Homeschooling For Entry Into College
The majority of home schooled children will wish to attend college, many at a younger age than their public school peers, and it is vitally important that homeschooling parents begin preparation for this right from the start of homeschooling.
While a very small number of parents do homeschool there children at college level this is not a common practice and it is the aim of most homeschooling parents to prepare there children for entry into college.
There are many reasons for homeschooling a child but one common theme is dissatisfaction with the public, and indeed private, school system. To some extend this also applies to our colleges but here at least we are still fortunate enough to have many fine colleges to choose from, including of course a number of Ivy League colleges.
Because many home schooled students excel, both in terms of their level of achievement and eagerness and ability to learn, it is not uncommon for such students to want to enter college in their mid or late teens and getting into college is not always easy.
The first hurdle of course is the lack of state, or licensed private school, transcripts. This however is not too difficult an obstacle to cross as long as homeschooling parents are aware of it and take the time and trouble to compile a record of the child's progress, including examples of the child's work and grades achieved. Records compiled by homeschooling parents, providing they are prepared with care, will be taken seriously and given due weight by the majority of colleges.
In addition to a student record of achievement, which will be required in almost all cases, there will be other entry requirements and these will vary from one college to the next. It is a good idea therefore to start early and to select a number of colleges (perhaps half a dozen) to which you would be happy to send your child and which your child would be happy to attend.
Having drawn up your short-list you should then approach these colleges and ask the admissions department officials to let you have details of their requirements. You should also make it clear to them that you are homeschooling your child and ask if there are any special requirements as a result of this. The college might for example have specific rules which apply to transcripts for home schooled applicants.
One of the commonest ways to judge an applicant's suitability is through one or more standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT. Home schooled students are free to take these tests alongside their public and private school peers and, on average, tend to produce much higher scores.
Even with all of this data, many colleges will still have their own admission tests and it is not uncommon for colleges to ask applicants to write one or more essays on a wide range of topics set by the college. This gives the college the opportunity to gain a wider view of the applicant and his or her ability. This is one area in which home schooled applicants typically excel as it gives them the opportunity to talk about their particular interests and talents and convey their level of interest in learning and their relative maturity.
One other valuable tool open to homeschooling parents is provided through a range of advanced placement courses, many of which can be taken by independent study. These courses can help to add to a child's transcript and can also offer accelerated learning, providing students with material that is advanced for their age group.
There is no reason at all why the home schooled student should not find entry into college a relatively simple matter as long as homeschooling parents do their own homework and prepare the child correctly. At the end of the day colleges are only too happy to accept students of ability who are going to benefit from a college education and also bring something of themselves to the college.
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