College Application Tips For Homeschooled Students

Here are a few college application tips for homeschooled students.

Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker

In some ways, the college application process for homeschooled students may be slightly different than that for traditional students. If you are a homeschooled student, you may not be able to submit a traditional transcript of course grades. You may also not be able to meet the recommendation letter criteria laid out for traditional students.

Most colleges typically maintain the same eligibility criteria for both traditional and home-schooled students. However, you may find yourself having to adapt some of the requirements to fit your unique situation.

Submitting Details of Academic Preparation &Transcripts

As a homeschooled student you may not have a transcript in the traditional format. But, you need to submit some details about your academic preparation. Admissions officers need something to base their assessment on. Provide details of any academic program you pursued outside the home school setting. That means detailing an advanced course you completed through an online college or a vocational program you attended at a local school. Transcripts of any courses you’ve completed can be very helpful.

If you attended a summer program, don’t forget to mention that too.

Submitting Details of Extracurricular Activities You’ve Participated In

Colleges want to see a high level of commitment to extracurricular activities in homeschooled students. Homeschooled students generally take advantage of their flexible schedule. They pursue a wider range of activities and get more active and involved in their communities.

When submitting details of the extracurricular activities you’ve participated in, read up on tips on how to make your extracurriculars look good. If you’ve spent your time volunteering, doing an internship, working, and also as a member of the community theater or orchestra, don’t just write down a long list of activities. Instead, take care to put emphasis on the activity that is most relevant to the course you are applying to or the activity that best reflects your personality.

A longer list of activities is not necessarily more impressive. What is important is your takeaway from one or a few of these activities.

Getting Letters of Recommendation

Most colleges ask applicants to submit recommendation letters written by one of more of their teachers. This particular criterion is flexible for homeschooled students but you will need to submit a recommendation letter. Even if a parent was your primary teacher through your homeschooling years, they should be the last option as a letter writer.

If you have completed any vocational or advanced program outside of the home school setting, those teachers or professors should be the first choice for writing your letter of recommendation.

If you had a teacher other than a parent who tutored you in any one subject, they should be your second choice of letter writer.

Writing Your College Essay

Your college essay is your opportunity to shine and talk about how your homeschooling experience. Talk about how it taught you a different approach to learning. Highlight your unique qualities as a homeschooler and how that will help you bring something different into the school environment. Colleges appreciate students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them as homeschoolers. The college essay is the place where you can impress them with your unique insight and perspectives.

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