Admissions can be a big hurdle expecially if you are trying to gain
entrance into a particular university. There are colleges that are
very homeschooled friendly and some that are not at all homeschooled friendly.
In general each college has their own admission guidelines. The admissions
officers uses these guidelines to select a student body that meets the
goals of the university as a whole. As a homeschooled student or parent
of a homeschooled student you lack mainly in the ready accessible and understandable
records that the public schooled students have. With that said there
are steps you can take to minimize this advantage.
Here are several steps that the home educator can take to help your
student get accepted to the school of their choice:
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Keep records. If you don't have these records start now they may
be unnecessary but they could be essential. From the admissions officer's
point of view these records will be the closest thing to a replacement
for the high school transcript and a proof that you can do the college
level work. For the 4 years preceeding college keep:
records of school work
examples of school work
examples of writing
records of extra curricular activities
records of volunteer activities
Take the ACT, PSAT, and SAT. In some cases the university will require
that you take the GED for admission. If you can afford it try to take the
tests early so that you will have another opportunity to take it if you
do not do as well as you wanted. Also there are numerous practice
books available; you cannot learn the information in the books from these
tests but the practice books allow you to practice the test taking skills
necessary to succeed on these tests. These do teach the basic testing
skills necessary for taking the test and a practice test could be valuable.
There is information about these tests at: http://www.collegeboard.com/
The ACT is a federal standard for ability to benefit in school that is
used for financial aid purposes.
PSAT is a test given like the ACT and SAT but given to high school juniors.
This test must be arranged through a high school counselor so home schooled
students will have to contact a local high school to arrange for testing.
The SAT is quickly becoming colleges' favorite test for scholarship and
Search for your university early. I would recommend beginning the
search for a university about 2 years before you think you will be attending.
A universities attendence policies will typically vary very little from
year to year.
Try to narrow it down to 5 or 10 universities and then research those more
Do they allow home-schooled students?
If they don't is it a hurdle you want to try to surpass anyway. If
so then be prepared to start early. If not that gives you time to
try to find another university that fulfills your goals
If they do allow home schooled students. What additional steps are
necessary? What deadlines are you likely to be working under? Each
school will have there own deadlines and policies.
Contact any universities you are interested in. Find out if they
have admitted home-schooled students in the past and whether there is a
home-schooled student policy. Some universities will require additional
testing and you want to know this with as much learning as possible.
Take Community College classes. This is a double-edged sword.
Though community college classes are easier to get into and help you get
prerequisite classes out of the way in many cases. However, the student
will be considered to be a transfer student and that may affect their
ability to get scholarships from the university since many of the 4 year
scholarships are reserved for new freshman students. If you get an
associates' degree from a community college you can typically take 2 years
off of your undergraduate work for a much lower price and this may still
save you money.