September 20, 2017

College

It doesn’t happen as often these days, but there used to be a great concern among homeschooling families that they would have a difficult time getting their student into college. As families, we still worry that we won’t be able to do everything required to get our student into their college of choice. We also worry about standing before the admissions officer and having to say the word ‘homeschooled’.

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I know you’ve heard this, but let me encourage you again. Colleges love homeschoolers! As a group we tend to do better than the average student. Homeschooled students typically know how to manage their time well, know how to speak confidently with professors, show up for class on a regular basis, get involved in leadership positions and stick around long enough to complete their degree.

I attend the State University System’s Admissions Tour on a regular basis. This is an event put on by college admissions officers for the benefit of high school guidance counselors. A few years back a public school counselor asked the panel to explain how they treated homeschooling applicants. Every single college officer said that they welcomed (some were even very enthusiastic about) homeschooled students. My favorite moment, though, was when one of the college officers invited the room full of public school guidance counselors to attend the statewide homeschool convention. You can’t beat a moment like that!

Still, as homeschoolers, we have to walk this path ourselves – and it’s often a path we’ve never been down before. So, you have to do your homework. Start talking with colleges while your student is in the 11th grade. Nearly every college has a person or a team that specifically handles homeschool applicants. Speak with them and ask what pieces of information they will want above and beyond the typical college application. Sometimes it will be a list of curriculum used or an additional set of test results. Some will want to see a portfolio of work done. Often they rely even more heavily on a student’s SAT or ACT scores. It’s not that they don’t trust the work that we have done at home – it’s just that we all walk the high school path differently and it’s not easy to standardize a means of evaluation.

Application offices will work with you as you gather your information, so you don’t have to have it all together as soon as you walk in the door – but you do want to have your information organized and easily accessible so that the admissions office can have confidence in the work that you bring them. (In other words – don’t look scattered, even if you feel it! LOL)

As is true with most things in life – the key is to start early and do your research. But, you can be confident that colleges are no longer put off by the word ‘homeschooled’ – in fact, they love our uniqueness!

~to your success

Joanne