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Different SAT/ACT score required for homeschoolers?


hsbeth
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We got an admission packet in the mail today for one of the schools that my oldest dd is interested in. I am aware of (and understand) that some of the schools that we are applying to require SATII scores, portfolios, or some other means to substantiate courses done at home.

 

I was shocked however that this particular school (one of dd's in-state safety options) specifies a 500/500 SAT or ACT composite of 21 for those graduating from an accredited school, but requires that homeschool applicants have an 1130/24. In addition we'll be required to compose a portfolio.

 

Frankly, dd already met the homeschool benchmark score in an ACT taken during her soph. year, but I'm rather irriated. Have others run into something similar? It truly seems discriminatory.

 

DD is doing very well in her dual enrollment classes, has a high SAT/ACT score, and will have accumulated many college credits before graduation. I really don't want to do the portfolio. I wonder if contacting admissions would be helpful?

 

This is dd's safety option b/c it is an in-state public school that has both of the majors she is considering. The only other public option is much more selective, so this really is the best option for a "safety" for her. Otherwise, we'd file it in the cirucular file and move on.

 

Thoughts?!?

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We got an admission packet in the mail today for one of the schools that my oldest dd is interested in. I am aware of (and understand) that some of the schools that we are applying to require SATII scores, portfolios, or some other means to substantiate courses done at home.I was shocked however that this particular school (one of dd's in-state safety options) specifies a 500/500 SAT or ACT composite of 21 for those graduating from an accredited school, but requires that homeschool applicants have an 1130/24. In addition we'll be required to compose a portfolio.Frankly, dd already met the homeschool benchmark score in an ACT taken during her soph. year, but I'm rather irriated. Have others run into something similar? It truly seems discriminatory.DD is doing very well in her dual enrollment classes, has a high SAT/ACT score, and will have accumulated many college credits before graduation. I really don't want to do the portfolio. I wonder if contacting admissions would be helpful?This is dd's safety option b/c it is an in-state public school that has both of the majors she is considering. The only other public option is much more selective, so this really is the best option for a "safety" for her. Otherwise, we'd file it in the cirucular file and move on.Thoughts?!?

 

Talking to admissions might be helpful--and I'm ornery enough that I'd be tempted to have the student request an interview to ask about legal basis for the inequity. We had some interesting things happen while ds was in the process of transferring from community college--I was told a lot of the "hoops" are auditing requirements on the part of the federal government for tracking student demographics.

 

IME, sometimes schools aren't quite sure how to pigeonhole home schooled students. Maybe they try to overcompensate on documentation? When ds grumbled I asked if he'd rather find and apply to a school that doesn't take federal money. He was past 18 and had to do all the legwork! :laugh: Everything worked out pretty well, but it did take awhile to get the admissions, scholarship, and registrar offices all on the same page. Early on in our college search, when ds found out one of his first choices didn't accept home school graduates, but would take him as a transfer. He said no thanks. It was out of state, and I was relieved when ds tossed their packet into the circular file.

 

I guess I'd suggest making a decision based on how much you think you need to keep this school as the safety option, but hope her first choice works out.

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I'd contact admissions to see how flexible they are on this before making a decision. It's possible that their basic needs are just there for homeschoolers without other documentation (that you have). There are other times when it's written in stone and schools aren't flexible. You'll only know if you contact them.

 

We had it happen both ways. Emory required 3 subject tests of homeschoolers (only) and insisted they would not substitute other things. Both U Rochester and Case Western had on their web page that subject tests were highly recommended, but when contacted, they both said other substantiation was just fine (cc classes, AP tests). My guy opted to ditch Emory rather than jumping through their hoops. He's very happy now at U Roc. ;)

 

I'd easily ditch a school that required more, but honestly? I left that decision up to my son instead of making it myself. It's his education and we COULD have signed up for SAT II tests if he'd wanted to go there. He was the one who decided he didn't even care to visit the place (when we were in the area no less).

 

Pittsburgh also has weird requirements that we'd have jumped though hoops to figure out if he'd ended up wanting to go there. We didn't know about those before he applied... then he was accepted without the hoops, but the hoops would have needed to be figured out (search for Pittsburgh to see the whole story if interested). Since he chose U Roc, we never had to worry about it.

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This is dd's safety option b/c it is an in-state public school that has both of the majors she is considering. The only other public option is much more selective, so this really is the best option for a "safety" for her. Otherwise, we'd file it in the cirucular file and move on.

 

Thoughts?!?

 

I'd be pretty annoyed about the different requirements for public vs. hsed students, especially at a state college. Your taxes are supporting this school, so why should the requirements be higher for your child? I think it would be worth contacting the admissions department to see if they would consider removing the portfolio requirement since your dd has so many CC credits.

 

Not that this is any solace, but my state flagship seems to have instituted a requirement (at least this is what I've read) that homeschoolers without an accredited diploma must take the GED. I also find this ridiculous. If a student has the test scores to be competitive there (and many have CC credits, too), why is a GED necessary? My next son is going to pass on the flagship as a safety school. I'll save myself the application fee and headaches. His credentials are good enough to get him a similarly priced education elsewhere. It does still irk me that my taxes support this school, yet it is not realistically an option for my son.

 

I'd suggest dropping the school in favor of one that is more welcoming and is similarly affordable if that is an option. If there aren't another other schools that would fit the bill, it might be worth the time and effort to pursue the in-state option.

 

Best wishes -- you are not alone,

Brenda

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Not that this is any solace, but my state flagship seems to have instituted a requirement (at least this is what I've read) that homeschoolers without an accredited diploma must take the GED. I also find this ridiculous. If a student has the test scores to be competitive there (and many have CC credits, too), why is a GED necessary? My next son is going to pass on the flagship as a safety school. I'll save myself the application fee and headaches. His credentials are good enough to get him a similarly priced education elsewhere. It does still irk me that my taxes support this school, yet it is not realistically an option for my son.

