Another College Acceptance! - And How We Got There




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This is from my daughter's senior year, telling the story of how she got accepted to her top college choice. It is so fun to remember that time......

Something wonderful came in the mail this week......A college acceptance letter to my teen's favorite college choice, a tier two University! 




She had already received acceptances into the other colleges that she applied to, and we were feeling blessed.  But then.... to get into the large public U, that was a tier two university, one that was known to be hard on homeschoolers....That was a special joy.

For those of you who are aiming towards a four year college for your teens....Be encouraged!  There are many homeschool friendly colleges out there.  And many colleges are looking for self-motivated learners....like homeschooling produces!

Update - This U, that was hard on homeschoolers, has recently revised their policy.  Now they are welcoming of homeschooled applicants, and they have even dropped their special homeschool requirements.  And that is the trend.  

My daughter, as most of you know, is gifted and 2e and has always been homeschooled.  I, as a mom, was not experienced with the current college application process.  

But through a step by step process, we applied to four colleges, and were pleased that my teen got accepted by each of them.  And we were able to continue our own eclectic style of homeschooling, with the addition of some key steps for....


Homeschooling and Aiming towards College


From a college visit.

Here are 6 important steps which were key to my homeschooled teen getting into college.  First, let's talk about those college entrance requirements....

1.  Researching College Entrance Requirements

Each college will show their admission requirements with just a click of the button.  This information is easy to find, just by looking at college websites, under freshman admission requirements.  Be sure and check for any special homeschool applicant requirements as well. 

My book has a chapter on this topic, and if you click here, and then click look inside, you can read the whole chapter, and learn all about those important college entrance requirements.

Next, let's look at making a 4 year homeschooling plan....

2.  Making an Overall Plan

Making an overall plan for the high school years, helps to make sure you fit in the requirements.  We were able to do this and still keep nurturing homeschool style, with plenty of time for electives.  

Once you know your teen's entrance requirements, it is then easy to map out their high school years.  With paper and pencil, or online, just sketch out your best guesses of what you want them to do, and when you think they would do each course.  Then, the fun part.  Fill in those high school electives!

We did this, guessing and noting our prospective plans, then we put our 4 year plans away, and just took it one year at a time.

If you want more on planning, my second chapter of Homeschooling High School with College in Mind has more tips and also planning printables available, too.  

Then there is the issue of record keeping and making your teen's transcripts....


3.  Keeping Records for Transcripts

There are so many resources for high school transcripts, record keeping and writing course descriptions.  Our favorite one was at Let's Homeschool High School, which offers free downloads and plenty of helpful forms.

My book, below, also has printables for making your transcripts, and lots of tips for doing that as well.  

Now, let's look at your teen's interests and how they can be a help in getting them into college...

4.  Encouraging Interests/Activities

Your student's interests and activities will be crucial to a solid college application.  And we as homeschoolers, know just how to encourage and support our teens as they explore their interests, whether it might be in leadership, science fairs, STEM, art, etc...  


Youth and Government helped to develop my 17yo's leadership, speech, and debate skills.

The colleges want to see that their applicants have worked to develop their interests over time, have shown motivation, and have some leadership skills as well, in my experience.

One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we get to encourage our teen's interests.  My teen got involved in Youth and Government, volunteered at a local museum, and developed her special interest in film production, which was done through a homemade course.  

I loved making homemade courses for my teen, and our favorite one was the one that we made for video-making above.  They are easy to do, following the guidelines in my post on assigning credits, which is here - Three Ways to High School Credit.  My book also has a chapter that includes printables for your homemade courses, if you would like those.

Having helped my teen to develop her electives and activities was key to her receiving merit scholarship offers, along with her GPA and her test scores. Yes,electives, GPA and test scores..... that seems to be what the colleges are looking for, as far as merit scholarships.  (One mama's opinion.)  

So next, let's talk about that pesky issue of test scores.  Since my daughter was not a natural test taker, we started building in test practice in 9th grade or so.  And so we now have hit tip #5.

5.  Test Taking Practice

We began including some test-taking in our homeschool starting in 9th grade.  This was helpful when it came to SAT/ACT testing time, as she has built up her confidence with testing.  This was easy to do by just choosing a curriculum from an established publisher that had tests and quizes included in their courses.  

We just used SOS from www.aop.com, which is a well respected homeschool curricula provider who had regular testing included in their courses.  

By doing quizes and tests, my daughter built up her confidence and no longer thought of tests as something to be afraid of.  We did not normally rely on tests in our homeschool, but I am glad that we build them in during high school.

Finally, let's look at making those college visits.


6.  Making College Visits and Asking Questions


We have called the admissions office with our questions many times, and the staff has been friendly and available to help us.  

I was nervous at first, but they were kind and helpful.  Sometimes it was a matter of leaving a message, until they could get back to us.  Don't hesitate to call them with your questions.



We did college visits to each of our local colleges.  I was so worried about what to ask, but really, the college visits are just for getting a feel of the college, it's culture, and the campus layout, etc.  

We asked to visit a college class, and that was very helpful. College students led each of our tours, and they were great to as us around campus. 

We were not asked to show our transcripts or any portfolios at our college visits.  I recommend making them fun, that is what we did!
They were key to helping my daughter decide which college she wanted to attend.

If you are interested in more information on planning for high school with college in mind, feel free to browse around my site. 

Click on High School/College or check out my frugal book, which is below.  



It has lots of planning printables and more on:

Making your overall plan
Writing the college essay
Dealing with reference letters
Writing those course descriptions
Choosing your curricula
Calculating your teen's GPA
...and more.

Thanks for stopping by,

Betsy

Betsy is mom to her 2e college junior whom she homeschooled from age 3.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting


Want to stay in touch?  

This post was shared on my favorite linkups here.



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#college #collegeprep #transcripts #planninghighschool #homeschoolhighschool #ihsnet #homeschool

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!

    I like this list (I'm busy making lists since we are starting high school very soon)! Your family is a wonderful inspiration to all homeschool families!

    Thanks so much for sharing at the Finishing Strong Link-up!

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  2. Thanks for your encouragement, Susan, and I am so happy to be a part of the Finishing Strong Link-up!

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  3. Great news! It's a joy to have that official stamp of approval on our homeschooling years, isn't it? Or at least, that's what it felt like to me. God is so good to bless us in this way.

    You go celebrate the accomplishments of both of you!

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  4. Thanks so much, Annie Kate, of Tea Time with Annie Kate, for stopping by, and for your encouragement. So nice to hear from someone who has already graduated their teen, and congratulations to you and your graduate! We should be busy here, come June. Thanks again!

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