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DS is just starting to think about colleges he might like to apply to. He has cousins who really enjoy(ed) their time at Bates and at Brandeis, so he is looking into these two schools first. Both have admissions information specifically for homeschooled students, so yay. Bates’ requirements were straightforward, but Brandeis says that homeschooled students must have “Identification of affiliation with a state or national homeschooling organization.” WTH does that mean? An umbrella school? They also want an essay on “why the student chose to be homeschooled.” I’m in a mood to scratch Brandeis off his list. 😠 However, I do remember reading here that homeschoolers have attended Brandeis.  Can anyone give me any info or suggestions regarding this? It never even occurred to me that there would be special hoops to jump through. Is this common? 

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I am all ears for this one, as Brandeis is on our radar as well.  However, this

3 minutes ago, bibiche said:

They also want an essay on “why the student chose to be homeschooled.”

is idiotic.  Do they ask all of their applicants to explain the educational choices that their parents made for them?  (Rhetorical question, obviously.)

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Just now, JennyD said:

I am all ears for this one, as Brandeis is on our radar as well.  However, this

is idiotic.  Do they ask all of their applicants to explain the educational choices that their parents made for them?  (Rhetorical question, obviously.)

Ha! That’s exactly what I thought. How much can one expand on “because my mom made me,” right? 😂 

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Presumably the way to approach it is just to reinterpret the question as "how I have benefited from homeschooling and what it has allowed me to accomplish," but I certainly haven't been through any of this before.  

 

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4 minutes ago, JennyD said:

Presumably the way to approach it is just to reinterpret the question as "how I have benefited from homeschooling and what it has allowed me to accomplish," but I certainly haven't been through any of this before.  

 

Maybe I’ll take one for the team and let them know how misguided their requirements are... I might not have to worry about scratching them off DS’s list that way as they’d probably scratch him off theirs. 🤪

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I've found that a lot of the time, they don't mean this sort of thing or know what they're even asking.

If you really want to be snarky, you could email them criticisms of HSLDA and then ask, so, are you actually asking that we join this organization in order to apply to your school? Really?

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I've found that a lot of the time, they don't mean this sort of thing or know what they're even asking.

If you really want to be snarky, you could email them criticisms of HSLDA and then ask, so, are you actually asking that we join this organization in order to apply to your school? Really?

I really DO want to be snarky right now! 😂 
I assume they just aren’t informed, but right there that makes me question the school, you know? Homeschooling is not some weird niche thing anymore, so they should be informed. It’s odd, because it seems so absolutely the opposite of all the great things I have heard about Brandeis from my niece, who absolutely *raves* about it. Brandeis does sound like it might be a good fit for my kid. They have a quidditch team, for goodness sake! But still, those homeschool application requirements give me pause...

Edited by bibiche
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1 minute ago, bibiche said:

I really DO want to be snarky right now! 😂 
I assume they just aren’t informed, but right there that makes me question the school, you know? Homeschooling is not some weird niche thing anymore, so they should be informed. It’s odd, because it seems so absolutely the opposite of all the great things I have heard about Brandeis from my niece, who absolutely *raves* about it. Brandeis does sound like it might be a good fit for my kid. They have a quidditch team, for goodness sake! But still, those homeschool application requirements give me pause...

I think you have to remember that AO websites often have old policies that don't reflect the reality... I find especially when dealing with homeschoolers. They set these "policies" and then immediately end up breaking them. It's frustrating, but it doesn't mean they actually are bad at evaluating homeschool applications. And certainly, once you're in, you're in. Admissions and the school are separate. Basically, you WILL find weird things like this (just have a look at what NY schools think you can provide from your district... sigh) sometimes it's an impediment, often it's a misunderstanding. Evaluate the school, get a balanced list, help your kid fall in love with a wide variety of school possibilities, etc. And it'll work out fine.

Lots of places have a quidditch team 😉

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16 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

If you really want your blood boiling, look at Yale. I have never in my life read anything so condescending and insulting. 

