How to Apply to College as a Homeschooler

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Apply to College as a Homeschooler.

How to Apply to College as a Homeschooler

How to Apply to College as a Homeschooler

This is college application season for many college-bound homeschool high schoolers. It can be a stressful time for these teens (and their parents), especially if this is the first child heading off to college. How can you be sure your homeschooler is completing the forms well. What is a homeschool parent’s role in the process.

7Sisters Vicki served the local homeschool community for almost two decades as college admissions advisor. In her work with homeschool high schoolers and trainings with college admissions officers, she picked up some tips that have been helpful to her five homeschool graduates and hundreds of other local teens. In honor of college application season, Vicki is sharing some basics of the process to get you started.

Ten tips on how to apply to college as a homeschooler

Tip #1: Write your application essay early

Trust Vicki on this. If your homeschool high schooler writes his/her essay early. We would tell our local advisees to write their essay during the summer, that would give them time to have parents or teachers look it over and give advice…AND do multiple rewrites. Even if the topic changes at application time, details can easily be tweaked once the guts of an essay is created. Remember multiple rewrites take a good essay to a great essay (use grammar checkers like Grammarly to help.)

Also, if you have a college that allows your teen to skip the essay, don’t skip! That essay might give your homeschooler an edge if there is a lot of competition for entrance.

If your homeschool high schooler will be using the Common Application or other applications that publish essay prompts early or have standard prompts, it is much easier to start that essay. Even if an essay prompt is not available for their preferred college, have your teen choose an exciting or inspiring story from their life and write an essay to be tweaked later.

For help: Here’s a freebie post and a downloadable college admissions essay writing guide from your 7Sisters.

When they apply, teens are letting colleges know who they are. So they need to put their best foot forward.

Tip #2: Ask for recommendation letters letter early

PLEASE, take us seriously on this. Recommenders need a little time to write an excellent recommendation. Give them time.

Also, if your recommender will be writing a paper recommendation, give them self-addressed, stamped envelope to the college. If your recommender will be writing a digital recommendation, let them know where the link will be coming from. (And also approximately when it will come, so they can check the spam file if it seems late.)

ALSO, please train your teen to ask the recommender politely. In fact, use the word, “Please.” This is a skill that will help them the rest of their lives. AND when they are done with the recommendation, be sure to have your teen thank them.

Your teen can (and in many cases) should give the recommender a fact sheet about themselves and/or a resume to help them fill out the recommendation with good details.

Tip #3: Find out what the colleges are looking for

Make sure this is shown clearly on your homeschool high schooler’s transcript. Check the college website for “requirements for incoming freshmen” or “requirements for application”. Sometimes, you and your teen will best find this information on a college tour or online workshop with admissions officers. Check out this interview with Dr. Renae Duncan, Associate Provost of Murray State University (ret.).

Tip #4: Make sure your teen’s transcript is complete with grades through the point they apply

Colleges often want to know that teens are not goofing off their senior year, so they will ask for first quarter grades (and often, first semester updates). This means that moms need to have the transcript up to date! Here’s a post on how to do this.

For tips on how to create transcripts and what to include, along with an editable transcript template, check 7Sisters.

Tips #5: PDF your homeschooler’s transcript for online applications

Sometimes an un-pdf version transcript gets scrozzled.

NOTE: If you are sending in a paper application, you might have to have the transcript sealed and/or stamped. Check with admissions officers at the college for this information.

Tip #6: Have your homeschooler take his/her time in completing the application

College applications take a long time to complete. If your teen puts off the application process until the last moment, they will not be able to put their best foot forward.

Keep in mind, when your teen is filling out their application, they are talking to a real person. Have them write in complete sentences where applicable using a professional version of their own voice. (Do not fill out applications for your teen.)

Tip #7: Have your teen think about which schools to apply to ahead of time

For many teens three to five colleges is a good number. (If they are applying to twenty schools, they have not done their research. This will waste their time.)

  • Choose one college as a reach college but might be too expensive or competitive. (This would be an act of God if they get in.)
  • Aim for a college that your teen would truly like to attend and are a solid fit. NOTE: If you can find a college’s average SAT or ACT scores of admitted students. Aim for colleges where your teen’s scores are similar.
  • Aim for an easy, guaranteed acceptance college. This school would be fine but not a dream college, per se.
  • Aim for a financially-reasonable college. College debt is such a problem. (And why many homeschooler are doing their first two years at community college these days.)
  • For more tips check this post and another Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode.

Tip #8: Decide when to apply

Some colleges give dorm preference, better financial aid opportunities and/or other benefits to students who apply early.

If your teen is applying to a reach school, regular admissions might be better, since it is easier to get bumped to a waitlist with early applications. (Of course, each college handles this differently.)

Some teens need extra time deciding. So give them space to pray and research. They may need to skip early admissions.

Tip #9: Teens need to remember they are selling themselves with their essays and applications. This is not bragging!

Many homeschoolers are concerned that they will be prideful if they tell their outstanding points and stories. Just have them remember it is God who makes them successful, so writing about it is not bragging!

Tip #10: Pray

Teens can have a lovely growth process through their college application process if they know that as they roll their works on the Lord, he will direct their path.

Also, check out this useful Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode for first generation college students.

Hey, join our 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group so you can ask college application and other homeschool questions to all your 7th Sisters!

