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Hillsdale wants transcript from a "homeschool clearinghouse...."


yvonne
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"Homeschooled Students: In addition to the requirements listed above, homeschooled students should ensure that official high school transcripts come from a homeschool clearinghouse, guild, or association. If transcripts are unavailable, we encourage you to consider FastTranscripts.com, offered in concert with the Home School Legal Defense Association. We will also accept detailed course descriptions, along with proficiency levels and textbooks used."

 

 

And from Hillsdale, of all places. I thought they were pretty home schooling friendly.  How odd. 

 

I wonder if they've had some sort of issues with home schoolers that they're trying to address by asking for an outside source for transcripts. And how exactly do they think a transcript from a "home school clearinghouse" (whatever that is) is going to help?  An outside transcript service didn't do much good for University of Rochester.

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I wonder if the issue is either formatting or not doing calculations correctly. I mean, surely they know that's just information the parent inputs (it's not proof of the academic level of specific classes etc...). Or maybe they were getting lots of questions about how to format things or what an "official" transcript is, and this cuts down on staff having to answer questions? My kids' school provided a sample transcript form. I've read horror stories online of things like handwritten transcripts...makes me wonder sometimes what people are thinking! 

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It looks like the HSLDA transcript product is just a way of record keeping. I don't see how it is any different from printing up your own transcript at home.

 

Perhaps some homeschoolers have applied there without any sort of transcript that would give the college an accurate idea of what was studied?

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Usually a "clearinghouse" means something like an organization that okays credits and how credits were accomplished. If that is what Hillsdale means, then they are looking for homeschool transcripts from an "umbrella" or cover school or accredited organization that provides record keeping for homeschoolers.

 

But the quotation from Hillsdale goes on to suggest "homeschool guilds or associations" -- most of which do NOT provide transcript services or templates. And then Hillsdale provides a link to HSLDA's Fast Transcripts, which is not a "clearing house", but is just a transcript making service. So that would lead me to believe what Hillsdale wants is somewhat standard-looking transcripts from homeschoolers -- i.e., Hillsdale's focus is format.

 

Here's the link to the sample transcript from Fast Transcripts -- personally, I would just look at what info is on this sample, and in what order and format, and just make sure my home-created transcript had all of that info, at a minimum, and call it good. ;)

Edited by Lori D.
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I've read horror stories online of things like handwritten transcripts...makes me wonder sometimes what people are thinking! 

 

I was surprised at some of the things the admissions people mentioned that I should do as a home schooler when we visited a couple of colleges in August. Seemed obvious to me, but they said I'd be surprised what some people submit.

 

I think that's made me more concerned about asking about what others who've btdt have done.

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"Homeschooled Students: In addition to the requirements listed above, homeschooled students should ensure that official high school transcripts come from a homeschool clearinghouse, guild, or association. If transcripts are unavailable, we encourage you to consider FastTranscripts.com, offered in concert with the Home School Legal Defense Association. We will also accept detailed course descriptions, along with proficiency levels and textbooks used."

 

 

And from Hillsdale, of all places. I thought they were pretty home schooling friendly. How odd.

 

I wonder if they've had some sort of issues with home schoolers that they're trying to address by asking for an outside source for transcripts. And how exactly do they think a transcript from a "home school clearinghouse" (whatever that is) is going to help? An outside transcript service didn't do much good for University of Rochester.

I think the statement at the end that they also accept detailed course descriptions with proficiency levels and textbooks is a solid alternative.

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I'm going to hazard a guess (based on interactions with admissions folks at other schools) that since people perceive Hillsdale as homeschool friendly they get a lots of students who don't have a transcript, have something handwritten, have GPAs incorrectly calculated, who don't have grades for at home classes, and who don't give any indication of how or what they studied for "English 10".  It looks like what Hillsdale is asking for is a professional looking transcript (with grades, credits, GPA, dates), done on a computer (rather than handwritten) with some course descriptions/text book list.

