Jordan Harper: Pursuing his master’s at 19

By Jordan Harper on December 09, 2013
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Jordan Harper already has a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies and is studying for his Master of Divinity degree. Because he racked up a lot of college credit while still in high school, he has been able to steam ahead toward his advanced degree, and has saved a lot of money as well. A former Student Paths contributor, Harper shares some of his experiences and advice.

Student Paths (SP): When did you start earning college credits?

Jordan Harper (JH): The summer after my freshman year of high school.

SP: Why did you choose this route?

 JH: I began taking college classes mainly for two reasons. I wanted to take more difficult classes than were being offered at my high school, and I knew there were many prerequisite courses for any degree I could pursue that I could knock out early.

SP: Did you think the workload was too heavy during the school year?
JH: The course load is something you have to get used to, but honestly, it can be done. While taking college courses during the school year (on top of my high school classes and the math science center), I also played multiple sports, was very involved with my church, did a lot of volunteer work and was active with different groups in my high school. You will certainly have to get a grip on your time-management skills, and it took a while for me to do so, but it can be done. Trust me when I say you can do it all.

SP: What advantages did you find to earning college credit in high school?

JH: (Your) high school may pay for most of the courses and/or books (as mine did). It can pave the way for a lighter load once you get to college. It helps you prepare your time-management skills, and it helps you get used to what college is going to look like.

SP: How many college credits did you earn during high school?
JH: I had 64 college credits going into Ferris State University, where I graduated after one year with a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies. Now I am enrolled at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, working on a Master of Divinity degree; I am 19 years old.

SP: What advice can you give other students?

JH: I recommend taking college classes. For me, the route I took to where I am now was perfect. The opportunities that came up were perfect and they fit exactly what I was trying to do. I would recommend taking college courses in high school for several reasons. … However, if you are looking for an occupation in which you need a lot of technical training and know that you will be in college for a long time anyway, there is no rush. Everybody is involved with many things in high school, so do what fits you.

I would also suggest taking some initiative when you have decided you want to do something like take college classes. There are many people who will help you, but (especially when you start things so young) there are many people who just haven’t dealt with someone your age trying to do these kinds of things. You need to be the one who takes responsibility for where you want to be at the end of your high school career.  


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Jordan Harper

Jordan Harper

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