I'm unsure of age, certainly to some degree I'd like to start as a first year but I don't think I'd want to stay a first year. I'll want to be able to use more advanced and powerful magic.
We do plan on this game actually moving along at a decent pace so a first year will be able to move to the next year (and so forth). Also those who start as first years have the ability to gain bonuses the entering "Older" students will not, so starting off young has its perks.
+1 Very good question - as while I would be willing to stomach playing a younger character for plot sake, I'd prefer not to. It's much harder enjoying staying in the head of a modern seventeen year old - though tying someone's laces together for a prank makes it easier.
~bounces around and starts working out a history while waiting for a character template.~
Aiden or Kendra, will we be able to start with an older (Uni freshman is sort of what I'm thinking but can easily change it) student? If yes, since they are in their own wing will you still assign what house they used to be in before reaching that level?
I talked with Kendra and we decided to cap the older students at year 5, which puts them within ages 20-21 and Sophomores in the university. We do not want people graduating to quickly and the 6th and 7th year class will mostly be "NPC" until we actually get up there.
As for the "wings" we made a slight change.
In the 4th year, the students will be given the chance to move into a Coed dorm which is still within their houses common areas. So from the common room, it leads to the girls dorm 1st-3rd years, Boys dorm 1st-3rd years and Coed Dorm 4th-7th year. Boys are still unable to sneak into the girls dorm (magical traps keep them out). But the girls are trusted to do as they wish.