I just attended a workshop about applying to college as a homeschooler. One of the main ideas in this session was that many college admission officers are asking homeschooled applicants: “What did you do with the freedom of homeschooling?” In other words, being homeschooled in and of itself is not that interesting anymore in regards to the college application process! What could your student’s homeschooling experience bring to the college of their choice?
So what can make the college application of a homeschooled student stand out?
– interesting experiences – internships, volunteer hours, getting involved with a passion through a club or community situation, working with mentors. It doesn’t have to be an inch deep and a mile wide, but demonstrating some sort of enthusiasm over time is important!
–socialization is STILL a consideration that many college admission officers look for. How well is your homeschooler “socialized”? Yes, this term may still make us bristle as homeschoolers, but again, this goes back to the importance of being involved and being able to show that on a college application.
–letters of recommendation by adults who know the student well. These are important for homeschoolers as it again demonstrates a wider connection to the community and usually to a demonstrated passion that the student can highlight in their application
-the elusive “fit” : you can check http://www.unigo.com to look at the student life on any campus and see how your student’s profile compares to the students there. More than just a generic college application essay, admissioners officers want to know how your student fits into their university. So, with that idea, any essay question for the college should be geared towards how the student fits into that university’s environment and really highlight the student’s story.
–interviews are very important for homeschooled applicants, and many universities do require this for homeschooled students
–social media presence: one thing that is new that may have changed from when YOU went to college is the student pursuing the university a bit by attending open houses or student tours, taking advantage of programs the university may hold for high school students, participating in polls or yes, even following them on social media. This demonstrates your student’s interest and yes, it can tip the scales in the admission process.
That’s what I learned recently; those of you who have had homeschoolers go on to college (not dual enrolled, but the traditional application process) – how was it for you?