Current junior Saee Bhide accepted to USC

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Megan Jones

Updated at 2:43 p.m. on May 2:
Junior Saee Bhide has decided to attend USC. Details about her decision will be posted  as soon as they are available.
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Like many seniors, Saee Bhide is debating on whether or not to attend a certain college. Except Bhide is not in 12th grade. She is in 11th.

Bhide has a unique opportunity to attend the University of Southern California as a high school senior, instead of a college freshman. This elite program, known as the Resident Honors Program (RHP) offers high school juniors the unique opportunity to apply to USC a year early. RHP only accepts 20 to 30 juniors worldwide, all who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, high grade point averages and are socially and emotionally capable of attending college one year earlier than average students.

After applying to the Resident Honors Program in December, junior Saee Bhide received the chance to attend USC next year as a high school senior. Screenshot from USC Resident Honors Program.

In the fall of this school year, Bhide received a letter in the mail encouraging current high school juniors to apply to the Resident Honors Program. After discussing the idea with her parents, Bhide ultimately decided to apply, but doubted she would be accepted due to the low acceptance rate and high number of applicants.

In December, Bhide filled out her three part application, which included an RHP Application, a Common Application and a USC Supplement. During the first week of April, four months after she had originally applied, Bhide discovered that she was one of the select few invited to participate in RHP.

Now Bhide has a decision to make: attend college in the fall or complete and graduate from high school with her fellow juniors.

After both visiting the campus, and being accepted into both the Thematic Option Program and Freshman Science Honors Program, Bhide finds herself excited about the possibility of attending college next year, as well as the opportunities it could bring.

“USC is a good school and I would be proud to go there,” Bhide said. “And it’s in LA, which is a good location, especially because I’m really into music and it’s so close to the industry that you get a lot of opportunities to perform. So I think it’s a really good place for me to be.”

Despite this however, Bhide still has doubts about attending. If she does choose to attend USC, Bhide would need to begin taking additional classes now in order to complete her high school credits for graduation. Even though Bhide would be able to attend USC, if she doesn’t have enough high school credits before graduating, she would not be considered a high school graduate. However, the extra workload is not the only factor that is keeping Bhide from automatically accepting the opportunity.

“The cons would be that I’m leaving high school a year earlier. I worked so hard for three years, and I’m finally at my senior year and then I leave,” Bhide said. “I would never know if I am giving up an opportunity to be at a different school that would be a better fit for me. I would never know because I would never go through that process.”

The expenses of the school are another major factor to be considered. Even with an $11,000 Dean Scholarship, Bhide’s tuition at USC would still cost around $48,000 per year.

Although Bhide is excited about the possibility of attending, she still remains uncertain about her future. With these factors in mind, Bhide will have to make her final decision by May 1.