 

 

Best wishes -- you are not alone,

Brenda

 

I agree that a GED requirement is ridiculous for students with good test scores, dual enrollment work, etc. I notice you are in MA, are you referring to UMASS Amherst by an chance? My husband and I are both graduates (we're originally from New England). How sad :(. They are missing out on some great students! My sibiling also graduated UMASS Dart. I had no idea they had instituted a GED requirement. One of my four kiddos had talked about going up there for school as most of our family still resides there.

 

Maybe I'll mention it the next time the Alumi association calls us for a donation!

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I'd be pretty annoyed about the different requirements for public vs. hsed students, especially at a state college. Your taxes are supporting this school, so why should the requirements be higher for your child? I think it would be worth contacting the admissions department to see if they would consider removing the portfolio requirement since your dd has so many CC credits.

 

Not that this is any solace, but my state flagship seems to have instituted a requirement (at least this is what I've read) that homeschoolers without an accredited diploma must take the GED. I also find this ridiculous. If a student has the test scores to be competitive there (and many have CC credits, too), why is a GED necessary? My next son is going to pass on the flagship as a safety school. I'll save myself the application fee and headaches. His credentials are good enough to get him a similarly priced education elsewhere. It does still irk me that my taxes support this school, yet it is not realistically an option for my son.

 

I'd suggest dropping the school in favor of one that is more welcoming and is similarly affordable if that is an option. If there aren't another other schools that would fit the bill, it might be worth the time and effort to pursue the in-state option.

 

Best wishes -- you are not alone,

Brenda

 

We found that while a GED is not required of home school students for admission to state schools in New Mexico, it is required in order to receive the state scholarship which covers 8 semesters of tuition and fees for a minimal enrollment and gpa requirement. The state law does not make it necessary; it's a regulation added in by the Public Education Department.

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I agree that a GED requirement is ridiculous for students with good test scores, dual enrollment work, etc. I notice you are in MA, are you referring to UMASS Amherst by an chance?

 

Maybe I'll mention it the next time the Alumi association calls us for a donation!

 

Yes, this is at UMass Amherst. My oldest applied there and was accepted 4 years ago. There was no mention of a GED at that point, but he decided to go elsewhere, so I don't know if they would have asked for it once he had enrolled.

 

I've heard talk of the GED requirement on the local Mass Homelearners yahoo list. Apparently, UMass Amherst is requiring a GED, but ULowell is not at this point. I guess the different campuses can make their own rules.

 

Good idea about mentioning that when they call you asking for money.

 

Brenda

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I'm going to be a bit cynical and say that they are admitting what other schools may do privately.

 

On an email group I'm on one parent mentioned that at a certain private school the home school students' SAT scores were 100 points higher on average than the class body. Without knowing how many students over all and how many home schooled students, you can't be sure with that, but if more than a handful of home schooled students were attending (say 100) then I'd say the school is doing some sort of discrimination during the admissions process.

 

Let's think about other circumstances in which a group of students get judges based on various characteristics that don't seem really about academics:

  • I've heard folks in the North East complain that they have to be more competitive because their geographic location has more competitive students overall while other areas of the country can score lower.
  • There's good solid evidence that Asian students must score as much as 150 points higher on the SAT to get into many schools.
  • Even students at one small prep school may find the bar would have been lower if they went to a less competitive school.
  • The reverse is true for some students with special talents in music, art, or sports. Their scores are lower.

Now, add to factors like these, the fact that home schoolers may present a mixed bag of transcript items. Sure some have outside classes maybe even the majority of their classes. But others have only scores based on "mommy grades." Since most schools use a combination of SAT/ACT scores with a transcript, a school may be concerned about this.

 

They may even track home schooled students and learn that the failure rate of home schooled students at certain SATs is higher than for their student body on average. I know from my dad who as a faculty member did admissions for med school (long ago) that schools want their students to succeed, they don't want them to fail and they will actively screen and look at students in order to make it more likely that everyone they admit will succeed.

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Yes, this is at UMass Amherst. My oldest applied there and was accepted 4 years ago. There was no mention of a GED at that point, but he decided to go elsewhere, so I don't know if they would have asked for it once he had enrolled.

 

I've heard talk of the GED requirement on the local Mass Homelearners yahoo list. Apparently, UMass Amherst is requiring a GED, but ULowell is not at this point. I guess the different campuses can make their own rules.

 

Good idea about mentioning that when they call you asking for money.

 

Brenda

 

 

This is what the UMass Amherst site says now:

 

Home-schooled applicants are required to submit all of the application materials required for freshman applicants, including standardized test scores, a personal statement, and a transcript. It is understood that the transcript of a home-schooled student may be different from that of a traditional high school student. Regardless of the format, a transcript should include all 9th to 12th grade courses (including those in progress) and the timeframe of each course (academic year and semester). In addition, an assessment of performance (a letter grade, percentage, narrative assessment, etc.) is needed. Occasionally applicants are asked to submit additional information describing the curriculum and/or texts used.

 

Home-schooled students who are admitted are required to provide the university with proof of graduation in one of the three following ways:

 

An official final transcript from the local school district.

An official final transcript from a home school association or agency.

An official GED score report.

Home-schooled students who have completed AP exams and/or college coursework must request that those official score reports and transcripts be sent directly to the Admissions Office.

 

Nan

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I'm going to be a bit cynical and say that they are admitting what other schools may do privately.

 

On an email group I'm on one parent mentioned that at a certain private school the home school students' SAT scores were 100 points higher on average than the class body.

 

 

Personally, I'm ok with private schools figuring out their admissions however they want to do it. They could pick all August birthdays as far as I'm concerned.

 

I have massive problems with public schools discriminating based upon scores. I might consider some leeway for diversity (economic, geographical, esp), but not simply due to the school one went to (homeschool, prep school, or other).

 

Students from our ps with low scores often have problems succeeding at 4 year colleges too.

 

I would think there could be grounds for a discrimination suit if one were so inclined.

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Personally, I'm ok with private schools figuring out their admissions however they want to do it. They could pick all August birthdays as far as I'm concerned.

 

I have massive problems with public schools discriminating based upon scores. I might consider some leeway for diversity (economic, geographical, esp), but not simply due to the school one went to (homeschool, prep school, or other).

