Detour: Applying to College as a Homeschooled Student – An Introduction

 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I hope you have all had as wonderful a week as I did. I have officially submitted my college applications! 🎈 🎉(Well, most of them.)

This blog has previously been dedicated mostly to my book reviews 📚 and travel ✈️ posts, but after this process, I’ve chanced upon a crucial realization: everything I’ve been doing for the past few months, even if it doesn’t correlate with my blog’s theme, ought to be shared with the world. 🌎

If you don’t already know, I am a homeschooled senior in high school. To be honest, I’d be a little surprised if you hadn’t guessed that because…I mean, I’m a 17 year old writing about Paradise Lost and Dumas and that sort of thing… But anyway – applying to college doesn’t correlate too neatly with being homeschooled. Every college wants something different from you and everyone wants it submitted in a different form. Some colleges will say what they expect from a homeschooled student explicitly on their website 😃, while others will be ridiculously vague 😑 and will necessitate you calling ☎️ the admissions office thrice a week to figure out what you need to submit. ✍

It would be a tremendous faux pas 😶 for me not to mention the countless books and seminars dedicated to guiding homeschoolers through the application process. These sources were helpful in getting me prepared…but that was typically the extent of their assistance. Few were able to help me actually get through the process. Books informed me that I should write course descriptions for each class I took as a homeschooled student, but no one explained how much or how little information should be given. Should I include grades? A detailed break-down of how each final grade was calculated? If I took fifty quizzes in a class, was I supposed to put down the grade for every single one?

If you are currently in the midst of applying to college, you know that simply being told to write a course description📔 is only an eighth of the information you need to actually sit down and write a course description.

As someone who has literally finished off the last dregs of her application (last night! 🌃), I can’t tell you how many times I was completely confused. There were moments where I would have to stop and step away from my computer 💻 because I was frustrated with the lack of clarity with which I was approaching my application process. Applying to college is stressful already without worrying if you’re not giving the admissions officer 👮enough information to evaluate you correctly. Every homeschooled student has had a unique education and has been involved in unique activities. We all put so much work  and creativity 🎨 into the activities in which we participate and the classes we take that it’s natural to want to make sure that everything is coming through clearly. Homeschooled students don’t blow away admissions officers anymore simply because they’re homeschooled- we used to have an impressive 🙋reputation in admissions offices, from what I’ve heard – so we really have to know what we’re doing.  And since it’s been difficult for me to find someone to clearly direct me on this taxing journey, I find myself responsible for being that someone to other struggling homeschooled juniors and seniors. I’m not a expert on college applications, but as senior who has just gone through this process, I think I’m permitted to give some advice.

The information you’ll be reading 📄 in the next few posts is entirely up-to-date 📅 (a problem I had with many homeschool college application resources) and will be helpful for students applying to more selective🏫 schools (another a problem I had with many resources). I’ll write about course descriptions (and insert one of my own for you to view) as well as how to put together a nice transcript. You’ll be able to read about my experience with the CommonApp 💻 and and what I learned from the process. Also, I’ll share the resources I used and tell you in which ways they were most helpful.

My next few posts won’t be instructional per se, but by reading about how I went about this process, I hope you’ll have a better understanding of it that suits your own unique situation.

To be completely honest, the one thing that would have made this process less painless for me would have been knowing another homeschooler 👩 who had successfully applied to college. Sometimes all you need to get you through is an actual student’s advice because, in general, the instructions for this process are ridiculously vague 🙇.

I’m looking forward to sharing my own rather riveting (I promise. It’s interesting) record with you! And of course, if you have any specific questions 💭before I begin this series of posts, don’t hesitate to ask 🙋 them in the comments 💬 section 👇!

Happy Day, 🌈

Sara 👋

3 thoughts on “Detour: Applying to College as a Homeschooled Student – An Introduction

  1. Karen says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I think it’s awesome of you to share your experience and be willing to help others as they start this adventure. I look forward to the next post.

  2. Dana Garretson says:

    I look forward to reading of your experiences! Thanks for having a heart to share what you learned with others — we appreciate it! We’ll be praying for the results of your efforts to bear sweet fruit!

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