 

I've had several admissions counselors mention to me (in as nice a way as possible) that many homeschoolers fail to provide these documents or that they are confusing, at best. Based on these conversations I think some homeschoolers do not understand that while their education may have been unconventional they will still need conventional looking documentation in order to successfully complete the admissions process. I think they are just looking for something they can stack against a kid from a brick and mortar school for comparison and clarity.

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  • 3 years later...

[Adding to a very old thread]

This thread came up in a search relating to transcripts and homeschool clearinghouse. I wanted to add an update for others who might end up here, since this thread was on the first page of the search results.

Hillsdale's admissions page no longer references using a clearinghouse or other entity for transcripts. https://www.hillsdale.edu/admissions-aid/admissions/application-process-2/

This is what their site has as specific guidance for homeschoolers (in June 2021, might be updated for the 2021-22 application cycle):

Homeschool Students: Candidates for admission from homeschooling backgrounds are required to submit high school transcripts from the primary educator. We prefer that courses be listed on one page, be organized by year/level, and include grades. Notations may be made if courses were taken in a variety of contexts (i.e. co-op, guild, association, etc.). Detailed course descriptions, textbooks used, and/or a high school reading list may be submitted in addition to a transcript, but should not exceed five pages. If a homeschool student dual-enrolled at the college level during his or her high school education, please submit official college transcripts once the courses are concluded to be considered for transfer credit.

Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals of no relation. If the primary educator is a parent, three letters may be submitted.

It's also worth noting that they while they accept course descriptions, they ask that they not exceed five pages (which is roughly a page per content area).

 

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I’ve mentioned before that admissions offices which in reality had no problem with homeschoolers, had apparently been getting some really unorthodox transcripts. We had more than one school specify that they needed transcripts that they could read. They were relieved to have our umbrella school transcript which really means nothing. It is just organized in a standard way. I don’t know what homeschoolers have been submitting but apparently it is so weird that these schools are specifying that they need an understandable format. 
 

Private schools and schools in different regions have different transcript conventions. So I don’t even think it has to be one specific way. They just want something they can understand. 

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41 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I’ve mentioned before that admissions offices which in reality had no problem with homeschoolers, had apparently been getting some really unorthodox transcripts. We had more than one school specify that they needed transcripts that they could read. They were relieved to have our umbrella school transcript which really means nothing. It is just organized in a standard way. I don’t know what homeschoolers have been submitting but apparently it is so weird that these schools are specifying that they need an understandable format. 
 

I'd love to see what they're getting that is making them add comments to their website! Our state doesn't have or recognize umbrella schools, so that's not even an option here and I don't know of any "clearinghouse, guild, or association" that even makes transcripts for people in my state. I do a subject transcript that lists each subject with courses taken under it and credits and grades to the right. It's easy to understand and I could easily provide course descriptions or a grade level transcript if required.

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I've seen transcripts that are 12 pages long, and I've seen some of the "as little information as possible" school. My guess is that Hillsdale wants something in between, with certain expected information, and that for a time it thought advising people to go through a third party was more likely to get it what it wanted. Happy to see it realised clearer instructions were more likely to work.

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38 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

I'd love to see what they're getting that is making them add comments to their website! Our state doesn't have or recognize umbrella schools, so that's not even an option here and I don't know of any "clearinghouse, guild, or association" that even makes transcripts for people in my state. I do a subject transcript that lists each subject with courses taken under it and credits and grades to the right. It's easy to understand and I could easily provide course descriptions or a grade level transcript if required.

My hunch is that some homeschoolers are applying and then no transcript is sent at all.

After a student applies (especially through Common App) they often get a prompt to create and check a student portal with the college itself. This is where they are going to see that the college has flagged something as missing or incomplete. It's one more thing to do, when students often feel wrung out by the application process; but it's an important step. Not all colleges will reach out to a student for missing information.

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4 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

My hunch is that some homeschoolers are applying and then no transcript is sent at all.

After a student applies (especially through Common App) they often get a prompt to create and check a student portal with the college itself. This is where they are going to see that the college has flagged something as missing or incomplete. It's one more thing to do, when students often feel wrung out by the application process; but it's an important step. Not all colleges will reach out to a student for missing information.

