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Thomas Edison State University & The Age Waiver

Lately there has been some complaints that Thomas Edison State University has changed their policy on their leniency on accepting age waivers to enroll in their school, esp. for the younger homeschoolers. Personally, we did not have a problem, and I believe they are taking each request on a case by case basis as of right now. However, let's look at this and think this through....

Below is what the school advertises on their web site pertaining to their admission waiver:

"Admission Waiver: Applicants (degree seeking and nonmatriculated) who are 18-20 years and who do not meet the military criteria for admission may apply for special consideration by:

If you possess a high school degree or GED equivalent, and have earned a minimum of 24 credits from a regionally accredited college/university with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

Complete the Age Waiver Petition Request Form

Applicants who have earned less than 24 credits or have earned their credits from an approved University course provider who is not regionally accredited must take the Accuplacer, Next Generation examination within 30 days of applying and achieve scores of: Reading Comprehension: 236 or higher Sentence Skills: 241 or higher Arithmetic: 216 or higher

Students are limited to taking the University assessment examination to two times within a 12 month period.

To request that Accuplacer information be sent to you, please complete the Age Waiver Petition Request Form.

It is strongly encouraged that applicants between the ages of 18-20 make filling out the Age Waiver Petition Request Form their first step in the application process.

Students admitted through special consideration are subject to the same academic policies and requirements as those admitted unconditionally."

Homeschoolers and those younger than 18 are considered in a "special consideration" group and over the years have not had any problem receiving the age waiver if younger than 18 AND have fulfilled the requirements made by the school.

However, recently, I have heard of a few instances where Thomas Edison has refused to grant the waiver to a student who is under the age of 18. OK, that's their prerogative. So, if your student cannot enroll until the tender (or old) age of 18, they could still be spending that time earning their college credits (and letting those bank), getting a part time job or finding an apprenticeship/internship, researching the field of their choice, and saving up their money. If they complete all of their credits before they turn 18 (except for those required through the college), they could be getting their foot in the door of the company they want to work for (maybe see if the company has internships) or perhaps start at the bottom and work their way up. When your child officially gets their degree they could perhaps interview for a different position, and this way the employees in the company have already seen your child's work ethic, persistence, people skills, etc...which may give him a leg up on other applicants. Or maybe this would be a great time to travel, explore, start their own business, write a book, or whatever! And, finally, when they turn 18, they can enroll in Thomas Edison- at the age when most of their peers are just starting college! I don't know what can be so upsetting about this. Your student is still way ahead of everyone- but then again, I guess in this performance- based society you can't brag about your child getting their college degree at age 12 then! LOL!

Or, let's look at the "worst case scenario". What if, heaven forbid, you can't enroll your students until 21??!! NO-GASP! They can do all the same things I mentioned in the above paragraph, continue to save and invest their money, get world experience, and perhaps start their career. THEN enroll at age 21, finish up their degree in a few months (or less) and still graduate college before most of their friends. IN ADDITION TO THIS they will have no debt (unlike most of their friends), will have probably gotten their foot in the door of some company by now, have had a few years to invest their money (so they can retire as millionaires if they are smart with their finances- and be able to take care of you in their old age!), and have done it all on their own time!

All of the above scenarios cost about the same, it's just that the timeline is a little different, but the results are the same- you are still getting your degree at a fraction of the cost, in a fraction of the time (it's just spread out differently), and graduating with NO DEBT! Isn't that the whole goal anyways- to get your degree in the most efficient way possible (for you) and without any student loan debt? But, realize that Thomas Edison isn't the only school that you can do this with. There are others out there that may work with you and let you enroll your student early. As with everything- NEGOTIATE! Schools are businesses just like any other and they want yours! So use those negotiating skills and keep your options open. But whether you can enroll at age 15, 18, 21 or want to get your degree later on in life- the end goal is the same- you still end up with your college degree-and for around $6,000. Sounds like a win-win to me!

If you want to know more on how you can earn your college degree in a fraction of the time and for under $6,000- no matter your age, check out my web site College Out of the Box!