1. Should I do RS?
BC has orientation sessions that fully explain the program, including positives and potential negatives, everyone should plan to attend (see BC website for details). There are two categories of consideration for best placement decisions:
A. Academic Skills:
Academic traits that bring success at BC include highly organized self management, proactive problem solving and self advocating skills and solid study skills, excellent test taking and preparation ability as well as an advanced ability to communicate well in a written/essay format (particularly under time constraints) and ease of interaction with adults.
This is a high stakes test and essay performance driven grading system where only a handful of performances (3 in many cases) constitute your entire grade. Classroom participation may or may not count and homework is not part of the overall grade, but must be done in order to be ready for assessments. Personal motivation for academic success and ability to get help when needed on your own are important.
B. Personal Readiness:
A high level of personal maturity and academic goal-oriented motivation will bring success. Beyond determination of whether you meet the successful student traits it is purely a personal decision about how you want to complete your high school experience as well as how you want your future college experience to be impacted by getting started early. An important motivating factor for many is feeling above and beyond the "high school social scene" and a desire to find something more mature.
Immaturity can really hurt your performance if you are apt to get carried away with the freedoms inherent in college level environments, such as the facts that in most cases nobody is taking attendance or collecting anything like homework. This means the immature student will take advantage of this "freedom" and not attend class much or do the work necessary to be successful in classes. This can result in very little credit being earned, permanent harm to both your high school and college transcripts and dismissal from the program. Dismissal from RS usually does not coincide with a point in the high school calendar when starting classes back at high school would result in earning credit for the current semester or for the school year. Socializing with older students might also provide a young high school student with certain issues beyond what might be seen in high school settings. For most, none of these immaturity issues are a problem if they are academic-goal-oriented students.
Do you want a standard high school experience by being a full time high school student or do you want to do something entirely different in an adult setting (average age at BC being nearly 30 years old)? The average BC student has a job and a busy day outside of school, they are not seeking social interaction with teens. You will be treated like a college student, nobody knows you are in high school nor really cares because you won't get any breaks for being young.
Successful students have a solid plan about what they want to accomplish in RS and commit to full time enrollment. They take the opportunity and run with it all the way to two full years of college credit covered.
Students who just want to experiment usually find it unsatisfactory and unnecessarily complicated to juggle between the two schools. Students who will miss high school social experiences will regret doing RS and missing out at the high school, even when only part time enrolled.
You also need to be sure you are ready to do your best in college level courses, you own the outcome and your parents will not be able to communicate with your instructors for you. And Parents have to accept that their RS students are trustworthy and monitoring efforts are not necessary. You will start a permanent college-level transcript which will impact your future goals and higher-level college prospects. Portability of college credits depends on the future 4-year college you wish to attend, only in-state public colleges are required to take all of your BC transfer credits and all other colleges often have limits. Very selective 4-year colleges generally prefer that a student stays in high school and takes AP classes and takes the AP exams for potential college credit if admitted.
You must have your own reliable transportation or your ability to attend will be compromised. If necessary, some find that they like public transportation and some don't. Depending on peers for a ride can often leave you without a reliable way to get to class or get home. Class schedules change every three months for everyone and what works one quarter might not work the rest of the year.
Resist the temptation to run out and get a job with all your "free time" once you are in class for fewer hours, take a quarter or two to determine the work load and study commitment necessary for success before adding in things like jobs or additional hours on the job.