If college is the end goal for your teen after homeschooling, you’ll want to think ahead. The college application process can be long, hard, and exhausting. When you’re considering how to get your homeschooler into college, do whatever you can do to make it easier on yourself and your student. It requires a lot of collaboration between the two of you; there are big decisions to be made, and you’ll want the process and transition to go as smoothly as possible. Everything will work out in the end, but here are some tips to help you out beforehand:
- Testing is an inevitable part of the college application process – few schools do not require test scores. There are two options, the SAT and the ACT. The two tests have some significant differences, so you’ll want to carefully go over both options with your child. Some teens have an easier time on one test than the other, so I recommend having your child take both tests and comparing the scores to decide which one to use. Pay close attention to test schedules and locations, and sign your child up in advance. Prepping and studying for these tests is a must, and there are lots of workbooks, prep classes, and online tools available to help prepare your homeschooler for the tests.
- Prepare a portfolio of your child’s work, including essays your child has written or well documented projects. Assemble a diverse selection of your child’s best work – highlights in their education and work that they are proud of. You’ll also need a transcript of all of your student’s high school work and curriculum. Click here for our suggestions on putting together a great high school transcript for your homeschooler.
- The personal essay is an important part of college applications. There are many topics to choose from, so I recommend you go over each topic with your homeschooler and brainstorm. Whichever topic your child has the best idea for and feels the most comfortable writing about is the one you should go for. If you can’t decide, have your homeschooler write two or three essays and see which one turns out the best. This is your homeschooler’s chance to stand out and shine as an individual. Carefully edit this essay, and go over it again and again until you and your child are completely happy with it.
- Remember, being homeschooled sometimes helps your child stand out! Some of the top universities are recruiting homeschoolers in acknowledgement of the creativity and independent thinking that homeschooling inspires. In addition, homeschoolers often earn more college credits while still of high school age, proving their ability to handle college-level work. So be sure to find ways to help your child’s accomplishments shine through.
Those are the three biggest things to tackle, so good luck! Don’t forget to check out SD Accelerate’s free trial.