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Hilltopmom

If you have a rising senior...

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Have you started working on transcripts, course descriptions, counselor letter, school profile, etc?

 

My plan is to send my little ones to grandmas one morning a week (or a few days at a time, I work better not too spread out) starting soon, to work on them at home in quiet.

 

I do have transcripts up to this point complete, but nothing else. I know where to find my materials lists for past classes to use to write course descriptions.

I'm trying to ignore the letter & profile for now, since I have no idea what to say ;)

 

Ds wants to apply early decision, so I want to have all my parts complete by August so I can enter them into the common app when it opens.

Best laid plans... We'll see.

 

Good luck wearing your school counselor hat!

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I have a transcript up to a point. I need to sit and tweak it and make it a more accurate reflection.

 

Same with course descriptions. A lot of it is copy-n-paste from older kids.

 

The school profile is also copy-n-paste from older kids. Just needs refined.

 

I've never needed to do a counselor letter, so I doubt I'm going to bother this time either.

 

I have the skeleton of what needs done. I just need to take time to sit down and clean it up. Probably need to do the transcript soon since I'll likely need to submit one to get ds into DE this fall.

Edited by Kinsa

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I found it easiest to write my extended course descriptions right after the courses had been completed. In the summer before senior year I then only had to condense them into shorter paragraph descriptions and consolidate in one document.

I did the rest during the summer; my DD applied EA.

Good luck.

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Our umbrella school maintains a transcript and will do the school profile bit if required. My ds is a good student (not amazing but good). He knows where he wants to go and it will involve a simple application and none of the course descriptions, supporting materials, etc. a more competitive school would require. His ACT places him into the honors program without further application and scholarships are automatic based on scores/GPA. My older ds ran the admissions and scholarship gauntlet 2 years ago. I am happy not to repeat all that but it seems wrong not to have any admissions worries. I think the school is a good fit and ds likes it. It is affordable so while it feels strange to already know where he will go I don't really want to muddy the water by suggesting other schools that might ultimately not be affordable or that dh and I would be less comfortable with.

 

Now...my rising 9th grader is the one I will likely have to do a lot for college application wise so I should get organized now.

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I found it easiest to write my extended course descriptions right after the courses had been completed. In the summer before senior year I then only had to condense them into shorter paragraph descriptions and consolidate in one document.

I did the rest during the summer; my DD applied EA.

Good luck.

Yeah, I meant to do that, write them each year... But it didn't happen.

I did write detailed paperwork for our district each year so hopefully I can pull them together easily

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My two oldest are rising seniors. I'm usually so organized, but I've been dreading this whole process. Want to try to get as much done as possible in June.  Ugh.

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Not a rising sr this yr, but I am never on top of it when it comes to course descriptions. I don't follow through on my good intentions of writing them yr by yr and end up writing the summer before sr yr.

 

It takes me a good 3 weeks to complete course descriptions, counselor letter, and school profile. The counselor letter ends up taking even longer bc I go through and make multiple revisions.

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I have everything done but the counselor letter. I've been putting that off because I have no idea what to say that won't come off as "I'm his mommy and he's soooo special!" lol

 

I asked DH for his input and that got the ball rolling. I do the day to day schooling stuff, but he's much better at the big picture stuff and he has a lot of good insight that helped me get started. After I actually got started writing the school profile and homeschool supplement stuff it went more quickly than I had thought. But then I got stuck on the counselor letter. Lol

 

We are traveling a lot this summer and I won't have time to work on it much then and he wants to apply as soon as possible to take advantage of rolling admissions, so that means having all my stuff done by Aug. 1. When his SAT and AP scores come I'll add those to the transcript and then just wait for his LOR writers to follow through. *fingers crossed*

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

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I found it easiest to write my extended course descriptions right after the courses had been completed. 

 

This is how I did it too--I kept the transcript year by year, and I did a quick copy/paste of course descriptions (either from ones I found or excerpts copied from catalogs or online) with a rough edit, then a reading list and the grading basis for each subject and a record of assignments. Then I only had to edit and polish senior year, rather than starting from scratch. 

 

I've helped a friend do transcripts with nothing prepped ahead though, and it can be done--sometimes I find that things are remembered in layers though (oh yeah, and he did this Freshman year...). 

