After graduating three homeschoolers and sending them to Stetson University or UCF on Florida Bright Future scholarships, I have had the privilege of dealing with college administrators, state government bureaucrats, and local country officials.
I have not had one negative experience.
Everyone has been kind, helpful, and supportive.
Many people took time to help me through the maze of the college application process and the grand scholarship hunt.
Why do colleges love homeschoolers?
Colleges see homeschoolers as innovative thinkers. Homeschool grads arrive on campus with a lot of experience working independently on schoolwork, as well as projects. Hey, they are just awesome! Who wouldn't love a homeschool grad?
Some colleges are more homeschool-friendly than others, actually going out of their way to recruit and welcome homeschoolers.
As homeschooling continues to grow, most colleges and universities have someone in the admissions department who deals with homeschoolers and their applications. They are great people to talk to.
In addition, talk to homeschool grads and their parents who are attending the school your teen is interested in. Ask them about the application process and get their advice.
Keep in mind that if you are under an umbrella school, you are considered a "private school graduate," rather than a homeschoolers. At some schools that doesn't matter because applications are simply divided up in random ways such as geographical, but if the college you are applying for divides applications up into public, private, and homeschool grads, homeschoolers in an umbrella school are treated as private school grads.
Does that matter?
Well, it depends on what standards the college has for each group. Many colleges place more weight on a homeschooler's SAT or ACT scores than they would on private school grads. If your teen is not a test taker, a diploma from an umbrella school may help him to get into the school of his choice. On the other hand, if you teens is a great test-taker, being registered as a homeschooler will benefit him because the admissions department will focus more on his test scores.
That is just something to consider.
In addition, if your teen has a certain school in mind, look up the admissions requirements of that school. Every college is different. State schools are different from one another, too.
Once you know what your particular college (or colleges) are looking for, make sure to plan your high school courses accordingly.
One thing that I do is choose some academic electives in an area my teens are interested in. That meant writing for Katie Beth and science for Jenny Rose (oceanography). Also, allow students to pursue their interests and create courses for them in that area. Shine and Jimmy took sound production. Jenny Rose took songwriting and vocal performance.
While most homeschoolers aren't able to join typical high school clubs like the honor society, they can show all kinds of things on their resumes. Some of my teens coached soccer at the YMCA, were part of the yearbook staff for a co-op, were part of the worship and sound team, and help to plan and put on a homeschooling high school conference (Finish Well). Others taught Sunday school, mentored younger teens, participated in speech and debate, and were part of 4-H while they were in high school. All of these things were included on their transcript and /or their college application.
Serving in ministry demonstrates leadership, as well as people skills and technical skills. Volunteering can be turned into a class. It's all how you word things on the application (but that's another blog post!)
Looking for more help in the Homeschooling High School Adventure? Unlocking the Mysteries of Homeschooling High School is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip or Currclick. Do you want two older Moms to walk your through this adventure while sharing how they did it and giving you some ideas to jump-start your creativity? Unlocking the Mysteries of Homeschooling High School covers every thing: choosing good books, planning high school courses, creating your own transcript, and even planning a high school graduation.
God bless you as you enter a new season of preparing to graduate! God is good and He will lead you in this adventure!