Graduating early from high school

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by americas_future_leader, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. americas_future_leader

    americas_future_leader New Member

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    I am a Sophomore in High School and I am highly interested in the service academies, particularly West Point. I am currently enrolled in all Honors and some AP classes, I have straight A's, a 4.65 GPA, lots of leadership experience(through Civil Air Patrol), and I play sports(Football, Golf). The problem I am having, however, is that I am really not enjoying the high school experience. In fact, I can't wait to get out(but I'm only a Sophomore). I am considering graduating next year, however my main goal is to get into a service academy. Would graduating Junior year lower my chances of acceptance?
     
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  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    The SAs have a strict age policy that is currently not waiverable (at one time it was, but it was the upper age for enlisted applicants who had deployments during specific timeframes). You must be 17 and no older than 23 on R Day/I Day for a SA, including USMA. The USMA admissions page covers this specifically; a quick Google search will take you there. So you want to ensure you will be old enough to apply. I will leave it to a USMA person on this site to address the advantages and disadvantages of graduating early. Some suggestions in the meantime, look at dual enrollment and really exploring why you are not enjoying it. A SA and the greater military is a true cross section of America. As a leader you have to be able to work with everyone.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  3. americas_future_leader

    americas_future_leader New Member

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    Thank you. The age requirement should not be an issue as I turn 16 in December, so I would be 17 before I graduate.
     
  4. Artillery

    Artillery Member

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    At face value, it technically would not lower your chances of admission. You obviously have to meet the age requirement and such, but you said that wouldn't be a problem. The only thing that would harm you would be the fact that you'd simply have one less year to get everything done. Junior year is the biggie for beefing up your resume, getting your DODMERB done, applying for nominations, and applying for colleges. If youre interested in the service academies, this normally would start by the winter of your junior year (at the earliest) and then into the fall of your senior year (where I am now ;) ). But you'd have one less year. Leadership positions are usually give to seniors and juniors, so you'd miss out on the extra there, which would lose you some points. Team captain of your sports and varsity lettering is also an issue. You'd also not be able to apply to SLE because it would happen in the summer after you finish junior year.

    Long story short, West Point has a strict image for what you're supposed to be doing as far as your timetable. While it wouldn't technically hurt your chances, graduating early throws a monkey wrench into West Point's timetable, making it a lot harder to get things done the way they envision it. Kudos for the ability to graduate early, that's obviously an achievement. But as far as West Point goes, I'd still recommend applying in what would be your senior year just because it gives you time, which is crucial to the West Point app, and also gives you the opportunity to build yourself up even more. Every point counts. If you graduate early, and you'd be able to go to community college for two years, that might be a big plus. You'd be applying a year later to West Point (but a lot of people do this), but you'd have experience that most high schoolers wouldn't, which would set your app different from the huge pool. You'd also have the opportunity to do ROTC for a bit and then apply for a ROTC nomination which would make getting in a lot easier because you won't have to compete with the high schoolers in your district.

    It's all up to you, of course, but you gotta put things in perspective as far as getting yourself ready for admission.
     
  5. billyb

    billyb 5-Year Member

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    I was really young when I went to USMA (would have been 1 month younger than your situation) and to tell you the truth it was a disadvantage. Many of my classmates were much older and more mature than me. I was mature for my age, but a 17 year old isn't even on the same level of maturity as a 21 year old prior service cadet. I couldn't even go to the firstie club and have a beer until second semester senior year. I turned out just fine, but was definitely at a social and maturity disadvantage. My recommendation is to civilian college for a year first if you really want to leave high school early.
     
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  6. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    ^^ I agree and during your MOC interview saying " ...I am really not enjoying the high school experience..." so that is why I left early will come off negative no matter how you attempt to explain it.

    Since you have only completed 1 year of h.s., it is too early to conclude graduating early is the solution and there is no guarantee your GPA/rank will remain that high as you take more challenging courses. If you find h.s. too easy, they get involved in more sports/ECA's so you can use your free time effectively, add to your accomplishments and contribute positively to your school. USMA also recommends the classes you should take in h.s. (i.e. 4 yrs of English, various math courses....etc.), so you need to assess if you can complete those requirements in less than 4 years.