And some schools have portals that just plain don't work well. We've run into a lot of problems with ones that Microsoft Teams-it expects a given individual to have ONE account. Except that L, at the time, had one that was absolutely needed for the local college, one for teaching at Athena's, and, at one point, had something like 6 colleges all that wanted to be the sole connection to a given Microsoft account, and that, if we got one working, would break another connection, often the one needed for a class at 8:30 the next morning. It was extremely frustrating. 

 

I still think Oklahoma State accepted L based on clicking on a link in an e-mail; we never could get the website to tell us what documents they needed, and it wasn't a school that was interesting enough to spend a lot of time on the phone with IT to make it work. 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I’ve seen a few that mention homeschoolers who don’t have transcripts or whose experience can’t be captured by transcripts. My daughter has decided based on recent encounters that there’s a strong contingent of unschooling HS students with really….unfocused studies. 
 

ETA 
here that specifically refer to this

https://questu.ca/admissions/how-to-apply/alternatively-schooled-students/

https://admission.princeton.edu/how-apply/home-schooled-students

Edited by stripe
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On 6/5/2021 at 10:38 AM, stripe said:

I’ve seen a few that mention homeschoolers who don’t have transcripts or whose experience can’t be captured by transcripts. My daughter has decided based on recent encounters that there’s a strong contingent of unschooling HS students with really….unfocused studies. 
 

ETA 
here that specifically refer to this

https://questu.ca/admissions/how-to-apply/alternatively-schooled-students/

https://admission.princeton.edu/how-apply/home-schooled-students

Unfocused studies and/or parents who didn't keep records. I've known a few of the latter where the kids actually did a lot of great stuff, but the parents really didn't keep up with it, so constructing a transcript was hard for that reason. I actually figure that is one major benefit of the TN umbrella schools. They aren't all that useful as far as actually verifying what the student does, but they provide someone to poke the parent at the beginning and end of each school year to put in the plan of study for the year and to record grades at the end, even if they're just credit completed, so the student at least has SOME form of transcript!

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51 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

Unfocused studies and/or parents who didn't keep records. I've known a few of the latter where the kids actually did a lot of great stuff, but the parents really didn't keep up with it, so constructing a transcript was hard for that reason.

I guess I’d consider one of those a case where a transcript COULD have been created but wasn’t, rather than one where a transcript would be somehow impossible to create. The only things I can imagine that can’t be captured by a transcript are totally random/scattered studies (a few weeks on this, a few weeks on that) OR some massive integrated project. But I am sure my imagination is fairly limited.

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My kids are ending up with plenty of unschooly/unorthodox things listed in their transcripts. Some of them end up falling off if we have a DE or whatever later that might show better or be higher level.  But it is possible to package things up and make it work on a transcript if you want it to. It requires that the administering parent needs to stay organized.  I have kept a binder every year of homeschool and just lists books read, curriculum used, outside classes taken, etc etc etc.   It's mostly just throwing stuff into the binder as we come across it.   And at some point I organize it into something that can be listed on a transcript.  For some things it's obvious and easy and for some it is not.  I've always felt like I should have something to show.  Sometimes kids want to go back to school or NEED to go back to school in an emergency situation.  I wonder if these kids were pulled under duress?  Or maybe thought they'd never return or be college bound?  

I had a single page traditional subject organized transcript.  A credit worksheet on page 2.  And then many pages of descriptions, resources, etc for each "course".  It was many pages, but it was also in tables and bulleted so easy to run through.  And it was easy enough to ignore all that extra info for schools that didn't care.  But some absolutely did want that extra information. 

I do find it a bit weird people would be having their kids applying to colleges without having thought about this at all?  I suspect most community colleges would let you start with minimal info.

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Community colleges still generally want to see transcripts that show courses and grades.  When I called to speak to an admissions officer at our local cc about my dc's transcript format, she was grateful, answered my questions, and told me she wished all homeschoolers would follow a standard format for transcripts.  She said I wouldn't believe some of the crazy things they received.  

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On 6/4/2021 at 8:29 AM, Sebastian (a lady) said:

[Adding to a very old thread]

This thread came up in a search relating to transcripts and homeschool clearinghouse. I wanted to add an update for others who might end up here, since this thread was on the first page of the search results.