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How to Apply to College as a Homeschooler

 

Preparing for High School with Cheryl Bastian

Preparing for High School Preparing for High School with Cheryl Bastian

Podcast #72

Does High School scare you? Are you concerned your children won’t be ready? Many people feel overwhelms at the prospect of homeschooling the high school years. Well, put those fears aside! You can do it! With a little planning, you will be ready to successfully teach prepare your student to graduate.

Cheryl Bastian joins us as we talk about preparing your teen for high school.

About Cheryl

Cheryl Bastian can’t remember a time when she wasn’t teaching. What started with making her brothers play school evolved to job shadowing and tutoring in high school. Through experiential learning, Cheryl’s passion for education grew. She completed post-secondary coursework and internships at Illinois State University, first as a special education major and then continuing in early childhood education. Concerned she would miss once-in-a-lifetime milestones in her children, Cheryl left the classroom and brought learning home.

Twenty-four years of homeschooling, eight children—ages twenty-eight to toddler— allow Cheryl and her husband Mike to journey alongside families at many stages of parenting and learning, from toddling to adulting. As a magazine columnist, blogger, and speaker, Cheryl shares her experiences, stories and challenges as she enthusiastically encourages parents to be intentional, real, and relational as they raise life-long learners. Her resources are available at Celebrate Simple www.cherylbastian.com.

High School Information

Register for Convention   Deadline to register – May 3rd

 

Talks Cheryl will be presenting at the 2019 Convention:

Register for Convention HERE

HSHSP Ep 78: What are Colleges Looking for in Incoming Freshmen

This week on HSHSP Ep 78: What are Colleges Looking for in Incoming Freshmen.

HSHSP Ep 78: What are Colleges Looking for in Incoming Freshmen

Photo Credit: Murray State University

HSHSP Ep 78: What are Colleges Looking for in Incoming Freshmen

College-bound highschoolers want to know: What are colleges looking for in incoming freshmen? What will help the gain admission to college?

You and your teens need good information about what colleges are looking for when they look at the thousands of applications they receive each year. Your teens also need ideas for skills to learn in highschool that will help them succeed in college.

Join Vicki for an eye-opening interview with Dr. Renae Duncan, Associate Provost of Undergraduate Affairs of Murray State University (Murray, KY) about what colleges are looking for in Incoming Freshmen. Dr. Duncan is the sister of 7SistersHomeschool.com’s Vicki Tillman.

Dr. Renae Duncan Associate Provost of Undergraduate Affairs Murray State University

Click image for more information about Dr. Duncan and MSU. Photo credit Murray State University.

What are large state colleges want to see?

  • SAT/ACT s
  • Strong coursework
  • Volunteer work
  • Extracurriculars
  • Application essay at most large state universities

What do regional universities look for? 

  • Strong coursework
  • Good SAT/ACT (more flexibility with scores than larger colleges)
  • Not as much emphasis on service and extracurriculars
  • Often don’t need application essay

What about community colleges?

  • What are the benefits?

PLUS! Dr. Duncan gives insider tips for success:

  • WORKAROUNDS if your homeschool highschooler doesn’t do well on SAT/ACT type testing
  • Insider tips for college success
  • Thoughts on college search and choice.
  • Small college vs larger state college
  • College prep for highschoolers: What skills do they need for college success?
  • College prep for highschoolers: The difference between difficult highschool courses and courses that challenge your teen to think.

Homeschool-Friendly College: Murray State University

Click here for more information on college attractive transcripts and tips for college admissions.

Don’t miss this episode!

HSHSP Ep 78: What are Colleges Looking for in Incoming Freshmen

 

College Admissions and the Helicopter Parent – HIRL Episode 105

Free homeschool podcast about college admissionsHave you ever heard that sound? The rhythmic whirring of blades as they chop through the air? That is the sound of a helicopter parent hovering over their homeschooled child getting ready for college. That’s right, we are back at it again with an interview and discussion about college admissions and the need to keep your hands off as your teach your high school graduate to make life choices.

Join us as we spend time in the studio with Aimee Stauf. Aimee is a homeschool graduate, and then she worked as a resident advisor before graduating and now working Patrick Henry College as an admissions counselor. This very knowledgeable guest offers all of us great advice as we prepare our homeschool graduates for their college education. Join us and jump out of your helicopters! You are in for a great episode.

EPISODE TIMELINE
:50 Fluff – Graduations, Baseball,  1970’s Summer, Big Announcement
8:15 College Admissions – Aimee Stauf, Patrick Henry College
27:25 The show is over. Goodbye!


SHOW NOTES:

Recommended Resources:
Patrick Henry College Admissions
Betty the Surf Dog – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Rasta The Chocolate Lab – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Fletch Twitter
Kendra Twitter

Previous Episodes Mentioned:
All of them

Music clips used on this episode:
None


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LISTEN HERE

Are you ready to listen to Fletch and Kendra get real about homeschooling? Press the PLAY button below.


Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from Preschoolers and Peace and KendraFletcher.com) for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades.

MBFLP 94 – Choosing A College

Choosing A College - FB

If you’re planning on college for your homeschool grad-to-be, how do you make the choice? Is a Christian college the only acceptable alternative? Should they dive into the mission field of public universities? Or is there a middle ground in a conservative private school? For different reasons, our three graduates so far have ended up at all three alternatives, and we’ve learned some pros as well as cons for all of them. Join us for some thoughts about the choice of a college for your student!

Some Other Episodes On College Issues

No. 28, “Making College Visits Count”
No. 44, “Staying Christian in College”
No. 45, “Academic Success in College”