 

Students from our ps with low scores often have problems succeeding at 4 year colleges too.

 

I would think there could be grounds for a discrimination suit if one were so inclined.

 

Maybe, but the problem for any college with a home schooled student, especially one without a lot of outside course work, is the missing piece of information they have from other students. So they have to decide how to fill that missing hole up.

 

Even without side work, a lot of schools go by class rank not GPA. So the outside classes only tell so much. I can tell you that my son is making an A in Lukeion's Latin class, but he is probably not in the top ten percent of that class. So even good outside scores can be problematic for an admissions department.

 

I think our local uni uses a formula with SAT score and class rank. So what do they do when the student has no class rank that can be used in this equation. That's where the SAT score may get diminished.

 

You reference poor public schools, but sometimes a student will have scores that aren't a nice set: a high SAT and low class rank OR high class rank and low SAT score. A school that uses both factors will treat these students differently than others with the same SAT because of that unevenness.

 

Similarly a school may track previous home school admits and then assign future ones a class rank based on how those previous admits do once at the school.

 

None of this is discrimination in terms of being prejudiced against home schooled students. It is discrimination based on study of how those students do.

 

I can't comment on the particular school situation since I am not familiar with it. I've certainly read other things that indicate this school might be problematic for home schoolers. My argument here is purely theoretical.

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I think our local uni uses a formula with SAT score and class rank. So what do they do when the student has no class rank that can be used in this equation. That's where the SAT score may get diminished.

 

 

And many schools, including the one I work at, no longer rank students, so this is not just a hs situation.

 

I asked many admissions folks about how homeschooled students are judged. Every single one said they put more weight on their scores (SAT/ACT/AP or whatever else they had including outside grades). They also said they don't really use their GPA from home - though they'll look at the transcript to see courses covered.

 

I see nothing wrong with this, but I still have problems with public schools requiring differing score sets to apply. Can you imagine the uproar if they started doing that with other groups of students (males/females, etc)?

 

I'm just not a fan of discrimination in the public realm. They can discriminate based upon what they see with an application (that's what acceptances/rejections are), but not to apply. There's no reason to think that 500/500 with one subgroup is any different than 500/500 with another without looking at the rest of what is offered.

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And many schools, including the one I work at, no longer rank students, so this is not just a hs situation.

 

 

 

Class rank is a huge problem here. Our local PS eliminated this due to parental complaints...eventually, to make everything fair, they'll end up eliminating every single evaluative mechanis they use. Sigh....

 

Anyway, that's also an issue in a couple of other school districts that no longer rank students and in one of those two schools, they've eliminated the designation valedictorian and salutatorian.

 

Faith

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Class rank is a huge problem here. Our local PS eliminated this due to parental complaints...eventually, to make everything fair, they'll end up eliminating every single evaluative mechanis they use. Sigh....

 

Anyway, that's also an issue in a couple of other school districts that no longer rank students and in one of those two schools, they've eliminated the designation valedictorian and salutatorian.

 

Faith

 

 

Perhaps colleges use class rank because this circumvents the problem of grade inflation? Just a thought - I can see many problems with using class rank as well...

 

Nan

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Thinking aloud here...

 

In NC, minimal admissions requirements for the state university system are tailored around public school standards. Homeschools are treated as a subset of private schools. So what I wonder is if the UNC system has basic standards for publicly educated kids and then tries to fit the non-public pegs into pre-set holes.

 

I do know from our experience that all colleges try to figure out how home educated kids compare to brick and mortar. As I have noted previously, colleges have not necessarily required additional documentation but have been grateful for it. "Anything to help us learn about the applicant is appreciated" is something I was told more than once. Is the higher standard a reaction to those who only submit a handmade transcript and a test score? Does a transcript listing "English I, American History, Spanish II" stand on its own when the admissions counselors have no definitions of what was covered in those courses? In a public school, there are supposed standards, hence an assumption of certain content..

 

Again...thinking aloud. Fair? Not if a clear picture of the student is provided. Perhaps necessary if no other information was given?

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Perhaps colleges use class rank because this circumvents the problem of grade inflation? Just a thought - I can see many problems with using class rank as well...

 

Nan

 

 

Good point, Nan. So many good points in this discussion are helping me to go from shocked to recognizing the unreasonable homeschooling demands are just part of a flawed system.

 

The one point I haven't seen mentioned is that public/private school grades are very bit as "suspect" as the homeschool grades. It boils down to the teacher's decision. Some teachers are lenient, some (it seems, the minority) strict, some careless, some meticulous. Two teachers using the same exact text and lesson plans give different grades for similar work. Some content areas are light, attendance- or discussion based, some grades are test-based, homework-based, project-based, etc. Not to mention the difference between different texts used in different classes.

 

I could give specific examples as my two college students took the same classes as co ops, private school (brick and mortar), home, private school homeschool program, cc, AP, video vs. w/o video, etc.

 

The grades from traditional schools are just as arbitrary as hs grades.

 

I would posit that there is no missing information piece for hsers.

 

Rather, colleges accept and then try to balance and decipher information for students from traditional settings and then suspect the same exact information from homeschool settings. While it is true that homeschool settings are difficult to "measure", they are really no more difficult from comparing students from hundreds of schools in dozens of districts, not to mention various states.

 

Lisaj, mom to 5

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I asked many admissions folks about how homeschooled students are judged. Every single one said they put more weight on their scores (SAT/ACT/AP or whatever else they had including outside grades). They also said they don't really use their GPA from home - though they'll look at the transcript to see courses covered.

 

I see nothing wrong with this, but I still have problems with public schools requiring differing score sets to apply. Can you imagine the uproar if they started doing that with other groups of students (males/females, etc)?

 

I'm just not a fan of discrimination in the public realm. They can discriminate based upon what they see with an application (that's what acceptances/rejections are), but not to apply. There's no reason to think that 500/500 with one subgroup is any different than 500/500 with another without looking at the rest of what is offered.