Hillsdale's admissions page no longer references using a clearinghouse or other entity for transcripts. https://www.hillsdale.edu/admissions-aid/admissions/application-process-2/

This is what their site has as specific guidance for homeschoolers (in June 2021, might be updated for the 2021-22 application cycle):

Homeschool Students: Candidates for admission from homeschooling backgrounds are required to submit high school transcripts from the primary educator. We prefer that courses be listed on one page, be organized by year/level, and include grades. Notations may be made if courses were taken in a variety of contexts (i.e. co-op, guild, association, etc.). Detailed course descriptions, textbooks used, and/or a high school reading list may be submitted in addition to a transcript, but should not exceed five pages. If a homeschool student dual-enrolled at the college level during his or her high school education, please submit official college transcripts once the courses are concluded to be considered for transfer credit.

Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals of no relation. If the primary educator is a parent, three letters may be submitted.

It's also worth noting that they while they accept course descriptions, they ask that they not exceed five pages (which is roughly a page per content area).

 

“…while they accept course descriptions, they ask that they not exceed five pages…” BWAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, Charlie. But at a solid paragraph per course, plus massive booklist for every class, I would have to write that in a 2-point font to squish that onto 5 pages. The one-page summary chart yes, we do do, for the TL;DR admissions folks who only want to read what they took and how they did. But no, we are not going to create a DIFFERENT annotated transcript to meet the requirements of each college. The Common App only wants you to upload ONE transcript that everybody gets.

We’re not applying to Hillsdale, but that 5 page thing struck me as pretty hilarious. I don’t think the book list alone would fit on 5 pages, even in a double-column. 

Could I write a one-page-per-major-area course description? Sure. But that’s not what OTHER colleges ask for. I remember one college even wanted number of “hours spent per subject, who taught it and their qualifications, materials covered, how the course was evaluated, what kind of work was turned in, and all books with ISBN numbers” listed, for each course. So . . . It’s either write up a separate transcript for every college, or write up the most detailed transcript needed for the pickiest college, and everybody gets that one.

Sometimes you have to wonder who writes these things.

 

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6 hours ago, NittanyJen said:

“…while they accept course descriptions, they ask that they not exceed five pages…” BWAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, Charlie. But at a solid paragraph per course, plus massive booklist for every class, I would have to write that in a 2-point font to squish that onto 5 pages. The one-page summary chart yes, we do do, for the TL;DR admissions folks who only want to read what they took and how they did. But no, we are not going to create a DIFFERENT annotated transcript to meet the requirements of each college. The Common App only wants you to upload ONE transcript that everybody gets.

We’re not applying to Hillsdale, but that 5 page thing struck me as pretty hilarious. I don’t think the book list alone would fit on 5 pages, even in a double-column. 

Could I write a one-page-per-major-area course description? Sure. But that’s not what OTHER colleges ask for. I remember one college even wanted number of “hours spent per subject, who taught it and their qualifications, materials covered, how the course was evaluated, what kind of work was turned in, and all books with ISBN numbers” listed, for each course. So . . . It’s either write up a separate transcript for every college, or write up the most detailed transcript needed for the pickiest college, and everybody gets that one.

Sometimes you have to wonder who writes these things.

 

I submit mine as triple column via a format I saw on either this site or via the hs2coll loop.  Going across--title/grade/cr--resources used--course description.  Compacting the info like that, I have been able to keep mine to around 5 pages.

Edited by 8filltheheart
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7 hours ago, NittanyJen said:

“…while they accept course descriptions, they ask that they not exceed five pages…” BWAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, Charlie. But at a solid paragraph per course, plus massive booklist for every class, I would have to write that in a 2-point font to squish that onto 5 pages. The one-page summary chart yes, we do do, for the TL;DR admissions folks who only want to read what they took and how they did. But no, we are not going to create a DIFFERENT annotated transcript to meet the requirements of each college. The Common App only wants you to upload ONE transcript that everybody gets.