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I went in waves with the course descriptions.  They really weren't done until right before I submitted the counselor info on Common App.  In some cases it was easier to add similar info to each description (ex. Today I'm going to go through and work on the list of texts used.  Tomorrow I'm going to write all of the math courses to include what content was in each.)

 

After a while many of the descriptions were somewhat cookie cutter.  The math and science courses were pretty vanilla, because I hadn't deviated much from simply working through a text or pre-scheduled curriculum.  The English and History courses were more self-designed, so there was more to do with those.

 

To borrow from one of my old English professors, it is ok to do a "zero draft."  That was her term for the really ugly draft before a first draft.  The idea is simply to start getting something down on paper.  It lets you move to making it better rather than being stuck at trying to move from nothing to wonderful.  For course descriptions, this could be a series of disconnected phrases that cover course length (semester, year), course level (high school, college), content (possibly using the description for an online or DE course or the table of contents of a text), special status (dual enrollment), associated outside tests (AMC, NLE, AP, CLEP, etc), and textbooks used.

 

After a while it gets to be a pretty familiar process and feels a little like Mad Libs.

 

 

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no...can someone do it for me I wonder

 

LOL

 

The plan is for him to take the TASC and then matriculate at the CC (after next school year).

 

I'm thinking I don't need anything too fancy given that. 

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My transcripts and course descriptions are mostly up-to-date.  Dd has already done several college visits with some admissions "interviews" (mostly chats to see what she is interested in) so I needed to get a jump on those. I will need to update them once we have next year's courses finalized.  She is doing a couple of things over the summer and is attending the high school almost full time next year.  What I found helpful was to just keep a word document and make  notes in there each year.  I would copy the descriptions of outside classes into the document. 

 

As far as the rest is concerned, I've got my head in the sand.  I need to research what has changed in the Common App since we used it 4 years ago.  I know there are a few differences.  I have a school profile from when my older kids applied, but this kid is different and is attending high school part time.  I have to rethink almost everything.  We also need to research what some of the other schools require that don't use the common app.  I do have a theme for dd's counselor letter ... the girl who chooses hard things ... and has her s#!) together. 

 

Dd is planning on apply early action to several schools so I plan to have the bulk of it done by mid August.  It's going to be a busy summer. 

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no...can someone do it for me I wonder

 

LOL

 

The plan is for him to take the TASC and then matriculate at the CC (after next school year).

 

I'm thinking I don't need anything too fancy given that. 

 

I think you'd only need a transcript in that case, unless you wanted course descriptions for your own use (I did find them useful for not having to reinvent the wheel for the next child!). 

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Thankfully, we haven't come across any colleges that require course descriptions. I have a rough draft of her transcript ready to go. Dd 17 will begin submitting applications next month.  :scared:

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Thankfully, we haven't come across any colleges that require course descriptions. I have a rough draft of her transcript ready to go. Dd 17 will begin submitting applications next month.  :scared:

 

Just bc they don't require them doesn't mean you shouldn't submit them.  I submit course descriptions b/c my kids do classes at home. I suspect that my course descriptions have helped in my kids being considered for specialized honors programs and scholarships.

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Just bc they don't require them doesn't mean you shouldn't submit them.  I submit course descriptions b/c my kids do classes at home. I suspect that my course descriptions have helped in my kids being considered for specialized honors programs and scholarships.

 

I think generally speaking you are right. For us personally, we do mostly dual enrollment with a few online classes for high school - no at home classes that need course descriptions. And we are staying in state, so all of the colleges are already aware of what she has taken based on the college course codes which are standard across the state.

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My dd will be a junior next year.  I usually have the classes and course descriptions entered into her transcript software in the fall of each year.  Test scores are added as we receive them.  Grades are added at the semesters.  Often she is applying to one program or another, so the transcripts get refined every time she needs it for an application.  

 

I've started a "zero draft"  (love that term, Sebastian!) counselor letter.  Very rough.  Some bullets on what I want to cover, some half-assed paragraphs.  Dd thinks it's crazy to start this early, but it's easier for me to have something to edit than to start with an empty page.  

 

The school profile doesn't sound too bad.  Collect some demographic data and what not.  I could work on that this summer.  

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Transcript -- currently up-to-date  :thumbup1:

 

Course Descriptions -- not really up-to-date  :glare:

 

Counselor Letter -- I don't know what this is   :confused1:

 

School Profile -- I've never even heard of this   :leaving:

 

 

 

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Let's just say that a few years ago October was a very busy month for me (and my son).

