Originally Posted by phathui5
At this point, my ds (who's only eight) is planning to start community college at 15 so that he can have a two year degree by the time he's 17 and be done with four year college by 19. He's given me a pretty well thought out explanation of how it will be a lot cheaper to pay for college because high schoolers get a discount at community college and if he does the parallel enrollment program, he can take classes for half-price.
Something else to think about, though, is that a lot of the financial aid offered by colleges is specifically for freshmen, so someone transferring in as a junior would not be eligible for as much. This is Rain's second year taking college classes, and she's more concerned about not taking too many units, because she then will have to enter as a transfer student, rather than as a freshman. I think the limit is 30, or 36 maybe? So she wants to stay under that, but she also wants to take a whole bunch of classes because so many of them look interesting to her.
We have to pay full price at the CCs here, which is sort of a bummer, but it's a lot cheaper than the state university tuition we paid last year. She could also take classes at the fancy private school where I'm a grad student, at (gulp) $500 per credit hour. Not in the budget... I know, though, that when we lived in California high school students got to take CC classes for free!
Another issue is that duel enrolled students (i.e., kids taking college classes as high school students) are generally not eligible for traditional forms of student aid, like Pell grants. If I "graduated" Rain she'd be eligible for all that... but then again, she wouldn't be eligible for the freshman scholarships offered by the bigger name places she eventually wants to go to.
So it *is* complicated, or it has been for us, but the getting in part is really the least of my worries...