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Common App - course descriptions a must?


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We didn’t use common app when my daughter applied to a mid level nc university three years ago. I’ve heard there are 4 transcript slots and many homeschoolers add a course description document. I have not prepared this! His transcript has several online classes, one AP class from PaH, all dual enrollment classes junior year and this year. He has made As in all online, AP, and community college classes. He has decent ACT 26 and SAT 1190 scores. I thought his grades spoke for themselves and justified the few “mommy/teacher” grades he has. Should I make a course description document? I really don’t want to, honestly. I will add a document of all his awards, leadership and volunteer hours (many 100 and verified). He mostly wants to attend a midlevel NC university that has his major. His only reach university is UNC, but it may be a stretch. He’s also applying to the university his sister went to but I know they won’t care.  I think his recommendations will be very strong from AP teacher and one college professor. What do you advise? 

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I got started on it... He has all dual enrollment for 11th and 12th, so it won’t be that hard. Thankfully, I had started the process with my daughter and found the document. I taught the same courses to him, so can edit some and re write others. I would love to see your course description formats though. I’m going year by year in the course order of the transcript.

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There is a section on the student portion of the Common App that asks for activities. There is very little room there to elaborate.

DD has one school that has a slot for an upload of an activities resume on her portion of the Common App. I'm not including it on my portion.  She is also filling out the sections of the CA covering honors & activities. YMMV.

As far as the course descriptions, I would suspect it is college dependent. Some like to see them and others would rather you not include them as they have enough material to look through. I believe there are some places that require them from homeschoolers - but they state that requirement on their website.

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There's a question in the homeschooling section that asks for more information about outside classes. I believe the question is optional, but I plan on answering it either directly in the box or by stating: Please see attached Course Descriptions.  (Or something similar.)   In my mind, it's worth the time and effort it takes. It may not make a whit of difference, but one can't be sure what makes the difference between a yes or no, or even full pay vs small scholarship vs full ride. Sometimes it's one big thing, other times it may be the sum of small things.*  (*With a nod to Elizabeth Currid-Halkett's book by the same title. It's such a great phrase.)

From the Common App:

If the student has taken courses from a distance learning program, traditional secondary school, or institution of higher education, please list the course title and content, sponsoring institution, instruction setting and schedule, and frequency of interactions with instructors and fellow students (once per day, week, etc.). In addition, if the student has taken any standardized testing other than those listed on page 2 of the Common Application, please also describe below.

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
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21 hours ago, Woodland Mist Academy said:

There's a question in the homeschooling section that asks for more information about outside classes. I believe the question is optional, but I plan on answering it either directly in the box or by stating: Please see attached Course Descriptions.  (Or something similar.)   In my mind, it's worth the time and effort it takes. It may not make a whit of difference, but one can't be sure what makes the difference between a yes or no, or even full pay vs small scholarship vs full ride. Sometimes it's one big thing, other times it may be the sum of small things.*  (*With a nod to Elizabeth Currid-Halkett's book by the same title. It's such a great phrase.)

From the Common App:

If the student has taken courses from a distance learning program, traditional secondary school, or institution of higher education, please list the course title and content, sponsoring institution, instruction setting and schedule, and frequency of interactions with instructors and fellow students (once per day, week, etc.). In addition, if the student has taken any standardized testing other than those listed on page 2 of the Common Application, please also describe below.

Where is that section? I think we only included dual enrollment and not his 2 online class. I’ll have to go back and review that...

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On the Counselor's account, under the Students tab, click on the Student's name, then scroll down to the last option, which is Home School. It's the third question in the Home School section.

Hope that helps!

(ETA: When you click on the student's name it will automatically take you to the Workspace tab, which has the Home School section. I'm bolding so you can just glance through and see what to click or where you should be. :smile:)

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
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