 

Also, I found the counselor letter and school profile to be the hardest things to write.  If you're going to send your young kids away to give you room to think, I'd do it for those.  The course descriptions are pretty straightforward, and you could probably do those over the summer in brief spurts.

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Transcript -- currently up-to-date :thumbup1:

 

Course Descriptions -- not really up-to-date :glare:

 

Counselor Letter -- I don't know what this is :confused1:

 

School Profile -- I've never even heard of this :leaving:

The school profile is a document that lets a school describe the student body demographics, area characteristics, course offerings and other info about the school. This lets admissions understand how gpa is calculated, how difficult courses taken are relative to what is offered and other questions that put the individual student into context.

 

For a homeschooler it can be a place to describe homeschool approach, if of courses are all at home, through a cool, online, etc. Is the homeschool rural, urban or suburban? Some people describe local demographics. I skipped that because we'd moved around. The moving was part of the profile but a detailed description of where we lived didn't add to the story. My profile is 2 pages.

 

The counselor recommendation is specifically about the one student. It describes them as an individual. I told a couple anectodes that described the type of person my son is. I had a rough draft early but didn't submit until ibsaw his essay. I didn't want to repeat his stories, but did want to highlight areas he hadn't hit. The recommendation is about 1 page.

 

This doesn't tend to come up on sites about applying to college because it is pretty automatic for most students. The profile is updated annually by the school and is not tailored to the individual. Counselor recs can be quite short. Many counselors don't know each student well.

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The school profile is a document that lets a school describe the student body demographics, area characteristics, course offerings and other info about the school. This lets admissions understand how gpa is calculated, how difficult courses taken are relative to what is offered and other questions that put the individual student into context.

 

For a homeschooler it can be a place to describe homeschool approach, if of courses are all at home, through a cool, online, etc. Is the homeschool rural, urban or suburban? Some people describe local demographics. I skipped that because we'd moved around. The moving was part of the profile but a detailed description of where we lived didn't add to the story. My profile is 2 pages.

 

The counselor recommendation is specifically about the one student. It describes them as an individual. I told a couple anectodes that described the type of person my son is. I had a rough draft early but didn't submit until ibsaw his essay. I didn't want to repeat his stories, but did want to highlight areas he hadn't hit. The recommendation is about 1 page.

 

This doesn't tend to come up on sites about applying to college because it is pretty automatic for most students. The profile is updated annually by the school and is not tailored to the individual. Counselor recs can be quite short. Many counselors don't know each student well.

 

This is all very helpful.  Thank you so much!!

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Mine is kept current bc I update it for each student at the end of every semester.

 

11 kids means playing catch-up would quickly end up a hot mess.

 

I save a copy to my backup external hard drive, a private page on my blog, and print 3 copies (one for their records file in the disaster box, one for me to have on hand, and one I can give wherever needed like the CC). Yes, I'm a big fan of redundancy. Lol

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I don't bother with school profile or counselor letter. So far it's not ever been needed. If that changes, I'll bother with it.

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Hi ladies! We're only finishing freshman year... so I really have NO business even reading this thread. But here I am. ;-)

 

If any of you are willing to share course descriptions and/or school profile so I can see some samples on how to format them in the coming years, please PM me!! Thank you!!!

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Hi ladies! We're only finishing freshman year... so I really have NO business even reading this thread. But here I am. ;-)

 

If any of you are willing to share course descriptions and/or school profile so I can see some samples on how to format them in the coming years, please PM me!! Thank you!!!

I have some template samples on my blog of what mine look like.

 

Scroll down under record keeping.

 

https://marthaamdg.wordpress.com/links/preferred-curricula/

Edited by Murphy101

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Hi ladies! We're only finishing freshman year... so I really have NO business even reading this thread. But here I am. ;-)

 

If any of you are willing to share course descriptions and/or school profile so I can see some samples on how to format them in the coming years, please PM me!! Thank you!!!

 

Lee Binz has a great course on course descriptions

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I created my transcript and course descriptions during the first year of high school. I updated them each year. It is much easier to do course descriptions while the materials are on my shelf and everything is fresh in my mind. Going back and doing it all the senior year would have been a nightmare! 

 

All those with freshmen, for the sake of your own sanity, start now!

