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Oberlin homeschool portfolio?


FuzzyCatz
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Has anyone applied to Oberlin as a homeschooler in recent years?  My transcript document is 10+ pages and includes class descriptions, resources, text, lit lists, info about outside teachers and resources.  He has a transcript from a CC with a 4.0 and a reference letter from the CC (and several other references).  We uploaded a research paper from his comp class at CC with the grade (A).  He has an ACT > 75% at Oberlin.  Does that seem reasonable?  I kept great records, but I didn't keep many work examples.  

The only thing I did not include in my transcript document was class dates.  If I added end dates for all my classes in my descriptions in the transcript and had the kid upload this as the portfolio does this seem reasonable?  I have really not fond feelings of extra hoop jumping for homeschoolers when the data is basically there already but my kid really likes Oberlin very much.  

 

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We haven't yet, but it's on DS's list. I'm interpreting that section to mean that they want to see the course descriptions that I've already written and will submit with all of his apps through the common app (for dates studied, it's already listed by year and semester; I can't imagine they want more than that). It doesn't sound like they really want graded papers if I'm reading right, although I might have him upload a paper or two and maybe a couple of his lab reports from the chem class he took in 10th grade, since they mention lab work specifically (the chem class was an outside class at an accredited hybrid school, though, so they'll have that transcript plus the one from the state university where he took physics with lab).

Incidentally, he's applying to Hamilton and they have a similarly vague "portfolio" section for homeschoolers on their site....he e-mailed admissions to ask what they wanted, and they were just as vague in their response--could be a single paper, could be a bunch of stuff, we're not looking for anything in particular, just show us what you did. I suspect (though I don't know) that kids who have a lot of dual enrollment grades or AP scores or whatever would need to show less in a portfolio than kids who've done all classes at home.

Interested to hear any responses from people who's applied recently, though! 

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Do you have a portal at Oberlin?  It had a graded paper as an upload option and that was easy to do for us, so we threw it in there.  The last science class my kid took was through the CC and it was a lab class but it's on his CC transcript.  I think we kept nothing from that class and unless B&M kids are sending in lab reports I do not feel particularly obligated to do so.  I could dig around.  My kid's other 3 science lab class were actually live classes too through a co-op.  

Anyway - I feel like the transcript info is generally enough in our case too.  I'm glad someone else is feeling similarly.  ?  Our transcript is listed by subject though includes a credits worksheet broken up by year which heavily implies date.  I did say all course work was completed between 2015 and 2019.  We don't follow neat semesters for subjects we do at home though so I think I could come up with an end month/year for each class if I had to.

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4 hours ago, kokotg said:

We haven't yet, but it's on DS's list. I'm interpreting that section to mean that they want to see the course descriptions that I've already written and will submit with all of his apps through the common app (for dates studied, it's already listed by year and semester; I can't imagine they want more than that). It doesn't sound like they really want graded papers if I'm reading right, although I might have him upload a paper or two and maybe a couple of his lab reports from the chem class he took in 10th grade, since they mention lab work specifically (the chem class was an outside class at an accredited hybrid school, though, so they'll have that transcript plus the one from the state university where he took physics with lab).

Incidentally, he's applying to Hamilton and they have a similarly vague "portfolio" section for homeschoolers on their site....he e-mailed admissions to ask what they wanted, and they were just as vague in their response--could be a single paper, could be a bunch of stuff, we're not looking for anything in particular, just show us what you did. I suspect (though I don't know) that kids who have a lot of dual enrollment grades or AP scores or whatever would need to show less in a portfolio than kids who've done all classes at home.

Interested to hear any responses from people who's applied recently, though! 

My D had a positive pre-read with their admissions department this summer.  I submitted a 3 page school profile, course descriptions, and a one-page transcript.  She also submitted her SAT, subject tests, and AP scores.  She didn't submit any additional info such as work samples, lab reports, etc.

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My ds is planning to apply, but hasn't actually applied yet. I was planning to do something fairly similar to what you describe, except my ds doesn't have any CC credits, just public school and AP classes. He has one science class with labs that he did at school, but his other sciences are at home, and we didn't keep any records of his labs. I'm hoping that his transcript will work as is.  