 

 

First of all, thanks to everyone for chiming in. I really appreciate folks who've shared their opinions and experiences. The bolded above is the key to my issue with all of this and the reason for my original post.

 

I have no problem at all with a school choosing to emphasize scores over another part of the application. I even think it's somewhat logical when evaluating a non-traditional student. It's a great basis for comparison. While grades given in any setting are never going to be 100% accurate or objective, I honestly agree that "mommy grades" are particularly suspect, especially if there are red flags such as a transcript with grades and a gpa that doesn't correlate well with test scores.

 

But to say that one group of students must have 1000 and another group must have an 1130 on admission paperwork seems preposterous to me. Like others have mentioned, I have heard and suspected some of this goes on behind the scenes, but I can only imagine the uproar that would occur if a public uni. dared to publish written standards that demanded something similar of another minority group of students. I'm not sure what their possible reasoning is, but it seems as though they fear that home school students will be so ill prepared that they'll need a higher innate academic ability than other students to overcome that and be successful?!?

 

BTW, this same uni. mentions several possible flexibility/work arounds for students who can't measure up to the 500/500 standard, but only students from an accredited school are eligbile for those. They are willing to accept a limited number of those students with only a 450/450 and 2.5 GPA. So conceivably a homeschooler with an 1120 could be denied while a student with a 900 could gain admission!

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Two things:

 

First - Although the supposed standards may be more supposed than actual, one would assume that state colleges are somewhat familiar with the various school districts in their state, at least in a smaller state like Mass. (not sure about Calif.).

 

Second - I can sort of understand the theory about the missing information (Candid's?). Say a univerisity aims their instruction at a certain type of student and that the uni has a certain amount of faith in SAT scores being some indication of whether or not a student is of that type. The uni probably knows that some students of that type will not get those scores; in fact, some of the more interesting students will not get those scores because the scores aren't a perfect indicator. So it sets the score bar a bit low and looks at grades (or rank) as well. It considers homeschoolers' scores suspect, even more suspect than normal grades (which it probably is also suspicious of, hence the importance of the far from perfect SAT system); therefore, it gives homeschoolers the "real" SAT score it would like to see, rather than the lower one which might possibly be acceptable if the accompanying grades were good. This is sort of like a college's list of required high school courses: many colleges say two lab sciences but when most of their applicants have four, the ones with two don't really have much chance. In other words, this is a minimum rather than a recommended amount, and students with the minimum need to be especially good in some other way. So - the students with the minimum SAT score have to be especially good in some other way (like grades) but the uni doesn't have much faith in their ability to obtain that other way for homeschoolers.

 

The whole system is probably a matter of universities trying to do the best they can under less than ideal circumstances and weigh lots of doubtful information from both accredited and non-accredited schools, testing, etc.

 

Nan

 

ETA - Not that I like any of this, mind you. I can just sort of see where the uni's are coming from.

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The reason our school eliminated rank (and Val, Sal) is because it wasn't truly representative... Kids in lower level classes could be ranked higher than those in higher level classes. Grades are weighted by level, but it still doesn't necessarily make it all comparative. If all students essentially take the same level of classes, then ranking is useful. But when one is taking math standards and another is in pre-calc, they just aren't too comparative. Ditto that with academic electives vs photography.

 

It is one change I actually agree with and would not change back.

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Class rank is a huge problem here. Our local PS eliminated this due to parental complaints...eventually, to make everything fair, they'll end up eliminating every single evaluative mechanis they use. Sigh....

 

Anyway, that's also an issue in a couple of other school districts that no longer rank students and in one of those two schools, they've eliminated the designation valedictorian and salutatorian.

 

Faith

 

Our local high schools eliminated class rank because the competition is so great that excellent students with high grade point averages and test scores were too low in class rank to be considered at some schools. When you have 100 students who have above 4.0 grade point averages, the only difference between the top 20 may be some took 9 AP classes and the others took 8. It wasn't a case of underperforming students getting into the top 10%. It was that there were so many excellent students that class rank was misleading. Many of the top public high schools in our state have gone this route as well.

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Our local high schools eliminated class rank because the competition is so great that excellent students with high grade point averages and test scores were too low in class rank to be considered at some schools. When you have 100 students who have above 4.0 grade point averages, the only difference between the top 20 may be some took 9 AP classes and the others took 8. It wasn't a case of underperforming students getting into the top 10%. It was that there were so many excellent students that class rank was misleading. Many of the top public high schools in our state have gone this route as well.

 

 

Oh, I wish that were the problem here. My local PS is a pit, a horrible, abyss of educational apathy. So, class rank went the way of the dodo because the parents of the kids failing their way through school didn't like those class rankings because it "discrimintated" against their children. As for valedictorian/salutatorian, this was because with grade inflation - they are the supreme masters of this (for instance, half the grade in almost all of the classes is for attendance, and 30% for homework - full marks for turning the homework in no matter how many errors are made) so they end up with a bazillion 4.0 students and said they can't come up with any criteria for choosing that won't make someone, somewhere sue them.

 

I've rolled my eyes so hard at times that I practically injured myself. If ever there was a "roll over and play dead every time some whines about something" school district, it's ours.

 

Faith

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It's actually closer to 450 points higher when compared to the racial groups with the lowest SAT requirements.

 

 

 

Wowzers, that is extremely unfair :(. I've also heard talk of educational bias where students whose families have advanced degrees or are in certain occupations are expected to have higher scores. The latter is at least is somewhat understandable.

 

What I don't understand is how discriminatory policies are beneficial to the schools who practice them. One would think that they would want the students with the most impressive scores/backgrounds, etc. Thoughts?

 

I also maintain that a public uni. would not dare to put such a discriminatory statement into writing about any other minority group.

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Wowzers, that is extremely unfair :(. I've also heard talk of educational bias where students whose families have advanced degrees or are in certain occupations are expected to have higher scores. The latter is at least is somewhat understandable.

 

What I don't understand is how discriminatory policies are beneficial to the schools who practice them. One would think that they would want the students with the most impressive scores/backgrounds, etc. Thoughts?

 

I also maintain that a public uni. would not dare to put such a discriminatory statement into writing about any other minority group.