You mean the part where they say don’t just have your mommy and daddy write your letters of recommendation or the part where they want to know if you can integrate into a society of normals? 😝 

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1 hour ago, bibiche said:

DS is just starting to think about colleges he might like to apply to. He has cousins who really enjoy(ed) their time at Bates and at Brandeis, so he is looking into these two schools first. Both have admissions information specifically for homeschooled students, so yay. Bates’ requirements were straightforward, but Brandeis says that homeschooled students must have “Identification of affiliation with a state or national homeschooling organization.” WTH does that mean? An umbrella school? They also want an essay on “why the student chose to be homeschooled.” I’m in a mood to scratch Brandeis off his list. 😠 However, I do remember reading here that homeschoolers have attended Brandeis.  Can anyone give me any info or suggestions regarding this? It never even occurred to me that there would be special hoops to jump through. Is this common? 

I know two homeschoolers who were accepted to Brandeis, one has attended and graduated.  Neither have any such thing, because as Massachusetts homeschoolers (yes, the same state Brandeis is in), there IS NO STATE ORGANIZATION with which we could possibly be affiliated.  Nor do we have umbrella schools or anything else like that. That's nonsense - they do not exist in this state.  Of course, our state flagship has the same nonsense, and even to them it's pointless pointing out that their requirements are TOTALLY out of line with the state homeschooling laws.  They don't care - it's so infuriating. At least they now allow X number of DE credits as an alternate 'proof'.  Does Brandeis have that?  I think both the hsers I know that were accepted there did have at least some DE...

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15 minutes ago, bibiche said:

You mean the part where they say don’t just have your mommy and daddy write your letters of recommendation or the part where they want to know if you can integrate into a society of normals? 😝 

Yep!!!! Apparently we don’t know how to talk to people. 
🙄

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, bibiche said:

straightforward, but Brandeis says that homeschooled students must have “Identification of affiliation with a state or national homeschooling organization.” WTH does that mean? An umbrella school? 

I've come across this a few times before.  I'm on a local email list for homeschoolers where we organize park days and field trips.  I put down the name of that group.  Later I started volunteering with Homeschool Association of California...answering the phones from newbies who want to learn about homeschooling laws.  I do it for me; it has nothing to do with my children; they never attended an HSC conference or participated in their events.  But it sounds official so it went onto the application. 

Isn't the Well Trained Mind Community a national homeschooling organization?  

Garbage in, garbage out.   

Edited by daijobu
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Matryoshka said:

I know two homeschoolers who were accepted to Brandeis, one has attended and graduated.  Neither have any such thing, because as Massachusetts homeschoolers (yes, the same state Brandeis is in), there IS NO STATE ORGANIZATION with which we could possibly be affiliated.  Nor do we have umbrella schools or anything else like that. That's nonsense - they do not exist in this state.  Of course, our state flagship has the same nonsense, and even to them it's pointless pointing out that their requirements are TOTALLY out of line with the state homeschooling laws.  They don't care - it's so infuriating. At least they now allow X number of DE credits as an alternate 'proof'.  Does Brandeis have that?  I think both the hsers I know that were accepted there did have at least some DE...

That’s crazy! I don’t know if they’d allow DE as proof. It’s really stupid. Once I’m less annoyed I will contact them and see what they have to say for themselves. 😉 But note to self: Massachusetts schools are tetchy! 
 

eta but not all: MIT seems wonderfully welcoming of homeschoolers. 

Edited by bibiche
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2 hours ago, Farrar said:

I think you have to remember that AO websites often have old policies that don't reflect the reality... I find especially when dealing with homeschoolers. They set these "policies" and then immediately end up breaking them. It's frustrating, but it doesn't mean they actually are bad at evaluating homeschool applications. And certainly, once you're in, you're in. Admissions and the school are separate. Basically, you WILL find weird things like this (just have a look at what NY schools think you can provide from your district... sigh) sometimes it's an impediment, often it's a misunderstanding. Evaluate the school, get a balanced list, help your kid fall in love with a wide variety of school possibilities, etc. And it'll work out fine.