I was just going to add that we visited last week, and we were told that there was a specific admissions rep who deals with homeschoolers. So I was told that if I had any questions, I should contact her. I think my ds has her card, so if it would help, let me know I'll pass on the info. My vague recollection is that her name is Melissa, but I'm really not sure about that!

21 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Has anyone applied to Oberlin as a homeschooler in recent years?  My transcript document is 10+ pages and includes class descriptions, resources, text, lit lists, info about outside teachers and resources.  He has a transcript from a CC with a 4.0 and a reference letter from the CC (and several other references).  We uploaded a research paper from his comp class at CC with the grade (A).  He has an ACT > 75% at Oberlin.  Does that seem reasonable?  I kept great records, but I didn't keep many work examples.  

The only thing I did not include in my transcript document was class dates.  If I added end dates for all my classes in my descriptions in the transcript and had the kid upload this as the portfolio does this seem reasonable?  I have really not fond feelings of extra hoop jumping for homeschoolers when the data is basically there already but my kid really likes Oberlin very much.  

 

 

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Oh that is interesting @JeanM.  In my kid's portal he is not assigned to Melissa.  Nor is he assigned the admissions rep for our region though?  If you think of it, PM me the homeschool rep name after you confirm if you get a chance?  Just curious if it is the one we are assigned.  

I had thought of having my son e-mail his assigned rep and saying all the info is in the transcript let us know if you need anything else from us.   Also the dates on his reported ACT scores are accurate but the test date on is wrong.  I am not sure if one of us keyed it wrong into the common app or what but it would be another excuse to e-mail her.  

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Hey all. 

Two of my own kids were accepted at Oberlin (one attended and loved it btw). In both cases, they didn't graduate as a homeschooler but homeschooled for a year or two of high school.

On the website, it says that Brittnei is the homeschool rep. Maybe that's who you're assigned to? https://www.oberlin.edu/brittnei-sherrod

I think your homeschooler would be fine without a paper if scores etc are on the top end. But here is what Oberlin really wants from any applicant: they want to know that they understand and love Oberlin's culture. It's a unique school with a unique community. Visit and experience it firsthand so that your dc can truly absorb that. Hang out on the benches. Talk to students. Know Tappan Square. Know Soul Train and Agave. Sit in on classes. Know Oberlin's history. Weave that into their Why essay. Know that Obies love people and learning and want to change the world. And they have a hard time focusing on one interest because life is fabulous and every bit is a joy to experience.

I wish your kids the best. Oberlin is a special, special place!!

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Thanks @lisabees!  We actually just visited Oberlin early into their school year and I wasn't sure my son would like it at all but he LOVED it (we visited several schools on that trip).  He is applying double degree - conservatory and college.  He is at or above their 75% for ACT scores.  I do think it's his first choice school but because music admissions are so dicey and we need merit to make schools like this work he's keeping many options open.   I think he did wax quite poetic in his essays but they are all running together in my head at this point.  LOL.  What you say just rings so true to our visit.  The student body was welcoming but honest and real too.  I can tell you he insisted on writing those essays first.   He also interviewed recently with a travelling admissions person.  

He did mostly submit our class descriptions and book lists, etc as a portfolio but I did add a few notes specific to this application.  And they have a written paper too.  He did terrible on the ACT essay section.  I"m not even sure if they look at that but he's actually a very strong writer.  

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Aww thank you Lisabees!  Music admissions is really rough there, I think he has a decent shot academically.  If he doesn't get into the conservatory, it's probably out!  I am crossing fingers.  I read somewhere 40 sopranos were invited to audition for 2 spots last year.  ?? Whoa.  It's probably a bit less crazy for male voice parts but it feels like a lottery situation for the conservatory for sure!. Crossing fingers and toes!

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I have two currently at Oberlin, both homeschooled all the way through high school.  DD22 is a senior in the Con.  There is a tenor who practices in a room close to her practice room, and I get to enjoy hearing him practice when we talk on the phone!  She speaks in awe of the double degree kids, many of whom become that after a year or two in the Con.  

DS19 is a sophomore in the College, and everything you describe for your transcript is exactly what we did for his.  He included course descriptions, a book list, an English paper, a chemistry lab report, and photos of his watercolor paintings in the arts supplement.  He had two grades from a local LAC and a couple of art classes at the high school.  Best of luck to him, it is indeed a special place.

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