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mamato4

Help me answer this reply from a college

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A school I contacted about homeschooler requirements came back with this answer:

 

Homeschooled students who apply to********** must provide a transcript from a third party homeschool organization that is recognized by their state. (There are many homeschool companies that provide curriculum and assessments.) If this is not possible, the student should take the GED (General Educational Development) exam and report his/her score as part of the ********** application, in lieu of a third party transcript.

 

I live in a lenient homeschooling state where the BOE does not have anything to do with homeschoolers. We do not have a recognized third-party homeschool org. I do not want DD to take the GED.

 

So far, the response I've thought up was to explain about the non-existence of a recognized organization by our state. I will also mention dd having taken cc classes, AP exams, and is taking three AP classes in her senior year.

 

Anyone have any other suggestions on how I should tackle this.

(Just came back from visiting my dying brother in another country so I still can't think clearly.)

 

Thank you!

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A school I contacted about homeschooler requirements came back with this answer:

 

Homeschooled students who apply to********** must provide a transcript from a third party homeschool organization that is recognized by their state. (There are many homeschool companies that provide curriculum and assessments.) If this is not possible, the student should take the GED (General Educational Development) exam and report his/her score as part of the MICA application, in lieu of a third party transcript.

 

I live in a lenient homeschooling state where the BOE does not have anything to do with homeschoolers. We do not have a recognized third-party homeschool org. I do not want DD to take the GED.

 

So far, the response I've thought up was to explain about the non-existence of a recognized organization by our state. I will also mention dd having taken cc classes, AP exams, and is taking three AP classes in her senior year.

 

Anyone have any other suggestions on how I should tackle this.

(Just came back from visiting my dying brother in another country so I still can't think clearly.)

 

Thank you!

 

 

"We live in a low regulation homeschooling state where the BOE does not have anything to do with homeschoolers. We do not have a recognized third-party homeschool org nor I do not want DD to take the GED as she will have graduated high school.  The GED is for students who have dropped out of high school.

 

To show her mastery of academics, dd has taken cc classes, AP exams, and is currently taking three AP classes in her senior year. (I'd go into more detail with what and grades/scores, etc, including SAT and/or ACT scores.)

 

Is this sufficient for her application or is there something else we would need?

 

If they come back with something else, I'd look at other schools and let them know this is the reason.  

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I like creekland's ideas, but I wouldn't call your state "low regulation."  Instead, I would stress that your homeschool was operated in compliance with all applicable laws in your state (and if there are specific statutes you can cite, do so).  Then I would say the thing about there being no homeschool organizations in your state.  

 

When you talk about the GED, I wouldn't say that you don't want your daughter to take it, but rather that she won't be taking it because it is for students who dropped out of high school.  I would then stress that your daughter will have completed high school in compliance with the law in your state as it applies to homeschoolers.  If it is true, you could even point out that the course requirements for graduation from your homeschool meet or exceed the requirements of the local public high school.  You could even list them side by side.

 

Then I'd discuss the AP coursework, CC classes, and any test scores that show she knows her stuff.

 

Good luck with this!  And thank you for doing it--these colleges need to hear that their policies in this regard are ridiculous.  It's hard because so many of us are afraid to rock the boat with the admissions departments when our kids are applying, but things won't change if we don't say anything.

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If they come back with something else, I'd look at other schools and let them know this is the reason. 

 

 

Take a few moments to educate this person on the regulations in your state in a positive way. Then, explain that there are no "state approved" entities to issue a transcript and the option in your state is for the parent to do so. Reassure them that although you do not have records kept by a "state approved" entity, you did in fact use "curriculum and assessments."

Describe the documents that you are able to provide. Attach copies of your transcript and course descriptions if they are ready so they can see what you are talking about.

 

Then, ask what the need is for the GED. Cite the fact that the federal government no longer requires the GED for financial aid purposes, as this is often why they think they have to have it. Describe any barriers to the GED that exist in your situation. For example, I cannot sign the permission form for my DD to take the GED because it would make her ineligible for dual enrollment. Many states have regulations that restrict the GED before age 18.

 

If you do not have any other objection besides "I don't wanna", think carefully before you burn bridges with the school. I'm going with CA = College of Art here. Since art schools are both fewer in number and more widely varying in quality and programs, it may be that this is a hoop you need to jump through if everything else about the school is a good fit.

 

In our case, yes, we decided that we would skip the school that wanted my DD to take the GED, but there were other factors that were leading us in that direction anyway.

