Graduating college early -- bad idea?

AlphaAsFAQ's picture
Rank: Baboon | 117

In my 11th grade year of high school I began a program that put me on track to earn an associates degree(2 yrs of uni, ~60 credits) by the time of graduation. I am nearing the end of the program now and it is almost time to graduate from high school. Now that I am aware of the intricacies of breaking into Wall St., the program now seems like more of a hindrance, as opposed to a head start on life.

Entering college with an associates degree will restrict me to only one oppertunity to obtain any internship (first summer break).
To add, I don't think that I'll be able to get into any targets (applied to nyu, duke, vandy, uva, rich, boston col, unc, st louis, wesleyan -- these are all reaches for me). And because of this, I need a very high university GPA. So assuming they transfer the grades along with the credits, I will be starting out with a 3.5 GPA. With 60 credits, it would be difficult for me to raise that GPA by much at all over a one year span. Granted, I will have a pretty good GPA excuse I suppose.

I can evade getting the associates degree by simply not taking the one extra summer class I need; but I have already accumulated upwards of 50 credits. Maybe I can neglect to report the courses for credit transfer?

It sucks that all the hard work I put into being a full time college and HS student simultaneously may go to waste, but I'm willing to do what it takes.

Region: 
United States - Northeast
United States - South

Comments (9)

Mar 3, 2015

People from my HS did this. I wouldn't graduate early if I was you. You can stay for 4 years and get more than one degree, or you can spend 1 to 2 years at one of the schools you mentioned and try transferring to a better school. Since you already have the AA, you'll only have to spend 2 years at wherever you transfer. This might make the classes you take at your first school worthless, but if taking those courses gets you into a better school it'd be worth it.

Another option would be 2 years undegrad + MSF from a good program. Though once again, I wouldn't recommend graduating early.

Mar 3, 2015

So in other words, if I go for a double major (lets say finance+accounting), it would extend the 2 required years to 4?

"you mentioned and try transferring to a better school. Since you already have the AA, you'll only have to spend 2 years at wherever you transfer. This might make the classes you take at your first school worthless, but if taking those courses gets you into a better school it'd be worth it."

Understand that I would be graduating HS with an AA, therefore spending 2 years at any college would give me a bachelors degree, no? And if that's the case, then I can't transfer anywhere because I would be considered a grad. I don't think what you said made much sense at all.

"Another option would be 2 years undegrad + MSF from a good program. Though once again, I wouldn't recommend graduating early."
there's no way I could get into an M7 straight out of undergrad...

And then this still doesn't address the fact that my 3.5 GPA carrying over wouldn't be a good thing. I can drop out of the program before I graduate and simply never report the credits, this seems like the way to go.

Mar 3, 2015

I don't know about every school, but where I go to school you have to apply for graduation when you're ready to graduate. So even if you took all the necessary classes for your degree, you don't have to graduate until you apply and can keep taking classes that don't necessarily go towards your degree. This is what I meant about transferring or staying longer.

UTD also made a good point in that you can spread out your two years so it takes longer and intern while you're doing that.

Also, your GPA only kind of carries over. You'll have an overall GPA with transfer credits (which includes your AA credits) and then you'll also have a University X GPA which is ultimately what the school you go to cares about for things like latin honors and anything internally, so you have the ability to reset your GPA even if you do not do well in these classes during high school.

Mar 3, 2015

Don't leave college early. It doesn't particularly help any job market and hurts you in finance. Plus, college is awesome.

Mar 3, 2015

I didn't know that I could choose not to leave early. That's good but what about the GPA discrepancy?

Mar 3, 2015

Double major, change majors, study abroad for a semester or two. There's a done of different options. I graduated in 2 years and significantly regret it.

Mar 3, 2015

I took college classes in high school, which would have allowed me the ability to graduate a year early. Because of this, after completing two years of college, I entered the internship hunt as a "junior". Ultimately, I got a regional boutique IB internship (didn't really get interviews at the top places, but was able to network with people there) and it laid the groundwork, networking wise, for the start of my third year of college. All of the individuals I spoke to the second year, I let them know I was going the "normal" route and I ended up getting a solid internship. Graduated a semester early and traveled for an extensive time.

The credits you have taken weren't a waste of time, it will provide you optionality. Transfer in some, all, or none, but think through unique ways in which it will position you.

On formally getting the associates degree, I wouldn't. Because you wouldn't really want that on your record. When looking at a resume, seeing an associates degree at a community college and a Harvard bachelors vs just a Harvard bachelors people are psychologically predisposed to average out those experiences, opposed to logically thinking thru if both are Harvard then the one with a associates degree is superior.

Mar 3, 2015

Your GPA doesn't carry.

The only GPA banks care about is the most recent university GPA (i.e. the one that will show up on a transcript 'if' they ever were to ask for it).

Get into school and aim at going at least 3 years if not 4.
Double majoring sounds useful/but honestly I'd suggest against it unless you really want to.
Honestly I'd say get a BS in something like CompSci but extend it over 3-4 years and work co-op/part time at reputable places while getting your degree.

Then you'll make some money, get some experience, have a back up plan, network and still be able to make it to WallStreet.

Would you really want a 20 year old working deals for you at a top BB? You couldn't even go out for drinks.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Mar 3, 2015
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