical, Post-Secondary Acceleration.
Noble, Kathleen D.; Smyth, Raina K.
Publication date: 1995
Roeper Review; v18 n1 p49-55 Sep 1995
Publication type: 080; 143
Report No.: ISSN-0278-3193
Language: English
A survey of 27 young women who entered the University of Washington's Early Entrance Program (EEP) between 1988 and 1992 found that, although gender was not a factor in most respondents' decisions to enroll in the EEP, the young women derived a number of unique benefits from radical acceleration, including acceptance and encouragement at a critical age.
Descriptors: *Acceleration (Education); *College Admission; College Students; *Early Admission; *Females; *Gifted; Higher Education
Identifiers: University of Washington

EJ575353 EC620188
Early Entrance to College: Students' Stories.
Olszewski-Kubilius, Paula
Publication date: 1998
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education; v10 n1 p226-47 Fall 1998
Publication type: 080; 120
ISSN: ISSN-1077-4610
Language: English
ERIC issue: CIJJUL1999
Presents essays that describe the fears, anxieties, hopes, problems, and triumphs of 11 students who chose to go to college early. Difficulties faced included initial academic failures due to immaturity and a lack of well-developed study skills; however, overall achievement was high and the experience was perceived as positive.
Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; *Acceleration (Education); College Admission; Coping; *Early Admission; *Gifted; Higher Education; Personal Narratives; Student Attitudes

EJ462533 EC605824
All Rivers Lead to the Sea: A Follow-Up Study of Gifted Young Adults.
Noble, Kathleen D.; And Others
Publication date: 1993
Roeper Review; v15 n3 p124-30 Feb-Mar 1993
Publication type: 080; 143
Report No.: ISSN-0278-3193
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
This follow-up study of gifted students who had either entered the University of Washington before age 15 (n=61), qualified for early entrance but chose the normal high school path (n=36), or were nonaccelerated National Merit Scholarship finalists (n=27) found that early entrants entered graduate school in greater numbers than did the other groups.
Descriptors: *Acceleration (Education); Beliefs; *College Admission; *Early Admission; Followup Studies; *Gifted; Graduate Study; Graduate Surveys; High Achievement; Higher Education; Outcomes of Education; Participant Satisfaction; Secondary Education; Student Attitudes; *Student Development
Identifiers: National Merit Scholarship Program; University of Washington

EJ450027 EC603747
But What about the Prom? Students' Perceptions of Early College Entrance.
Noble, Kathleen D.; Drummond, Julie E.
Publication date: 1992
Gifted Child Quarterly; v36 n2 p106-11 Spr 1992
Publication type: 080; 143
Report No.: ISSN-0016-9862
Language: English
This study interviewed students (n=24) participating in the University of Washington's Early Entrance Program. Students were unanimous in their satisfaction with their choice to forego major high school social events and found attitudes toward them sometimes annoying.
Descriptors: *Academically Gifted; Age Grade Placement; *College Admission; College Students; *Early Admission; Higher Education; Social Integration
Identifiers: College Early Admission Programs; *University of Washington

EJ450024 EC603744
The Impact of Early Entrance to College on Self-Esteem: A Preliminary Study.
Lupkowski, Ann E.; And Others
Publication date: 1992
Gifted Child Quarterly; v36 n2 p87-90 Spr 1992
Publication type: 080; 143
Report No.: ISSN-0016-9862
Language: English
This study compared differences in self-esteem scores at college entrance and one semester later of 109 early entrants to the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at the University of North Texas. Findings indicated slight negative changes in self-esteem after one semester, possibly because of normal college adjustment and changes in social comparisons.
Descriptors: *Academically Gifted; Acceleration (Education); *College Admission; College Freshmen; *Early Admission; Followup Studies; High Schools; Higher Education; *Self Esteem; Student Adjustment
Identifiers: *Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science; *University of North Texas

