How To Get Into College Early

High school is a big experience in life, and I would highly recommend it for everyone. However, it can be slow if you’re gifted, especially at the beginning. If you feel that high school is too slow for you, you might want to investigate how to get into college early. Here are a few ways you can jump the gun and start working on a Bachelor’s degree.


The GED (General Educational Development) test is different from the other options in the sense that it doesn’t guarantee entrance into college. Passing this test serves as the equivalent for graduating high school, but does not serve as a high school diploma. This test is aimed more at adults who want to enter college rather than teenagers who want to skip high school.

The GED has been relaunched as of early 2014 to focus on both national high school standards and national career readiness standards. The test (which is done entirely on a computer) has four sections: reading and writing, mathematical reasoning, science, and social studies. The grading system is similar to the SAT, with every section scored from 200 to 800. Once you pass, you can apply to a four year college if they accept a GED score. This is how to get into college early.

As a brief aside, California offers a version aimed at high school students called the CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam), which is similar in format to the CAHSEE. In order to take the CHSPE, you need to be at least in your second semester of your sophomore year and at least 15. Also, once you pass this test, you need to get permission from your parents before you can actually stop attending high school, and after that you need to attend community college before transferring to a four year institution.

AP Tests

Advanced Placement tests are another route to explore when considering how to get into college early, but they are kind of a cop-out because you’re not exactly entering college early. Instead, you are getting college credits early. If you pass these tests, which are administered in May, you will get out of a few freshman college courses. For instance, passing the AP Psychology test will get you out taking an introductory psychology course, but you will get the credit for taking it. It’s a nice way to clean up some of your general education requirements.

These tests are usually taken alongside an AP class offered by your high school. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend taking an AP test without taking the class unless you’re a genius. However, if you are an extremely hard worker, you can get a lot out of AP tests. My friend’s older brother allegedly took so many AP tests that he was a few credits shy of being a junior when he started university.

Dual/Concurrent Enrollment

This is the practice of being enrolled in both high school and college at the same time. You can just take a night class or two at the local community college; those credits will count at a four year university, assuming they’re transferable. Some public universities are also willing to work with nearby high schools as well. This is really broad, so if you’re really interested in learning how to get into college early, you’re better off asking your local high school about this if you’re interested.

One form of dual enrollment is “concurrent enrollment,” which is when a student can take a college course for college credit on their high school campus from a high school teacher. This is different from an AP test because you get a grade based on multiple exams. However, this isn’t available everywhere, as there are only 89 concurrent enrollment programs accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. To learn more, visit

Early Entrance Programs

This is the most selective plan on the list. This program involves being accepted into a program that ushers you straight into your undergraduate studies without graduating high school. These programs are varied: some provide a bit of transition for students before they begin undergraduate work, some put students right into their undergraduate studies, and Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts is a four-year school aimed at high school aged students.

Most of these programs are aimed at people who want to start college halfway through high school. However, the University of Washington, CSULA and Mary Baldwin College (which is a girl’s school) offer programs aimed at people even younger than high school students.

One disadvantage of learning how to get into college early is that you will miss out on some high school social experiences, such as homecoming or the prom. However, a 1992 study by Kathleen Noble and Julie Drummond of the University of Washington asked 24 students in that school’s Early Entrance Program about their thoughts on skipping high school. 11 of the students didn’t regret missing high school at all, while various other students missed some extracurricular activities and social experiences. However, all of the students were satisfied with their decision to skip high school.

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John Kesler

John Kesler

John Kesler is a senior studying communication at the University of California, Davis. If he is on campus, he can be found in the basement offices of the newspaper or the radio station. At home, he enjoys listening to whatever music he can, reading whatever books he can, and taking walks wherever he can.
John Kesler

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