At only 13 years old, Anastasia Megan has nearly completed her high school education.
A result of advanced home schooling by her two parents, who are both retired engineers, her academic achievement has raised her parents’ confidence in her potential, but has also created controversy over age requirements for college admission.
Lake-Sumter Community College (LSCC) in Leesburg was recently faced with the difficult task of having to reject Anastasia’s application.
Despite her parents’ wishful thinking and overzealous attempts to fast-forward their daughter’s life, a college campus is not an appropriate place for a child.
“Anyone basically can walk onto our campus,” LSCC President Charles Mojock said to the Orlando Sentinel. “So we’ve got a very different environment (than a high school) … And we have many adult students having adult conversations on adult topics, and that may or may not be suitable for some young students.”
Stated correctly by Mojock, a college campus is quite different from other places of learning like high school or one’s home, as in Anastasia’s case.
Not considering the college environment outside the classroom, which a younger student could possibly avoid, discussions that take place in a college classroom are often serious in nature, with graphic content and language in some instances.
A child could possibly be exposed to graphic adult content, but most problematic is that the other students in the class may not feel comfortable discussing certain topics and may censor themselves with a child in the room.
Anastasia’s parents filed an age-discrimination complaint against the school with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
“If she meets all the qualifications but for her age, then why not let her in?” Louise Racine, Anastasia’s mother, said to the Sentinel. “What’s the worst that can happen, honestly? If a child does pass these tests, don’t you think they should be allowed to continue their education to the next level and continue to let their minds grow?”
There is a reason why college application requirements are not based solely on memorization and the testing required to complete high school coursework, but on other important achievements as well.
The ability to interact socially with peers and authority figures, make friends, play sports, participate in clubs and other important accomplishments are developed while attending school in a traditional manner and should not be disregarded, but appreciated and required if a college is to be composed of well-rounded potential graduates.
While an exact age for one to enter college may be debatable, beginning early in adolescence is not appropriate.
Colleges shouldn’t be willing to compromise traditional students’ learning environments because some parents hold a distorted view of what constitutes an education.