Tips For Getting Your Homeschooled Child Into College
For a long time, homeschooled children were at a disadvantage when it came to applying for and gaining admission to the country’s top colleges and universities. Parents struggled to provide their children with an education that was considered equivalent to the curriculum of traditional public or private schools. Even when parents did provide an adequate curriculum, colleges often failed to recognize homeschooled diplomas as official or accredited.
Slowly but surely, homeschooling has become more and more accepted by colleges and universities across the country. As parents become certified homeschool teachers, and as online distance learning programs seek and receive accreditation, homeschool education, diplomas, and students have been legitimized and are now looked at under a whole new light.
Besides choosing or developing a homeschooling curriculum that will be considered accredited by American colleges and universities, here are a few tips for parents to consider if they want to do their best to help get their homeschooled child into college:
o Do your research – College is certainly never a guarantee for any student. Whether by personal choice or by some outside circumstance, a child may decide that college is just not the right option. However, if a parent recognizes that a child has the interest or the potential for pursuing a college education (especially at a young age), then the best thing to do is to begin contacting, requesting, and gathering information about which colleges regularly admit homeschooled students and what factors they consider as part of the admissions process.
o Prepare your child’s credentials – Different schools have different requirements as far as what they expect out of homeschooled applicants. Some may require some type of transcript of the courses or classes they have taken, while others may require something that is more representative of the homeschooled student’s academic work such as a portfolio. Parents should begin gathering representative samples of their child’s work at an early age so that they can be easily accessed and compiled during the application process.
o Make contact – If a child is interested in a particular college or university, parents should begin looking at the school’s specific requirements, guidelines, and admission rates for homeschooled children. Again, different schools have different requirements, so it is best to take an early look before any commitments to a specific school are made.
o Don’t limit your child’s choices – Many parents are afraid to allow their homeschooled children to apply to certain colleges and universities. Today, there are close to 1000 schools across the country that regularly admit homeschooled students. In fact, at many of today’s colleges and universities, homeschooled students are looked at as individuals who can offer something unique to their school’s overall experience.
o Give things equal thought – Some parents make the mistake of placing too much emphasis on their child’s academic transcript. Many of today’s AZScolleges and universities use a holistic approach to their admissions process, so parents should be encouraged to provide schools with a diverse array of information on their child, including standardized test scores, admissions essays and letters of recommendation, as schools will often give these aspects of the application equal consideration.