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This is my last year with my oldest.  We have already been to some colleges and talked with admissions as well.  The only thing she took with her was the transcript I made and the college (duel enrollment) transcript.  I didn't bring anything else with us.  So far everyone (colleges) are fine with just that so that is what I am sticking with.  

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I work on the transcript at the end of each school year, updating it with courses, descriptions and grades. Then file away a few papers from English, science labs, and math tests in case we need a portfolio. That's highly doubtful since dd is going to be a music performance major, but I want to be prepared just in case.

 

We have a mish-mash of classes from the public high school, online providers and home, so I like to keep everything updated in one place. I know I'll have to get official school and PAHS transcripts for the schools, but I am still including the information on our home-made transcript.

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I have a rising junior & I'm working on my course descriptions this week.

 

:mellow:

I've decided I need more chocolate in the house.  :svengo:

ETA:  If anyone has already written one for a Center for Lit class, I'd love to see it.  :banghead:

ETA2:  I think I can only write so many of these in one day/sitting. I can list materials all day, but writing the actual course description wording needs a fresh mind, IMO.

Edited by RootAnn

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I've had 3 kid go on to college /votech so far - with scholarship money awarded and have never been asked for course descriptions or counselor letter- transcript and ACT scores-in the case of my dd who went to Cosmetology school, they did want the GED. We could have contested that but it was right after our house fire, so we just got it done and moved on. 

 

I do detailed transcripts (I'm actually an Academic Adviser for an Ed company so it's my day job, too). 

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I was asked for course descriptions/booklist from two private universities for scholarship purposes, which we decided not to attend anyways.

 

Never even heard of a counselor letter or profile before this thread.

 

In my case, I have many younger children coming up the pipeline, so the course descriptions are just as helpful for me in years to come. I'm not recreating booklists every year and I can look from previous course descriptions to refreash my memory better than just reading "English 10" on a previous transcript.

 

Plus, though we have never moved to a state with more home school hoops, IF we ever do, I like knowing I have my record keeping ducks sorted to make it as smooth as possible.

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I was asked for course descriptions/booklist from two private universities for scholarship purposes, which we decided not to attend anyways.

 

Never even heard of a counselor letter or profile before this thread.

 

In my case, I have many younger children coming up the pipeline, so the course descriptions are just as helpful for me in years to come. I'm not recreating booklists every year and I can look from previous course descriptions to refreash my memory better than just reading "English 10" on a previous transcript.

 

Plus, though we have never moved to a state with more home school hoops, IF we ever do, I like knowing I have my record keeping ducks sorted to make it as smooth as possible.

 

If your child applies to school through the Common App, the counselor letter and school profile are part of the application.  Some schools that don't use the common app and have their own application process may or may not need them.  I've never seen them for community college.  We have seen some large universities that don't have any of that.  You just report your scores and self-report your transcript (as in fill in the boxes of the courses and grades and send the official transcript later.) 

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If your child applies to school through the Common App, the counselor letter and school profile are part of the application. Some schools that don't use the common app and have their own application process may or may not need them. I've never seen them for community college. We have seen some large universities that don't have any of that. You just report your scores and self-report your transcript (as in fill in the boxes of the courses and grades and send the official transcript later.)

Okay. I was just saying when we had used our course descriptions and why I would keep them even if the college didn't want them. We have not used the common app anywhere yet. It was an option at several places, but not a requirement and so far seemed more bother than helpful to us. Of course, that could change with future kids. And as always, YMMV.

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I am working on my course descriptions still for the sophomore year. I just wrote part of the one for Veritas Omni 2, I am choosing to separate it into 3 separate subjects. Last week, I did the math and science ones...

 

I have found the templates on Lee Binz' homescholar website very useful. I bought the Total Transcript Solutions a few years ago. While I had access to her Comp HS records package, I printed off as many examples as I could. Lee offers webinars explaining these types of things all the time.

http://www.thehomescholar.com/organized-homeschool-transcript.php

http://www.thehomescholar.com/Total-Transcript-Solution.php

 

https://www.amazon.com/Setting-Records-Straight-Descriptions-Scholarships/dp/1449583555

 

The HSLDA website also has sample transcripts, and sample course descriptions.

https://www.hslda.org/highschool/academics.asp

 

I do my course descriptions the summer after the school year. Sometimes, I can get them started during the school year at least with the description and topics include list. The above templates have been a great help to me.

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