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Being accepted into college, and scholarships?


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My kids are all very young still, so I am just thinking way down the road. So far, I have not done any research into home schooled children being accepted into college, etc. I have seen a number of times a mother say something like, "My daughter was accepted into three colleges, with full scholarships". My question is, how can a home schooled child get a full scholarship? Are they going off SAT scores, or something else?

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Dd's scholarships were based on A.C.T., G.P.A., references, extra-curricular activities (she won the right stuff award at Space Camp in Huntsville and had a NASA engineer's letter of reference related to her performance at camp), musical achievements, volunteerism, etc.

 

Colleges now have enough experience with homeschoolers to have determined that they can be considered for scholarships just like publicly and privately schooled kids. Generally, the ACT/SAT score should be a confirmation of grades earned so if you award a 4.0 to your high school graduate, they would expect to see 30 and higher on the ACT. That is just a general guideline.

 

Colleges are many times looking at "who will contribute to diversity, to accomplishment, to a specific major, etc." there are a lot of different things that are looking at. She wrote a lot of admission's essays and did her research for each institution, finding out what they were looking for, and then "selling" herself as an asset to help them accomplish their goals. It's a bit of "kissing up" to be sure. But, if the student wants scholarships, this is necessary.

 

DD was homeschooled 1st-4th grades, and 7th-12th grades. She was accepted at all 13 universities she applied to and was awarded 50% or more in scholarships at all but one of these institutions. The private college offered 50% of tuition and $2500.00 towards fees, room, and board, but the price tag was so huge that we just couldn't afford to make up the rest. The full scholarship she was offered paid for tuition and fees but not room, board, or books. It was also a uni that we later found out did not have nearly as well-reputed nursing school as they touted to incoming freshman. So, despite it being a great scholarship, she turned them down.

 

It seemed daunting when we first went through that process with her. But, now that we've done it once, we are feeling much more at ease with doing it three more times before we retire from homeschooling.

 

Faith

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I'm just starting to put my boys into college (oldest is a freshman this year), so I don't have as much experience as many, but the experience I do have has all been positive.

 

My oldest decided he wanted to become a microfinance manager in 3rd world countries, so ended up applying to 3 private Christian colleges. His SAT (March of junior year) was 1300+ (M/CR only as that's what most schools look at -> 1900+ w/writing) and his ACT was 30+, but not top of the top. He also had a fair number of extra curriculars. He carries himself quite well and is a natural leader type, but again, probably not top of the top with either.

 

He won decent levels of scholarship money both from his college and from outside organizations. To compare, at our local ps, only one student there got offered more $$ than my oldest did - and that boy is attending a more expensive college. It doesn't always take top of the top stats to get you where you want to go if your sights aren't set on the top of the top for competitive colleges or fields.

 

My middle son is a junior now. His stats are higher than my oldest and he just might be quite near or at the top of the top when all is said and done (junior year is the year tests like the PSAT "count.") However, he is likely to want a more competitive college. Those colleges (including Ivies, but he's not likely to consider them) have already been sending him info based off his sophomore PSAT and he took the ACT for practice last spring (already beats his brother). Since other kids going to those colleges also score well, it'll still be competitive to get in and only time will tell for sure - none are guaranteed. Once he gets in (IF he gets in) we'll have to see what aid is offered. Many top schools do not offer merit aid (based on grades and tests), but still offer need based aid. Some offer merit aid. We might try a couple of each - pending fit for him.

 

For safeties, he is likely to qualify for full tuition at our state school - and be competitive for a full ride. I doubt it will be his first choice, but since he's looking more competitive, he might have to take it. Otherwise, I told him if he wants a smaller school like older brother, he's likely to do quite well financially. The issue with that is that those smaller schools don't offer the research options he really wants to have - otherwise, he'd love a smaller school fit-wise. Either could get him into med school IF that's the way he chooses to go, but right now he's just not sure.

 

Does it make a difference with homeschooling vs not? Not really. As long as you make sure your student challenges themselves through high school and can get the test scores they need (IF they need them - some majors and colleges don't need them or need high scores), we've seen no difference in acceptance rates or scholarships. It DOES help to have them take some outside classes (ours use the local community college) so reference letters can come from someone who has taught them outside of home. Without SOMETHING like that (doesn't have to be community college), I do think things are harder when it comes to scholarships - probably also for admittance to more selective schools.