Lots of places have a quidditch team 😉

And don't be afraid to call Admissions and ask. 

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59 minutes ago, daijobu said:

I've come across this a few times before.  I'm on a local email list for homeschoolers where we organize park days and field trips.  I put down the name of that group.  Later I started volunteering with Homeschool Association of California...answering the phones from newbies who want to learn about homeschooling laws.  I do it for me; it has nothing to do with my children; they never attended an HSC conference or participated in their events.  But it sounds official so it went onto the application. 

Isn't the Well Trained Mind Community a national homeschooling organization?  

Garbage in, garbage out.   

On one application, we listed a group our Science Olympiad team was affiliated with. It really only exists on Facebook as a clearinghouse for events and teams.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bibiche said:

That’s crazy! I don’t know if they’d allow DE as proof. It’s really stupid. Once I’m less annoyed I will contact them and see what they have to say for themselves. 😉 But note to self: Massachusetts schools are tetchy! 
 

eta but not all: MIT seems wonderfully welcoming of homeschoolers. 

I actually thought it was only UMass Amherst - from what I'd heard the private Unis as well as all the other state public schools were fine.  I'm a bit surprised about Brandeis, 'cause like I said I know homeschoolers who have attended, and don't remember hearing about difficulties.  I may reach out to my friend and ask her if she ran into this, or whether it's stupid stuff on the website that can be ignored...

Edited by Matryoshka
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I have no idea what that school is, or where it is, but my DD did apply to a few out of state colleges and those states had different laws regarding homeschooling,  which were reflected in their homeschool section on their websites.  One I called directly bc I don't have a cover school, but the person there had no idea.   I ended up working with my regional recruiter to determine what the admissions wanted (ended up a signed, notarized copy of the transcript I made).   I suggest you call admissions directly and ask what documentation they want from homeschoolers or contact your local recruiter.  You may need to speak to a specific person, bc most won't be familiar with put of state homeschoolers.  The recruiters can be hit or miss- the one that DD is attending,  great,  helpful recruiter.   Another university we contacted repeatedly,  left messages and sent a few mails- never called us back or answered our questions- any answer was generic c&p off the website. We tried for about a month, then wrote that school off the list.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, daijobu said:

I've come across this a few times before.  I'm on a local email list for homeschoolers where we organize park days and field trips.  I put down the name of that group.  Later I started volunteering with Homeschool Association of California...answering the phones from newbies who want to learn about homeschooling laws.  I do it for me; it has nothing to do with my children; they never attended an HSC conference or participated in their events.  But it sounds official so it went onto the application

 

Now that I think about it, I'm actually perpetuating the myth that homeschoolers routinely affiliate with an organization.  I probably should have stood my ground and stood up for facts and reality.

But meh.  We needed to get the application done, so we smushed our square peg in the round hole.  

Edited by daijobu
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55 minutes ago, BusyMom5 said:

I have no idea what that school is, or where it is...

Thanks for your reply. 🙂

FYI Bates is a small liberal arts college in Maine and Brandeis is a small R1 university in Massachusetts. 

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Definitely treat the why did you choose to homeschool as why it was a better choice due to opportunities. That IS a standard question and knowing how to answer it honestly but with conviction can open a lot of doors. My kids have been awarded a lot of scholarships and opportunities over the yrs bc they could articulate how they designed their educations around their interests and that their educations were essentially owned by them bc they were motivated to learn, not something they were told they had to do.

Part of the college app process is embracing the opportunities to stand out as unique vs a cookie cutter applicant.

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15 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Definitely treat the why did you choose to homeschool as why it was a better choice due to opportunities. That IS a standard question and knowing how to answer it honestly but with conviction can open a lot of doors. My kids have been awarded a lot of scholarships and opportunities over the yrs bc they could articulate how they designed their educations around their interests and that their educations were essentially owned by them bc they were motivated to learn, not something they were told they had to do.