We’re not applying to Hillsdale, but that 5 page thing struck me as pretty hilarious. I don’t think the book list alone would fit on 5 pages, even in a double-column. 

Could I write a one-page-per-major-area course description? Sure. But that’s not what OTHER colleges ask for. I remember one college even wanted number of “hours spent per subject, who taught it and their qualifications, materials covered, how the course was evaluated, what kind of work was turned in, and all books with ISBN numbers” listed, for each course. So . . . It’s either write up a separate transcript for every college, or write up the most detailed transcript needed for the pickiest college, and everybody gets that one.

Sometimes you have to wonder who writes these things.

 

I think 5 pages is skimpy too. My package of transcript and course descriptions is around 10 pages. (I've seen some people recommend 50-60 pages, which seems more that admissions will want to read. )

I have long booklists for some courses, but didn't bother with isbn. I will include an edition number for some texts, but Jane Eyre is just title and author. NCAA might specify isbn, but none of the couple dozen colleges mine applied to cared.

 

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
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On 6/18/2021 at 6:06 AM, 8filltheheart said:

I submit mine as triple column via a format I saw on either this site or via the hs2coll loop.  Going across--title/grade/cr--resources used--course description.  Compacting the info like that, I have been able to keep mine to around 5 pages.

Would you be willing to share an example for one course? I can't envision how fitting a course description into one column would reduce overall space, since it would take up more lines to make up for less width.   

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3 hours ago, klmama said:

Would you be willing to share an example for one course? I can't envision how fitting a course description into one column would reduce overall space, since it would take up more lines to make up for less width.   

I'm one the hs2coll loop and went and found it. It's a landscape format, I don't think it would decrease my descriptions down to 5 pages, but it would allow me to compact it somewhat. My course book lists is where it gets long (I don't list a book unless it's in a course). ETA. I'm at a comfortable 11 point font. I could probably take it down smaller. Either way, I'm adding a table of contents. I suspect no one is going to read these start to finish, but might look up a specific course either because it's non conventional or because they want to see what was covered.

I do have an IRL former student who is at Hillsdale. I don't think her course descriptions were less than five pages when I saw them (but that's been 3 years ago now).

Edited by MamaSprout
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On 6/20/2021 at 12:44 AM, klmama said:

Would you be willing to share an example for one course? I can't envision how fitting a course description into one column would reduce overall space, since it would take up more lines to make up for less width.   

I hope you had an opportunity to see it.  

Edited by 8filltheheart
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On 6/17/2021 at 11:57 PM, NittanyJen said:

“…while they accept course descriptions, they ask that they not exceed five pages…” BWAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, Charlie. But at a solid paragraph per course, plus massive booklist for every class, I would have to write that in a 2-point font to squish that onto 5 pages. The one-page summary chart yes, we do do, for the TL;DR admissions folks who only want to read what they took and how they did. But no, we are not going to create a DIFFERENT annotated transcript to meet the requirements of each college. The Common App only wants you to upload ONE transcript that everybody gets.

We’re not applying to Hillsdale, but that 5 page thing struck me as pretty hilarious. I don’t think the book list alone would fit on 5 pages, even in a double-column. 

Could I write a one-page-per-major-area course description? Sure. But that’s not what OTHER colleges ask for. I remember one college even wanted number of “hours spent per subject, who taught it and their qualifications, materials covered, how the course was evaluated, what kind of work was turned in, and all books with ISBN numbers” listed, for each course. So . . . It’s either write up a separate transcript for every college, or write up the most detailed transcript needed for the pickiest college, and everybody gets that one.

Sometimes you have to wonder who writes these things.

 

I created these documents for all three of my children, but no one ever asked for anything like this. They only wanted a one page transcript. That and their test scores were good enough. I just wasted so much time doing all of that.

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On 7/2/2021 at 2:36 PM, emptynester3 said:

I created these documents for all three of my children, but no one ever asked for anything like this. They only wanted a one page transcript. That and their test scores were good enough. I just wasted so much time doing all of that.

I only started it for my oldest because one of his colleges (maybe Lehigh?) wanted it. I didn’t set out to volunteer it.

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