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HeWillSoar

Question about applying for college...

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I'm reading a book from the library called Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook.  It's 16 years old so I'm sure some things have changed since then.  They are talking about transcripts, portfolios, resumes, reading lists and narratives.   What did your kids use to apply to college? 

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It depends on the type of college they are applying to. Some don't want anything other than transcripts and test scores (not even an essay). Others are going to want the things you listed or be somewhere in between.

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As a result of an increasing number of homeschoolers, many college sites have a specific page for homeschoolers with recommendations/requirements noted on it. As 8FillTheHeart said, there a big range in what schools want. For University of Md where my DS will enroll at in the fall, there wasn't really any extra work, if I recall correctly. On the other hand, Bryn Mawr College, has a list and one of the requirements that's irritating me is the need for two MORE recommendation letters on top of the two required for all applicants.

 

Essentially, you need to check out each college for what they want. But at the minimum, you should have a transcript, course descriptions, and a school profile done. Portfolios, reading lists, etc. would depend on the school and major.

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It's really going to vary, but I'll note that even if you apply to a college with only a transcript required, sometimes the extras make a difference in your merit aid. Some colleges don't care and don't want you to provide anything more, but some do.

 

When mine hit 9th, I made a transcript with both their current work and potential future work. If we had to submit it to something, I made a copy of the file and deleted the future work. I also kept a reading list and wrote a 2-3 sentence course description for each course.

 

Mine ended up choosing community college over other options, but the financial aid office there told me that the reading list and course descriptions I submitted with his scholarship application were positives. I was a professor there at the time and know the financial aid officer personally, but I thought that was good information.

 

Don't think that because they don't ask for it that you might not benefit from submitting anyway, if there's an option. In that case there was a link to upload any additional information, so we did that. He ended up with a generous merit scholarship.

Edited by G5052
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Transcript (mine and CC where they took a couple courses), test scores (SAT or ACT and any AP), and a completed application.  Mine also interviewed at most schools they applied to.  For the most part, their apps were no different than their ps peers.  I had more to do as I had to fill out all the Guidance Counselor parts (discussing our school philosophy and why we homeschooled mainly).

 

We did not need/do any course descriptions, portfolios, or similar.  Middle son added a reading list, but that was due to it being incredibly long and varied - potentially helping his app.

 

Mine were accepted everywhere (with merit aid) with the exception of one waitlist - and that was a "lottery school" with an acceptance rate of 13%, plus he was trying for a selective major within that school and the school was need aware.  

 

Mine were also well within the Top 25% (stats-wise) of schools they were applying to.  That could have made a difference in what adcoms wanted to see (or didn't need to see).  The more "reach" a school is, the more "good things" you would want to supply IMO.

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...They are talking about transcripts, portfolios, resumes, reading lists and narratives.   What did your kids use to apply to college? 

 

My daughter's application material included:

 

a transcript

 

course descriptions

 

a reading list as well as a textbook list

 

homeschool profile

 

a letter of recommendation

 

Regards,

Kareni

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My daughter applied to a special, early entrance program and needed more documentation. For her, we needed course descriptions, additional essays, lists of all of her extracurriculars, statements from parents and extra recommendations, as well as an interview, in addition to the usual transcript, test scores and application.

 

My son applied as a performing arts major. So, he needed to do auditions for scholarships and program entrance and to provide resumes in assorted flavors (dance repetoire, dance training and performance, general theatre performance, etc.), depending on which specific scholarship or program was the goal. For a few schools, he was required to submit video auditions first and then wait to see whether he would be invited to audition in person. So, that was a whole process of preparing the components each school required, recording them and then editing together the appropriate selections and uploading them online. A couple of schools did request brief course descriptions. However, we uploaded them as a second transcript file on the Common Application, so schools that wanted them could just grab them from there. And he did find it helpful to have all of his extracurricular and volunteer experience organized onto a single resume-style document that he could have with him during interviews and to refer to when filling out applications. And I wrote a "school profile" to submit in my counselor role. Otherwise, it was the same basics that "regular" students need: transcript, test scores, application/essays.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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Agreeing with others that it depends.

 

Dc applied to an easy state school as a backup, and they wanted a transcript and no essay.

 

For anything somewhat selective and above, I sent a transcript, homeschool description (through the Common App spot or attached to other materials), "counselor" letter (when requested), and a course listing (description of each course in 2-3 sentences with materials used; this also served as a booklist.)

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Our experiences all required a transcript and a completed college application (some of which included essays). One school wanted a  resume. I sent course descriptions along with the transcript, but no one specifically asked for them. We never gave reading lists or personal narratives (outside of those specified on the application).

 

What you provide depends on the school. The more competitive the school, the more likely you are to provide more than just a transcript.

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It has varied a lot from college to college. This year for ds every school he applied to except Northern Michigan wanted admission's essays, SAT/ACT scores, and transcripts with the applications. Even though they do not ask for it, I also sent course descriptions, reading and curriculum lists, and grading scale and description.

 

The transcript can also be tricky. You have to find out what format the school wants. We got lucky this year and all of the schools accepted semester grades. DD, back in 2008/2009, applied to two schools that wanted quarterly grades so I had to do a different transcript for them.

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I forgot to mention above that I also sent a portfolio of my daughter's work to two colleges which required or recommended that one be sent.

 

Some of the things my daughter included in the portfolio:

graded papers from outside classes
a quiz and lab report from a community college science class
Latin translation assignment from her AP Latin class
a picture of a page from a Latin picture book that she wrote and illustrated
photos of a couple of art pieces with the ribbons they won in the County fair

Regards,
Kareni

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What has changed is that you probably will be applying electronically via the common app, uploading documents like reading lists, filling in the blanks in a general application online plus any supplemental bits of the common app that apply to your particular college or particular scholarships, and having your recommenders sign in to the common app to upload their recommendations. You may fill out other scholarship applications and upload essays for external scholarships or scholarship programs for particular universities. You will fill out the FAFSA form online (which involves taking your best guess first and then updating it when you receive all your tax information) and possibly other even more invasive financial aid forms online. These all require you to create an online account. You will need to continue to monitor the account to make sure no one is trying to tell you that your application is missing something and to watch deadlines and possibly to be told you were accepted or denied. (Some unis still do this part via snail mail. You also might have to submit whatever homeschooling paperwork your state requires (like in Mass. our yearly approval letters) in order to receive financial aid.

 

Nan

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