Part of the college app process is embracing the opportunities to stand out as unique vs a cookie cutter applicant.

Oh, certainly. And I imagine most homeschoolers would discuss the unique opportunities home education has provided them. But the question is annoying. As a PP pointed out, non homeschooled applicants aren’t asked to justify their (parents’) educational decisions. 

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Posted (edited)

What would that response look like.....bc it's free? Bc the govt requires it? Bc I live in that district?

There's plenty to be annoyed about in terms of hoop jumping, but unless the answer is my parents made it for me, it is not a hoop I would complain about and would instead be glad for the opportunity to give insight. 

Your student has approx 8 mins to convince them why he should be accepted. The answer to that question can be the reason why. 

Hoops that require testing or courses that ps students dont have to take....that is obnoxious. But why you homeschool...that is an interesting question which deserves an answer since homeschooling is not a simple choice.

Edited by 8filltheheart
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3 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

Definitely treat the why did you choose to homeschool as why it was a better choice due to opportunities. That IS a standard question and knowing how to answer it honestly but with conviction can open a lot of doors. My kids have been awarded a lot of scholarships and opportunities over the yrs bc they could articulate how they designed their educations around their interests and that their educations were essentially owned by them bc they were motivated to learn, not something they were told they had to do.

Part of the college app process is embracing the opportunities to stand out as unique vs a cookie cutter applicant.

My teen has been known to cut to the chase and say things like “I didn’t pick homeschooling, but I’m glad my parents did because of X, Y, and Z”.

 

of course, this is also a teen who got the top scholarship at our local state u and answered the question of “why should we consider you for this scholarship” with “because I am smart enough to pick a school based on final net price”. (It was very definitely a last resort safety  and there was enough automatic merit aid to cover tuition, and a reasonable commute, so I wasn’t inclined to force more effort-but I admit I was surprised when the scholarship award came!). 

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5 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

What would that response look like.....bc it's free? Bc the govt requires it? Bc I live in that district?

There's plenty to be annoyed about in terms of hoop jumping, but unless the answer is my parents made it for me, it is not a hoop I would complain about and would instead be glad for the opportunity to give insight. 

Your student has approx 8 mins to convince them why he should be accepted. The answer to that question can be the reason why. 

I agree with the OP that it's an annoying question, but this kind of situation is a good reminder of something DH likes to recite to me like a mantra:

"Never answer the question that is asked of you. Answer the question that you wish had been asked of you."  --Robert McNamara

View every question as another opportunity to sell your student, one that regular students aren't allowed to answer.  

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I would agree that you should ask admissions. We ran across a couple of schools that had things listed as being needed for homeschoolers on their website but when I wrote to ask they were happy to waive the requirement or interpreted it very loosely. 

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DH is applying to nursing school at our community college.  He was homeschooled.  They want a letter from the superintendent of the district he lived in during high school to attest that his coursework was comparable to a NYS high school diploma.

DH graduated high school in 2001.  That superintendent is long gone. It’s a mess.

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14 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

DH is applying to nursing school at our community college.  He was homeschooled.  They want a letter from the superintendent of the district he lived in during high school to attest that his coursework was comparable to a NYS high school diploma.

DH graduated high school in 2001.  That superintendent is long gone. It’s a mess.

This is so infuriating. And the NY state schools don't all have the same regulations.  I hope he can get it sorted out!

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Posted (edited)
On 5/6/2021 at 6:52 AM, bibiche said:

MIT seems wonderfully welcoming of homeschoolers. 

But the accept very few.  In my son's year, 3 were accepted and attending, and 2 more that were 100% communitiy college for all 4 years of highschool.  That is out of a class of 1300. 

We were required to get one recommendation from a Math/science teacher and one recommendation from an English teacher. But that is true for all students applying, it is just harder to accommodate for a homeschooled student.  

Edited by lewelma
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