 

The advantage that the schools themselves would speak to is having a more diverse class. A better mix of students on a range of things that influence what the students bring to the table.

 

At extremely elite schools they have very high turn down rates, so they can pick and chose who they want and don't want.

 

One thing I've learned to ask if told a low SAT is accepted at a school where that seems too low, is to follow up with questions asking for details about what sort of qualities get a student admitted with that lower score? There are actually lots of possibilities: sports, special musical or performance skills, potential high dollar donor parents, etc. I'm not sure they'll tell you those, but based on readings about admissions those are the big categories (I've read that 20% of Ivy admissions fall into the sports admit category.)

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Our local high schools eliminated class rank because the competition is so great that excellent students with high grade point averages and test scores were too low in class rank to be considered at some schools. When you have 100 students who have above 4.0 grade point averages, the only difference between the top 20 may be some took 9 AP classes and the others took 8. It wasn't a case of underperforming students getting into the top 10%. It was that there were so many excellent students that class rank was misleading. Many of the top public high schools in our state have gone this route as well.
The reason our school eliminated rank (and Val, Sal) is because it wasn't truly representative... Kids in lower level classes could be ranked higher than those in higher level classes. Grades are weighted by level, but it still doesn't necessarily make it all comparative. If all students essentially take the same level of classes, then ranking is useful. But when one is taking math standards and another is in pre-calc, they just aren't too comparative. Ditto that with academic electives vs photography.

 

It is one change I actually agree with and would not change back.

 

I'd love for you two to give us more details about these two schools, general geographic location, student make up in terms of wealth, size of graduating class, ratio of counselors to students. Etc.

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Second - I can sort of understand the theory about the missing information (Candid's?).

 

The whole system is probably a matter of universities trying to do the best they can under less than ideal circumstances and weigh lots of doubtful information from both accredited and non-accredited schools, testing, etc.

 

Nan

 

ETA - Not that I like any of this, mind you. I can just sort of see where the uni's are coming from.

 

 

It's possible that they have used their own in house data to follow up on how certain kinds of students do once they are enrolled. So they aren't even guessing. They might know if you are a home schooled student with X on the SAT you will fail out Y percent of the time.

 

I have no idea if colleges do this.

 

However, I can tell you my dad did admissions for his med school and they did this exactly. Because of a mandate to have their graduates stay in our state (even though his school was private) they also went out and interviewed professors at small colleges in our state. All the ones I know about would be considered third tier schools, but based on those discussions, some school's graduates would be admitted because the med school faculty thought their science background was strong enough to do well at the med school.

 

Their admissions was much smaller so they could do this. Do big schools do this, I don't know.

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I'd love for you two to give us more details about these two schools, general geographic location, student make up in terms of wealth, size of graduating class, ratio of counselors to students. Etc.

 

 

Well, I don't give identifying information so in terms of geography, somewhere north of the I-94 corridor of Michigan, still in the lower penninsula, and very rural. Size of graduating class is approximately 125 depending on the year, but that is getting lower as employment is an issue and families are leaving the region. It is an almost exclusively caucasion (not likely to change because employers are leaving the region not coming here so no incentive for families to leave the city and join us), and the median income has dropped to 31,000.00 or there abouts often requiring at least one full time plus a part time worker to achieve that if not two full timers. Average hourly wage for 65% of the jobs that are not health care related is down to minimum wage. Families that earn more than $50,000.00 a year without a healthcare worker as main provider are not common. Families with a stay at home parent are quite rare. We have had an influx of retired couples because this is a lovely area to retire to in terms of scenery and COL. This impacts issues with the school district as well because we are getting lopsided in this matter and the retirees will almost across the board tell you, "Who gives a _______ what happens to the schools? I don't have a kid in them." You can imagine how difficult it would be to get a proposal for millage increase through if the schools had an emergency. HAH, not happening. Actually, it's becoming a huge issue. The retirees do not treat children well in this area. It's epidemic enough that the county commissioners have had meetings about it to try to address the issue, though there is very little they can do about it.

 

As for school guidance counselors, there is one per school in our county and an average 400-500 students per high school with one that sports about 650 and still only has one guidance counselor. Since I did a brief stint as a guidance counselor for a private school (a kind of torture I will never subject myself to again!!!!), I ended up rubbing shoulders with all of them and attended a couple of education conferences with several. They were, across the board, incompetant. They were truly astonished at what I tried to tell them about the current college admission's game. Since they are generally inundated with behavior problems they can do nothing about and spend a lot of time writing referrals for professional counseling services, they did not bother to update their knowledge. Not one single counselor knew personally about ANYTHING related to college admissions since 2000/2001. A lot has changed since then. Most of them were still telling kids that they could go to U of M or MSU with big scholarships on a 3.0 average, not taking any math higher than algebra 2, no honors, no AP's, no dual enrollment, no higher level classes such as advanced ANYTHING, and no extra-curriculars of any noteworthiness with an ACT of 22 or 23. When I asked them how many of their students were being accepted at tier one uni's with transcripts like that, their responses were unanimously that none could remember any students with those scores being accepted to any non-regional four year colleges and that most of their grads, the few that go on, were going to "Crappy Regional State U" down the road that is notorious state-wide for having exceedingly low standards and admits with ACT scores as low as 18.

 

Of course, only about 20% of any of these graduating classes will pursue any additional career training beyond high school at 18 or 19. The schools just don't do anything to educate these kids about the realities of life and neither do their parents apparently. Most will live at home for a few years trying to find employment, most won't find employment (I use the word "most" because local journalists recently canvassed the area and dug for local statistics to try to highlight the need for change), or some will and then find out that you can't pay rent, utilities, car payments, gas and insurance for said car, pay the doctor, and buy groceries on 35-40 hrs. per week of minimum wage. The big drive towards additional job training is often, as described to me by local employers, parents, and educators, when they meet someone and want to settle down. They find out that if both of them work minimum wage jobs, they can then just keep their heads above water, but without any more education/training, they'll never do any better than that and always be in danger of losing their jobs. So, they then start going to CC, Vo-Tech, or Uni part-time and it takes a very long time to get ahead because they can't do it full-time. It's a number of years of school and 40 hr. work weeks combined to reach their goal. So, it's very, very sad that they didn't have that goal at 17 or 18 when it would have been so much easier to accomplish.

