Your guide to helping your son or daughter transition from homeschooling to college.
Choosing a College: Where to Begin
Choosing a college for any high school student can seem overwhelming.
Homeschool students that have received a non-traditional education may feel a bit apprehensive going from a home-based learning environment to a large university.
Some homeschool students take a few courses at a local community college as a first step into the college experience.
On the other hand, many home school students start college prep in middle school and adapt extremely well to the college life especially if they do more independent-type study homeschooling for their high school curriculum.
College Application Tips
Applying to college as a homeschool student is a unique situation and can be time consuming so it is a good idea to start early.
Here are some college application tips for home school students:
1. Start the application process early
2. Meet with a licensed Christian homeschool counselor
3. Take a prep course for the SAT/ACT because these scores are especially important for homeschool applicants
4. Contact your state homeschool agencies for community contacts and resources for college bound homeschool students
Paying for College
Homeschool students have the beauty of creating their own schedules which allows time to work and travel.
When it comes to paying for college, there are many creative options.
Dual enrollment is an option while the student is still in high school and living at home.
Another option is to work and go to school. Many organizations offer scholarships and grants for homeschool students.
Building Good Study Habits
One of the bonuses of being homeschooled is the ability to learn at your own pace.
Research shows that homeschool students often have better study habits because they are in control of their learning environment.
As they approach high school, many of the courses are independent study which also helps create good study habits.
College Preparation Resources
You and your student might not be anywhere close to deciding on a college yet. Perhaps you haven’t decided if he wants to go to college at all! That’s perfectly fine; junior year is a time of preparation more than it is a season of decision. Since you’re in the preparation process, here are some things to know about college applications.
Drama group, swimming, gymnastics, debate: how do these activities contribute to a student’s academic transcript? More than you think! While colleges will first take into account a student’s tests scores and grades, extracurricular activities provide a complete picture of who the student is and where he’s headed academically.
By now you may be very well acquainted with your student’s degree completion plan (DCP): the list of classes required for his intended major(s). These plans are available on any college’s website or through their admission office. Within it is listed general education courses (100-200 level courses you can CLEP or dual enroll prior to university) and your major-specific courses (300-400 level courses in a specific area of study).
Homeschooling grants students an incredible opportunity to impact their community. The freedom of a homeschooling schedule allows homeschoolers to do much more with their time than the standard student. Because of this, many homeschoolers graduate high school with both a diploma and an extensive resume.
If your student is college bound, “FAFSA” will soon become part of your vocabulary. FAFSA is an acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid: a form filled out by families of college-bound students. This form helps the federal government estimate ho w much financial aid your student is eligible to receive. Eligibility for the Pell Grant and Stafford loans is determined by filing the FAFSA. Some colleges require the FAFSA before students qualify for any scholarships from their institution.
Standardized testing: It’s every homeschool parent’s favorite topic… or not! Your ninth grader may not have the ACT or SAT on her radar right now, but that is precisely why this is the best time to prepare. Students who know what to expect on standardized tests are far less likely to be intimidated by them – and far more likely to achieve high scores.
A few months ago we talked about dual enrollment: a fantastic way to save time and money for your student’s college education. (If you haven’t already signed up for a class or two, pick up your local community college catalog or check out the possibilities for online dual credit!) But dual enrollment isn’t the only way to save time and money for college. In this email, we’ll discuss three alternatives that – when used alone or in conjunction with dual enrollment – can help your student achieve her college dreams without the usual time and expense.
Last month we talked about avoiding college debt. Financial aid is a big part of that conversation, but what exactly is financial aid? Many families who have not yet sent a child to college – or who didn’t attend college themselves – are prone to think financial aid is solely made up of scholarships. When colleges advertise, “6.1 million in financial aid!”, they aren’t sharing the whole picture.
If you’ve started applying for scholarships already, you may have noticed that some scholarship applications are already asking your student to indicate a major of study. But not many sixteen-year-olds have a firm grasp on what they want to do with the rest of their lives! It’s completely normal for your high school student to delay choosing a major as she explores her interests and passions. However, it’s also helpful to have a general direction for her academic path. Choosing a major starts in high school, and narrowing down potential careers is easier than you’d think.
When I was being homeschooled the first month of the fall semester was my favorite time of the year. My books were new, the leaves were changing, and I couldn’t wait to tackle the list of books assigned for that semester! It might not feel like fall quite yet, but chances are your family is back to school after your summer break – ready to tackle another year of learning!
If there’s one thing homeschool parents view with trepidation, it’s the transition from middle to high school. This season contains a whole new level of accountability and pressure as your child enters his ninth grade year. The grades he achieves, the tests he takes, and the transcript he compiles has the power to determine future decisions about college and career. It’s no wonder parents are nervous about homeschooling the high school years!
The fall term is only a few weeks away, and your junior is already nervous. Between standardized tests, dual credit classes, and his normal homeschool workload, this year is shaping up to be a lot of work! Well, here’s some great news to alleviate those nerves: incorporating study skills into your homeschool routine will help your student not only retain all the information he’s learning, but increase his chances of high test scores and a great GPA. Here are some study skills to start working on this month:
It’s midsummer and the season of barbecues, pool days, and sunscreen – the last thing you may want to think about is standardized testing! Though not the most thrilling of subjects, now is the time to consider how your student will begin the intentional preparation that will equip him for the SAT and ACT.
When should you start preparing your children for the transition from homeschool to college? What classes should they take? How do they apply for scholarships?
Transitioning from Homeschool to College
Often times homeschool students are more prepared academically than their traditional high school student counterparts.
Getting involved in community activities during middle school and high school can help with the social aspect of learning to get along with many different types of people.
Taking classes at a community college can help bridge the gap from homeschool to college.
Another option is to take one campus class and one online class as a hybrid approach.
Join TTD365 for Even More College Prep Resources!
Teach Them Diligently 365 is an online homeschool community and homeschool resource library designed to help you make the most out of your homeschool experience.
TTD365 Audio Resources - College Prep (Members Only!)
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