ED345395 EC301154
Early College Entrance for Gifted High-School Students: Experiences and Guidelines.
Sayler, Micheal F.
Publication date: 1992
Publication type: 150
Pages: 6; 1
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Level: 1
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Texas
NOTE: 6p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children (Baltimore, MD, April
14, 1992).
This paper on early college entrance for gifted high-school students considers the advantages of early college entrance, the willingness of colleges and universities to accept early entrants, special programs developed to assist early entrants, and potential difficulties with early entrance. Guidelines are presented for maximizing the chances of success for students considering early entrance to college. These guidelines include such suggestions as having the student attend a college-sponsored academic summer program, avoid excessive publicity about the early entrance decision, develop good personal organizational skills, and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of commuting versus living on campus. The paper concludes that early entrance to college has been a successful experience for many students for many years. (12 references)
Descriptors: *College Admission; College Bound Students; College Students; Colleges; *Decision Making; *Early Admission; *Gifted; High Schools; Higher Education; Universities

EJ445884 EC603247
Early Entrance to College: Weighing the Options.
Sayler, Micheal F.; Lupkowski, Ann E.
Publication date: 1992
Gifted Child Today (GCT); v15 n2 p24-29 Mar-Apr 1992
Publication type: 080; 141; 055
Report No.: ISSN-0892-9580
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
The option of early entrance to college for gifted students is reviewed. Considered are advantages of early entrance, early entrance programs available at a variety of colleges and universities, social and emotional concerns, and potential difficulties of early entrance. Specific recommendations are offered to maximize the chances of success.
Descriptors: *Academically Gifted; *Acceleration (Education); Age Grade Placement; College Programs; Colleges; *Early Admission; High Schools; Higher Education; Student Development; Student Placement

EJ445883 EC603246
Acceleration: Valuable High School to College Options.
Robinson, Nancy M.; Noble, Kathleen D.
Publication date: 1992
Gifted Child Today (GCT); v15 n2 p20-23 Mar-Apr 1992
Publication type: 080; 141
Report No.: ISSN-0892-9580
Audience: Practitioners; Administrators
Language: English
A variety of accelerative options for gifted high school students is described, including part-time college programs and full-time early entrance programs. The University of Washington's Transition School and Early Entrance Program is presented as an option for teenagers to enter university without attending high school at all.
Descriptors: *Academically Gifted; *Acceleration (Education); Age Grade Placement; College School Cooperation; Decision Making; *Early Admission; High Schools; Higher Education; *Student Placement; Transitional Programs

EJ421459 EC232897
Five Years of Early Entrants: Predicting Successful Achievement in College.
Brody, Linda E.; And Others
Publication date: 1990
Gifted Child Quarterly; v34 n4 p138-42 Fall 1990
Publication type: 080; 143
Report No.: ISSN-0016-9862
Language: English
This study evaluated the achievements of 65 young entrants as beginning undergraduates in a highly selective university. Compared to nonaccelerants, subjects tended to graduate in a shorter period of time and earn more honors. Starting college with a large number of Advanced Placement Program credits was the best predictor of outstanding academic achievement.
Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; *Academically Gifted; *Acceleration (Education); Advanced Placement Programs; College Students; *Early Admission; Higher Education; *Predictive Measurement; Private Colleges; Selective Colleges; Success; *Undergraduate Students; Undergraduate Study

Brody, L. E., & Stanley, J. C. (1991).
Young college students: Assessing factors that contribute to success.
In W. T. Southern and E. D. Jones (Eds.), The academic acceleration of gifted children. New York: Teachers College Press.
The chapter summarizes the research on early entrants to college and identifies factors likely to contribute to successful academic and social adjustment for each student. Topics discussed include a comparison of two radical accelerants, profiles of other selected accelerants, issues in radical acceleration, selecting a college as an early entrant (organized programs versus individual acceleration), alternatives to entering college at a young age, apparent positive and negative effects of acceleration, and recommendations for making early entrance to college more effective.

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