 

My nephew is figuring this out. He ended up landing at CC, got some good vo-tech training, and is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But for him, this only worked while he's still in his early 20's because he figured out what nitch certain local employers needed to fill, and then went about getting specifically that training and tweeking his abilities to be "the perfect match." Smart kid! He's got a handy little salary and a very nice benefits package to match. He is a medical, computer technician and it's a very specific skill set. He's not the "let me wipe the viruses off your harddrive and restore your machine" guy you hire. He's the one that when the newest and latest computerized gadget for the O.R. goes belly-up during a surgery, you call and he is disinfected, gloved, and masked and repairs the thing while the patient is on the table. He's the guy you call to find the solder-joint that went bad on the mother-board for the MRI, etc. There are very, very few people in our area who have this skill and it requires a strong stomach because he is often repairing something while a patient is around. So, many "techie" guys don't do that work because body fluids and such do not mix with them.

 

Let me see, are there other demographics that would help? Hmm...though we are outlying, a huge number of this generation's parents worked line jobs for the car companies and supporting industries enduring long commutes for 30 years and then retiring at 48-50 years of age. Those jobs are gone and that has been a real problem as the area is far behind the ball in terms of adjusting to the new employment norm. Any new jobs added are either health industry related, service jobs, or related to alternative energy and environmental science. Most of these require at minimum two years of CC, if not a four year degree.

 

Faith

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I'd love for you two to give us more details about these two schools, general geographic location, student make up in terms of wealth, size of graduating class, ratio of counselors to students. Etc.

 

We're in semi-rural PA with roughly 350 or so students per graduating class. Most parents do not have advanced degrees and a fair number of students are on reduced or free lunch. We have 3 guidance counselors for the students and one additional extra person (provided by Teach for America or some similar organization) who works solely with kids interested in attending college. Standardized score-wise, our school is roughly average for the nation. NCLB score-wise we are below average in PA. I've worked in this district since '99. It's why I started homeschooling when my oldest hit high school. ;)

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The advantage that the schools themselves would speak to is having a more diverse class. A better mix of students on a range of things that influence what the students bring to the table.

 

At extremely elite schools they have very high turn down rates, so they can pick and chose who they want and don't want.

 

One thing I've learned to ask if told a low SAT is accepted at a school where that seems too low, is to follow up with questions asking for details about what sort of qualities get a student admitted with that lower score? There are actually lots of possibilities: sports, special musical or performance skills, potential high dollar donor parents, etc. I'm not sure they'll tell you those, but based on readings about admissions those are the big categories (I've read that 20% of Ivy admissions fall into the sports admit category.)

 

This makes some sense to me. However it would seem that these policies would actively seek to limit diversity if certain minority groups are expected to attain higher scores. Sort of like affirmative action (which I don't support) but in reverse.

 

Private schools might do as they please, but I feel like a publically funded uni. should not be able to do this to in-state students. I understand and agree with the fact that admissions standards for out of state students are often higher.

 

I also agree that those with special backgrounds/skills/talents might be valuable to a school. To me those types of skills should give a student "an edge" when applying, but should not lower the basic standards for admittance. I know that's not the reality though.

 

Not that it really matters, but the school that my original post was based on is small, not very selective/competitive, largely commuters/local students, and does not have a noteable athletic program.

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Chiming in here.

 

Ds was considering St. Louis University. We got caught in an impossible Circular Requirement.

 

STUniv required GED . . . but the hilarious part was that our state (KY) prohibits currently enrolled high school students from taking the GED.

He had top 3% ACT and SAT. Obviously not a "borderline" case, and obviously wanting to apply for merit scholarships.

 

STU ended up conceding that we could send a detailed Course Description with textbooks, assignments completed etc. instead, and the GED that final summer.

(Which was ridiculous, because, by then, he would have been registered for classes, scholarships awarded, etc.)

 

But I did write up a Course Description . . . then our ds (thankfully) decided to rule them out. :hurray:

 

Just 4 years ago, they did NOT have the GED requirement. It had been ADDED recently.

For me, it was an indication that they were NOT a homeschool-friendly school . . . and likely not open to other unconventional options.

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Chiming in here.

 

Ds was considering St. Louis University. We got caught in an impossible Circular Requirement.

 

STUniv required GED . . . but the hilarious part was that our state (KY) prohibits currently enrolled high school students from taking the GED.

He had top 3% ACT and SAT. Obviously not a "borderline" case, and obviously wanting to apply for merit scholarships.

 

STU ended up conceding that we could send a detailed Course Description with textbooks, assignments completed etc. instead, and the GED that final summer.

(Which was ridiculous, because, by then, he would have been registered for classes, scholarships awarded, etc.)

 

But I did write up a Course Description . . . then our ds (thankfully) decided to rule them out. :hurray:

 

Just 4 years ago, they did NOT have the GED requirement. It had been ADDED recently.

For me, it was an indication that they were NOT a homeschool-friendly school . . . and likely not open to other unconventional options.

 

 

Wow! That just makes my face twitch!

 

The GED in Michigan only tests to a 6th grade reading level and remedial math...nothing beyond basic arithmetic and story problems with a little business or consumer math tossed into it. Our local school, an educational pit by any standard, considers it to be 9th grade remedial. So, someone scoring anything above the national average, would have already demonstrated a higher level of achievement than the GED. I cannot imagine why a school would want to see that with ACT's in the top 3%! That just staggers the imagination so I would guess that you are very correct to surmize that they have become homeschool unfriendly and are seeking to discourage applications from this segment of the student population. Since the GED is a state administered "standardized test", all they have to request is a minimum score of their choosing on the ACT or SAT and they'll know the student has surpassed the GED. According to statistics given to my colleagues and I at a school guidance counselor seminar, an A on the GED is the equivalent of an 17-18 on the ACT. I don't remember what numbers they gave us for the SAT.