 

--Janet

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Personally, I wouldn't respond.

 

I would just send in the application, possibly with an "approval letter" from a certified teacher stating that they have reviewed the student's courses and transcript and they meet requirements. Or even have that person as a 2nd signer of the transcripts. 

 

Why? One, because I know that my student is not going to take the GED, so they are either going to be happy with the overall application or not. Two, they are giving you a heavy hint that they will likely be content with most efforts made to comply: There are many homeschool companies that provide curriculum and assessments.

 

In the end, they are going to accept what you send or not. I would prefer to leave some wiggle room for interpretation on their side, rather than nailing them down to specifics that I don't plan to fulfill. 

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Two, they are giving you a heavy hint that they will likely be content with most efforts made to comply: There are many homeschool companies that provide curriculum and assessments.

 

 

I guess I missed that. Did everyone else read it that way?

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I guess I missed that. Did everyone else read it that way?

 

I read that particular sentence to mean that they are looking for a transcript from a homeschool-in-a-box school and that they won't recognize homegrown courses or transcripts even if they are from legally operating homeschools and even if the courses are vastly superior to the in-a-box variety.  

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Personally, I wouldn't respond.

 

I would just send in the application, possibly with an "approval letter" from a certified teacher stating that they have reviewed the student's courses and transcript and they meet requirements. Or even have that person as a 2nd signer of the transcripts. 

 

Why? One, because I know that my student is not going to take the GED, so they are either going to be happy with the overall application or not. Two, they are giving you a heavy hint that they will likely be content with most efforts made to comply: There are many homeschool companies that provide curriculum and assessments.

 

In the end, they are going to accept what you send or not. I would prefer to leave some wiggle room for interpretation on their side, rather than nailing them down to specifics that I don't plan to fulfill. 

 

I would go with this option too. If you have a friend who is a certified teacher who would be willing that would be great. If not, any old friend could do. Print up an official looking document stating that xxx has completed the requirements according to the state of YYY needed to graduate from high school. Take it to a notary to sign (free at our bank). Have it signed and notarized. Schools just love fancy seals on paper. Your friend can look over the legal requirements for your state to make it all legal (assuming you have followed the legal requirements of course). I would guess that as long as they have something to allow them to check the box, they will.

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I don't know, I think I would respond and get a further answer.  Likely, the person who write this was one person in the admissions office, and maybe not the head of admissions.  I would try to pin them down further, unless this is a school that your student isn't that interested in anyway.  I would try to politely and courteously and educate them now that not all states have that option, but that what you can provide is equivalent (better actually but you don't have to say that!) and see if you can get them to say now, yes, that is okay.  Especially if your student is really interested in this school, I would work hard to establish these specifics.

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I guess I missed that. Did everyone else read it that way?

I read it that the writer has no idea about homeschooling, but wants some kind of documentation, anything. I also think writer would faint when application comes in with AP courses, lol. Does cc stand for community college? I see the college as setting a low bar that you are way above, the GED would be pretty silly for a kid with multiple AP courses. If dc does SAT or ACT subject tests that might suffice.

 

I don't have enough experience with college application to comment on how to respond to the letter. Perhaps a phone call? You don't know if the person who wrote the letter is a student with a part time work study job, or someone with more experience. Without knowing that, I would be careful about writing. Also, do you have a sense if the college wants you to write or prefers that the applicant do that?

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I read it that the writer has no idea about homeschooling, but wants some kind of documentation, anything.

 

I saw that as a very specific policy - "State approved program or GED."  The policy was probably written on the east coast, where the state regulates homeschooling more heavily than the state in which I live, In the writer's local area there are probably lots of ways to get into state approved programs and they assume that it is true everywhere.

 

There was a student on this board who got into a school in MA and couldn't ultimately attend because he didn't have the GED despite his fabulous academic resume. Depending on the level of school bureaucracy, it can be dangerous to assume SAT/Subject Test/AP will be taken as an equivalent to a GED. Better to figure this out before you apply rather than after you're accepted.

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I guess I missed that. Did everyone else read it that way?

 

I saw that as a very specific policy - "State approved program or GED." The policy was probably written on the east coast, where the state regulates homeschooling more heavily than the state in which I live, In the writer's local area there are probably lots of ways to get into state approved programs and they assume that it is true everywhere.

 

 

]I was actually responding to the question in the first post above and giving my *opinion* about one sentence.

