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Older homeschooled student looking for options

TheArtofZEMTheArtofZEM Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I am 28 years old, and have decided I want to go to collage for the first time. I have been working in the retail management field for about five years, and have decided I want a career in STEM.
Here is my issue: I have no High School Diploma or transcripts. I was homeschooled and my parents did not believe that collage was important. There was no structured curriculum, and I have no documentation of anything that I completed during that time.
I need help in figuring out how I should start moving into this process. I have started with working on earning my GED, and will also be starting to study for the SAT.
My main concerns are, first, will a good GED and SAT be enough without transcripts, and second, how do I get letters of recommendation?
Also, I should mentation that I am a very driven person, and would not be happy with a degree from a community collage. I believe I can do better than that, and would like to go to a top 20 school eventually, even if that means that I need to take a year of community collage first.
I really appreciate any advice anyone one can give me on my best way to start this journey.

Replies to: Older homeschooled student looking for options

  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,822 Senior Member
    There's nothing wrong with community colleges, but if you attend community college first you won't qualify for freshman grants at 4-year colleges. What state are you in?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,550 Senior Member
    You can transfer to a 4 year school after 2 years at a community college. Going to be honest, with no structured HS curriculum (so no classroom track record), even with a GED and SAT, you are highly unlikely to get into a top 20. But there are TONS of good colleges outside the top 20. Fixating on prestige in this situation is silly.
  • TheArtofZEMTheArtofZEM Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I am currently in Illinois.

    I am not so much fixated on the name, as the quality of the education. I have a lot of time to figure that out though while I prepare for the SAT etc
  • PentaprismPentaprism Registered User Posts: 374 Member
    If I were you, I'd take classes at a community college, then transfer to a 4 year school. It's less expensive, and there are many good public universities that you can transfer too.

    In fact, that was exactly what I did when I came to this country as a refugee, having had some college education but no degree/diploma. Many people I know do the same thing.

    After getting my BS from a state university, I was admitted to all grad schools I applied to.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    So UIUC is likely your best in state option for STEM, and the best path towards that is likely your local CC.

    You won't need a GED or an SAT to start there and you should be able to get your high school diploma and transfer requirements done simultaneously. All of that saves you time (and therefore money) in getting your degree done. Your CC professors will be your letter writers, and there are slots reserved for transfer students in the system, greatly increasing your chances of admission. Your total tuition bill will be lower as well.

    UIUC is ranked #10 among public universities overall and #6 in undergraduate engineering by USNews.

    If you live in an urban area with more than one CC, compare them before deciding.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,928 Senior Member
    You don't need to take the SAT. Your best and maybe only option is to attend CC and get the best grades possible. That will,help more than anything. However, you might benefit from taking CLEP exams. Passing CLEP exams exempts you from having to take general Intro courses and can save you a lot of time and money.

    For example, here is a link to U Illinois Springfield's CLEP policy: https://clep.collegeboard.org/school-policy-search
    I did not see UIUC on the list, but there are dozens of universities and colleges in Illinois that accept CLEP credits. UIS gives credit for many courses, primarily in business, history, science and English. You don't even have to score that highly to pass. In your shoes, I would consider getting as many CLEP credits as possible, taking what ever classes you need at your community college, and transferring into a four year with at least sophomore standing. I have read of studetns cutting as much as a year and a half from their degree time by doing this.
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