 

Faith

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Wow! That just makes my face twitch!

 

The GED in Michigan only tests to a 6th grade reading level and remedial math...nothing beyond basic arithmetic and story problems with a little business or consumer math tossed into it. Our local school, an educational pit by any standard, considers it to be 9th grade remedial. So, someone scoring anything above the national average, would have already demonstrated a higher level of achievement than the GED. I cannot imagine why a school would want to see that with ACT's in the top 3%! That just staggers the imagination so I would guess that you are very correct to surmize that they have become homeschool unfriendly and are seeking to discourage applications from this segment of the student population. Since the GED is a state administered "standardized test", all they have to request is a minimum score of their choosing on the ACT or SAT and they'll know the student has surpassed the GED. According to statistics given to my colleagues and I at a school guidance counselor seminar, an A on the GED is the equivalent of an 17-18 on the ACT. I don't remember what numbers they gave us for the SAT.

 

Faith

 

 

All I can say is, :iagree: . That rule seems utterly ludicrous considering what you have. In my family, that would mean we avoid the school and go elsewhere. MANY schools want top kids and will offer them $$ without a GED.

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Class rank is a huge problem here. Our local PS eliminated this due to parental complaints...eventually, to make everything fair, they'll end up eliminating every single evaluative mechanis they use. Sigh....

 

Anyway, that's also an issue in a couple of other school districts that no longer rank students and in one of those two schools, they've eliminated the designation valedictorian and salutatorian.

 

Faith

 

 

FWIW, Fairfax County, VA has also eliminated class rank. They do still do a GPA and weight advanced courses (honors or AP courses). This is a high performing district and their policy may drive others in the state/region. (About half of the National Merit Semi-Finalists in the state were from FCPS. )

 

Also the area Governor's Science Magnet does not do a class rank. They draw from seven area districts.

 

ETA: I found a search result on College Board that suggested about half the high schools in the US no longer provide class rank for college applications or have done away with it altogether.

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All I can say is, :iagree: . That rule seems utterly ludicrous considering what you have. In my family, that would mean we avoid the school and go elsewhere. MANY schools want top kids and will offer them $$ without a GED.

 

 

I am reminded of a line in a very old edition of What Color Is Your Parachute about what to do if you encounter descriminatory behavior or questions on an interview. It pointed out that, yes, you could fight about it. But it went on to ask if you really wanted to work 40+ hours a week at a place where such questions were considered appropriate.

 

There are many, many schools out there.

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ETA: I found a search result on College Board that suggested about half the high schools in the US no longer provide class rank for college applications or have done away with it altogether.

 

 

My local public school still does class rank. What I find interesting, though, is that even some schools that have eliminated class rank still publish GPA distributions in their school profile. So if the school profile gives the percentage of students at each GPA range, then the college can effectively figure out a rough class rank for an applicant anyway if the student's GPA is known.

 

Brenda

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My local public school still does class rank. What I find interesting, though, is that even some schools that have eliminated class rank still publish GPA distributions in their school profile. So if the school profile gives the percentage of students at each GPA range, then the college can effectively figure out a rough class rank for an applicant anyway if the student's GPA is known.

 

Brenda

 

I guess they could, but admissions folks I've talked with or heard from (group sessions) have said they tend to spend 15 minutes or so per application. I doubt that time is spent hunting down school websites. They probably just have their own groupings they put them in if they want to do something like that.

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Sort of related... I have yet to meet a test-optional school that didn't say they DID need SAT/ACT scores from homeschoolers - test-optional only if you aren't a homeschooler. Even the very alternativy ones like Hampshire and Marlboro said this. (That was awhile ago, so they may have changed policies since then, but in this round of college searching we have also encountered this, so I doubt it.)

 

Nan

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My local public school still does class rank. What I find interesting, though, is that even some schools that have eliminated class rank still publish GPA distributions in their school profile. So if the school profile gives the percentage of students at each GPA range, then the college can effectively figure out a rough class rank for an applicant anyway if the student's GPA is known.

 

Brenda

 

If they show the distributions through the range, they probably could do this. It does still get muddy with gpa that are weighted for advanced courses. Our local schools seem to publish a range, but not the distribution.

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http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37242551/can-homeschoolers-do-well-in-college/

 

I think this is an interesting article, and the statistics probably show that universities require a little more from homeschooled students from the beginning (higher ACT/SAT scores, more AP classes based onthe statistics of the incoming classes). But I also think there is no reason to also require a GED. Our local state school, Ohio State, requires a GED. I think it is ridiculous, and my son does does not want to take it because he says the GED is for someone who did not complete school, which he is doing. He scored a very high ACT in 7th grade, and will have many APs and SAT IIs by the time he graduates. It upsets me because this is the most affordable option for us, even if he would get no scholarships, because he can live at home while going to school. I do plan on contacting the admissions office to see if the GED can be waived.

And the class rank discussion is interesting, because class rank does figure into the formula that is used in Ivy League schools according to "A is fro Admission" by Michele Hernandez. So homeschoolers may be at a slight disadvantage when applying to Ivies, and schools that don't rank may be hurting their brightest students. Also, according to Hernandez, kids ranking high in schools of 100 or less in the graduating class (I think that is the number) are also at a disadvantage because they are not given as high of a number in the formula as a child who is ranked high in a class of, say, 500. (The book gives the exact formula for those of you who are interested).

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http://www.cbsnews.c...ell-in-college/

Our local state school, Ohio State, requires a GED. I think it is ridiculous, and my son does does not want to take it because he says the GED is for someone who did not complete school, which he is doing.

I also think it is ridiculous that some schools require homeschoolers to get the GED for the exact reason stated by your son. Ohio State's requirements for homeschoolers have been discussed on the yahoo group hs2coll - one member even posted her email communications with admissions at Ohio State.

 

Ohio State does require homeschoolers to have a higher ACT score than traditional applicants, but Ohio State does not require homeschoolers to take the GED - a fact that is impossible to ascertain from the information listed on their webpage. Another member of this forum called Ohio State and was told that homeschoolers do not have to take the GED.