 

My middle son would NOT have done as well in our local ps. While I'm positive he would have had a 4.0 GPA, they simply don't have the higher levels of education he needs/craves. Education there is too dumbed down. Many of our graduates end up needing remedial classes in college. This is due to our school district. It's not necessarily true everywhere.

 

And for all, have them involved in something I care about. Extra-curriculars can be just as important as grades and test scores for most colleges and scholarships. You shouldn't have one without the other.

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My daughter is an honors student at our local cc, and is being courted by places like Cornell, Hofstra, and Columbia among others. If your child takes cc classes and maintains a high GPA in addition to some of the other things mentioned, s/he should have no trouble getting into a good university with scholarship.

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My question is, how can a home schooled child get a full scholarship? Are they going off SAT scores, or something else?
Very many merit-based scholarships are based on the PSAT taken in the Junior year of high school. As mentioned, there is a lot of scholarship discussion over in the College Board forum.

 

You may be interested to take a look at this poll of merit aid that Well-Trained Mind students recently received.

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In my state, home schooled students are automatically admitted to the state universities based on a set standard score on the SAT or ACT tests. I'm not sure about merit aid though. My dd got a small merit award based on her grades from the community college and first set of SAT scores. She later took the ACT and scored very high, but by then all the merit aid had been distributed. We're hoping that she'll be able to get some sort of scholarship in the next year or two because she is studying engineering and math.

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I'm not sure, but I've always assumed that colleges look harder at SAT/ACT scores for homeschooled kids.

 

My two older ones were accepted by every school they applied to. DD received a merit scholarship based solely on her SAT scores. DS got a scholarship based on SAT and GPA--only 2% of the kids in his major at his school receive any merit aid.

 

I know lots and lots and lots of hs'd kids who have gotten great merit scholarships!

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Great question. Look at the college acceptance threads and you'll see many homeschoolers accepted with scholarships at many schools. My son's 3 scholarships were based on his SAT scores, his combined SAT/GPA (he had dual-enrollment and state virtual course) and extracurricular/leadership respectively.

 

HTH,

Lisa

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My oldest is a college freshman---applied to 9 colleges, received merit scholarships from all 9. The amount ranged from covering 40 to 60% of the college's tuition. That is, except for our local state university who offered him 3 merit scholarships to cover more than 100% of his tuition. Renewable for four years provided his gpa stays above 3.0. We do not have any connections with the local university.

 

What he did to stand out: (IMHO)

---had 8 AP test scores and so he is an AP Scholar w/ Distinction. He obtained this award prior to applying to colleges.

---he had pursued his passion (science) by participating and medaling in Science Olympiad for many, many years.

---he showed diversity by also achieving an award in a national writing contest.

---he had a wonderful recommendation by a local public school science dept chair (who also happens to be a hs dad and ds' science olympiad coach)

---he had zero work experience (negative in my mind)

---his application essay was not put together in one night or even one month. DS perfected it. It showed DS passion for work and sticking w/ a job and it painted quite a great picture of ds. It was free of grammar errors (unlike my writing).

---DS had SAT scores that placed him at each school's 3rd quartile, or 75th%, or slightly above that.

 

(Getting into the local university is far from a given in my state. Many kids are accepted but not to the main campus, and not with merit scholarships to more than cover the tuition.)

 

Carole

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As the others have said, hsers apply and colleges look at their SAT/ACT scores as well as GPA and base merit scholarships on those, and also look at any AP or community college courses and community college GPA. I have 3 dc who have all been accepted at all the universities they applied to. Some universities don't use a high school GPA as a factor for hsed students, but my son's did.

 

Some students get scholarships based on need, which is entirely determined by your household income and any money your dc earn by working. Some students with lower GPAs will still get up to nearly full tuition scholarships or grants if the household income is low. Some students will receive a combination of both merit and need based scholarships.

 

Another source of college scholarships is from activities the student may participate in. Sports, speech and debate, student government, student leadership, etc. often come with scholarships. Some schools offer scholarships for students in specific majors, and these are on top of any merit or need based scholarships. These scholarships really vary, but are worth a student looking into. For ex., at my son's university, all Theater Arts students get a scholarship because they are trying to build that department and received money to do so.

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