 

I am on the east coast, in a state that has virtually no regulation and, as far as I know, no state approved programs.

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I've been corresponding with an admissions rep at Drexel, which has a similar policy.  I've been told that they are reviewing the policy and will have some kind of an update soon.  But I was hoping to hear something from them by the end of August and it is now the end of September.

 

In the process of looking at other schools, that were less restrictive, I think that Drexel has moved to the back burner.  I'm not sure at this point if ds will end up applying there.  It looks like a pretty cool school, but I don't want him painted into a corner by problematic school policies.  I certainly don't want him to get a GED unless it is the pathway into something amazing.

 

FWIW, I was a bit nervous about contacting the Drexel staff, but also felt that I could do so in part because my ds didn't have his heart set on the school.  There are some schools that I haven't bothered to bring to my ds's notice like Pittsburg and UMass Amhurst because of stories from other families about difficulties with homeschool applications.

 

 

 

 

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Personally, I wouldn't respond.

 

I would just send in the application, possibly with an "approval letter" from a certified teacher stating that they have reviewed the student's courses and transcript and they meet requirements. Or even have that person as a 2nd signer of the transcripts. 

 

Why? One, because I know that my student is not going to take the GED, so they are either going to be happy with the overall application or not. Two, they are giving you a heavy hint that they will likely be content with most efforts made to comply: There are many homeschool companies that provide curriculum and assessments.

 

In the end, they are going to accept what you send or not. I would prefer to leave some wiggle room for interpretation on their side, rather than nailing them down to specifics that I don't plan to fulfill. 

This!

 

Don't send your note and don't ask what else they want. 

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That's funny because I just emailed Drexel last week about the same policy. My dd is intrigued by their accelerated BS/MS program but we homeschool independently so she won't meet their homeschooled requirements. I was also told the Dean is reviewing the policy. Maybe the more they hear from us, the more likely they'll change their policy.

 

 

I've been corresponding with an admissions rep at Drexel, which has a similar policy. I've been told that they are reviewing the policy and will have some kind of an update soon. But I was hoping to hear something from them by the end of August and it is now the end of September.

 

In the process of looking at other schools, that were less restrictive, I think that Drexel has moved to the back burner. I'm not sure at this point if ds will end up applying there. It looks like a pretty cool school, but I don't want him painted into a corner by problematic school policies. I certainly don't want him to get a GED unless it is the pathway into something amazing.

 

FWIW, I was a bit nervous about contacting the Drexel staff, but also felt that I could do so in part because my ds didn't have his heart set on the school. There are some schools that I haven't bothered to bring to my ds's notice like Pittsburg and UMass Amhurst because of stories from other families about difficulties with homeschool applications.

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Update: I did respond back with my explanation of our state not having any approved organizations, and why dd cannot take the GED (I would have to certify that she is not is school for her to be able to take the GED.  She is definitely "in" school!)

 

The person is the state rep for the school. She responded very nicely and said she forwarded my response to the proper person in admissions.

 

We'll see what happens.  Thank you to all who responded. I enjoyed reading the different arguments presented.

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 There are some schools that I haven't bothered to bring to my ds's notice like Pittsburg and UMass Amhurst because of stories from other families about difficulties with homeschool applications.

 

If interested in Pitt, you should check with them as a guidance counselor for your son.  PA recently changed regs and our state + state related schools have to accept homeschool diplomas the same as their ps counterparts now.  Whether they will do this for a less regulated state, I'm unsure of.  It could be worth checking.

 

Drexel is private so can do what they like.  If interested in that school, be certain the student doesn't mind an urban atmosphere.  Many students from our school who visit the school get turned off by their location/campus (even if they like other urban campuses like Pitt).  Others are fine with it.  It's a fit thing, but seems to have a bigger turnoff factor than most schools I hear about.

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We were asked by almost every college Isaac considered to provide state approved or third party transcript.  When I gently replied that those serves were optional and fee-paid services and we had chosen not to subscribe to them, every single college replied with "okay then, send us what you've got."  We had no problems with admissions and he is currently attending his first choice school.  Some schools will be a pain in the butt about this, but the smaller schools generally seem pretty open to whatever you want to send.  If ACT/SAT confirms the transcript, no problem at all.   In fact both schools Isaac applied to admitted him and offered him GPA based scholarship money based on his transcripts alone. 

 

Do, however, make sure your transcripts look professional.  It helps if they are looking at what they expect to see.

 

Tara

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