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And the class rank discussion is interesting, because class rank does figure into the formula that is used in Ivy League schools according to "A is fro Admission" by Michele Hernandez. So homeschoolers may be at a slight disadvantage when applying to Ivies, and schools that don't rank may be hurting their brightest students.

 

I agree this is an interesting book, but some of the information, particularly about class rank is now outdated. Many public and private high schools have dropped class rank entirely and the annual survey of college admissions officers shows that it is a factor of declining importance.

 

In my opinion the bigger issue for homeschoolers is that two of the top five factors that admissions officers rank as of considerable importance are grades - both grades in college prep courses and overall GPA. As admissions typically don't put weight on a parent issued GPA this means homeschoolers are often missing some of the standard information that admissions officers consider important so we need to plan for ways to make sure the rest of the student's record is very strong.

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I'd love for you two to give us more details about these two schools, general geographic location, student make up in terms of wealth, size of graduating class, ratio of counselors to students. Etc.

 

Our high school is in a relatively affluent area with lots of highly educated parents, including lots of professionals. It is solidly middle class with a large section of upper middle class to wealthy residents. Education is highly valued so they spend a lot per student, but, compared to some wealthier areas, it is a bargain for taxpayers. We are in a midwestern major metropolitan area - suburban. Our county has such highly rated schools that our state flagship university said that they were going to limit acceptances from our area in order to promote diversity. Well, that caused a firestorm from taxpayers who felt that the school should not discriminate against highly qualified students solely on location. The university backed down.

 

The graduating class is about 700 students. Mean ACT score is 25.5. Over 85% go on to college. There are 11 guidance counselors on staff. The GPA of the 90th percentile is 4.24. That means that over 70 students have GPAs over 4.0. Within that top 10% of students, often the difference in the GPA is how many AP classes one has taken. This is why they had eliminated class rank - a student with a perfect GPA might not make the top 10%. Many very selective universities had to reduce the reliance on class rank as part of their admissions criteria due to schools like ours.

 

Many people ask why we would want to homeschool with schools "this great." While it looks great on paper, it is a pressure cooker, both socially and academically. Socially, there is a huge problem with "affluenza". We live in a moderate neighborhood (mostly 3-4 bedroom 2200 sq. ft. homes that are well-maintained) that the students call "the slums." Kids from our neighborhood have been known to hide the fact that they live here, even though it is a desirable neighborhood. Academically, the pressure to take all APs and get top grades is so immense that cheating has been rampant. A huge cheating ring has been discovered. Many top students who didn't need to cheat have blown their shot at the Ivies as they will fail classes this year. The teachers are so distraught. These were their prized students.

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Many people ask why we would want to homeschool with schools "this great." While it looks great on paper, it is a pressure cooker, both socially and academically. Socially, there is a huge problem with "affluenza". We live in a moderate neighborhood (mostly 3-4 bedroom 2200 sq. ft. homes that are well-maintained) that the students call "the slums." Kids from our neighborhood have been known to hide the fact that they live here, even though it is a desirable neighborhood. Academically, the pressure to take all APs and get top grades is so immense that cheating has been rampant. A huge cheating ring has been discovered. Many top students who didn't need to cheat have blown their shot at the Ivies as they will fail classes this year. The teachers are so distraught. These were their prized students.

 

 

This is one of the saddest posts I've read. I still don't care for our underperforming school, but I'm not really sure which is worse between the two.

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Ohio State does require homeschoolers to have a higher ACT score than traditional applicants, but Ohio State does not require homeschoolers to take the GED - a fact that is impossible to ascertain from the information listed on their webpage. Another member of this forum called Ohio State and was told that homeschoolers do not have to take the GED.

 

I hope you are right. This is quoted from OSU's admisssions page (and you did say it was confusing):

 

"Ohio State requires that you receive a diploma from a chartered high school or GED to enroll. Students attending Ohio State regional campuses must meet campus-change requirements to enroll at the Columbus campus. For information, please contact your academic advisor."

 

Just curious, but did OSU say in an e-mail that they required higher ACT scores?? I am not worried about ds, but I just thought it was strange they would admit this. I guess I will go ahead and give them a call. I have been told by homeschooling families here in town that they did require a GED, and you can see from the information on the web it certainly looks like it, but ds will be so happy if that is not the case.

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I hope you are right. This is quoted from OSU's admisssions page (and you did say it was confusing):

 

"Ohio State requires that you receive a diploma from a chartered high school or GED to enroll. Students attending Ohio State regional campuses must meet campus-change requirements to enroll at the Columbus campus. For information, please contact your academic advisor."

 

Just curious, but did OSU say in an e-mail that they required higher ACT scores?? I am not worried about ds, but I just thought it was strange they would admit this. I guess I will go ahead and give them a call. I have been told by homeschooling families here in town that they did require a GED, and you can see from the information on the web it certainly looks like it, but ds will be so happy if that is not the case.

 

 

I was told by someone in admissions the GED requirement wouldn't apply and that they would accept a homemade transcript. They used to have an ACT requirement of 27 for homeschoolers listed on the webiste. It's no longer there. The website says homeschoolers have the same requirements as anyone else. Another mom on here told me she ignored what the website said about the GED/chartered diploma, sent her homemade transcript and was fine. She emphasized the importance of test scores and some outside verification because OSU is very competitive right now. I wonder if OSU picks and chooses who they want the GED from.

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I was told by someone in admissions the GED requirement wouldn't apply and that they would accept a homemade transcript. They used to have an ACT requirement of 27 for homeschoolers listed on the webiste. It's no longer there. The website says homeschoolers have the same requirements as anyone else. Another mom on here told me she ignored what the website said about the GED/chartered diploma, sent her homemade transcript and was fine. She emphasized the importance of test scores and some outside verification because OSU is very competitive right now. I wonder if OSU picks and chooses who they want the GED from.

 

 

You might want to check and make sure that this is fine for matriculation as well as for admission. The two seem sometimes to have different requirements.

 

Nan

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