College Prep Homeschool Guide
For many high schoolers, their future career choice requires attendance at a college or university. Yet, the state of colleges and price of tuition can be a huge intimidation factor for many homeschool families. The question often arises, “How can we get the training that is needed without dealing with difficult campus situations and the incredible cost of tuition?” It isn’t easy to make it through college without gaining a mountain of debt, but it is possible. We’ve pulled together some of our best resources to guide your college prep for high schoolers.
Colleges Recruit Homeschoolers
Did you know that many colleges and universities across the country take the time to actively recruit homeschooled high schoolers? There’s a reason for that! Many homeschoolers have proven themselves on the college campus to be trustworthy and self-motivated learners and this is something that colleges are looking for.
- Step 1 – Encourage your student to self-examine. Yes, it’s true – a ninth grader doesn’t always know what they will do for a career – but it is a good time to start thinking in that direction. Take a Career Exploration Course to help determine where his/her strengths lie. They can also take the PSAT which will give them career suggestions based on their test aptitudes.
- Step 2 Once your student has discovered what they want to do as a career or life path, you can begin helping them find the training and knowledge that they need to accomplish this path successfully. Take time to research this path together, visit someone who does this job, understand what it takes to get into this career, and then develop a plan that works backward from your goal.
- Step 3 – Put your 4 Year High School Plan into action by scheduling your four years of high school to support your life goal. Include courses that will help give the required knowledge and include service opportunities that will also promote experience in your niche.
- Name of student, homeschool name (if applicable) address, and phone numbers
- High School Courses Listed by the year or by grade if you did courses out of order.
- Any college courses, dual enrollment, or honors courses
- Course grades. This should include semester grades and then final year-end grades.
- The student’s final homeschool grade point average (GPA). Often there are also yearly GPA’s included as well.
- Homeschool credits are given per course. These should be listed for each semester and then for the entire year.
- Grade scale that was used in the homeschool
- Any standardized testing that was given during the course of high school. (Achievement tests, IQ tests, SAT, ACT, and state proficiency tests)
- Final graduation date
- Parent signature with a date
In addition to the basic transcript, colleges may want to see a few more things. Some colleges can be very competitive in the selection process, and making your student’s transcripts stand out can really make a difference. In a transcript going to a college include the basic information above as well as:
- Course descriptions – sometimes this can be simply a sentence but some colleges may want a short paragraph (note that not all colleges require course descriptions – please check with the college in question)
- A list of any extracurricular activities
- A list of any leadership skills, awards won, volunteer hours, or other accomplishments
Use this printable transcript solution to make your transcript record keeping a breeze!
Taking the Necessary Tests
Oh, the dreaded college entrance exam! Just about every college requires students to take either a standardized test like the ACT or the SAT or the student must take a college’s specific entrance exam (Accuplacer). These tests aren’t for the faint of heart; they are very challenging. However, there is an amazing wealth of materials and resources that can help with preparation. It’s a good idea begin preparing for these tests in the tenth-grade year. Consider taking the PSAT/NMSQT as practice for the big ones!
Applying to College
Applying to your dream college may look impossible… but don’t despair! Others have traveled this road before you and have had great success! Just like everything in life, applying to college is a process and one that can be accomplished with style. We’ve pulled together resources to help you understand and navigate the college admission process.
Don’t Forget about Scholarships
The cost of college education is rising every year. Our future college graduates don’t have a bright future with this in mind! Take the time to review and plan your financial future as a college student. Many students can qualify for Federal Student Aid and you can get an estimate of how much your benefit will be by using the FAFSA site. However, this will not always pay for your entire college bill. This is where scholarships come in! Take the time to start applying for as many as you can – as soon as you can!