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Homeschool Transcripts

bachstrabachstra Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
How important is it to give a description of courses on the transcript? My daughter’s courses came from an online school and a community college.

Replies to: Homeschool Transcripts

  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 4,340 Senior Member
    You do not provide course descriptions on a transcript. The transcript is simply the list of courses and grades.

    Is the online school an actual accredited school or simply a provider? If it is a school, they provide their transcripts and the CC provides theirs.

    If she did both under a homeschool law, you could simply synthesize the 2 on a single transcript with each provider indicated and include a footnote that each provider's transcript will be provided.

    In terms of course descriptions, I do provide a separate document with course descriptions, but I am my kids' primary teacher and we do not outsource many courses. My course descriptions provide the information about what they are doing in our homebrewed courses.

    For the online provider, if unaccredited, you could provide course descriptions for the courses taken including textbooks used, how grades were determined, etc. If accredited, they may not be necessary. You could ask the colleges what they want.

    If the DE courses have reciprocity agreements already in place at the Us interested in, it is doubtful that course descriptions are at all necessary.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 7,701 Senior Member
    Adding on to @mom2aphysicsgeek's excellent post:

    We were our children's primary teachers too. I put the course descriptions in a school profile that was separate from the transcript. It also included our grading scale, information about local districts (size, wealth, standardized test scores), our homeschool philosophy, and information about ECs and volunteerism.

    I would absolutely include descriptions. The colleges need that information to evaluate your daughter. I just wouldn't put it on the transcript.
  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 4,340 Senior Member
    I create 4 separate documents: transcript, course descriptions, school profile, and counselor letter.

    The transcript is a single page and includes courses, grades, and I also include test scores.

    Course descriptions are multiple pages. I have submitted up o 14 pages before. But, we don't homeschool in a way that replicates traditional schools, so our courses are not normally textbook/exam based courses, so our resources and course objectives are described in detail.

    The school profile describes our homeschool philosophy (which as I stated above does not align with traditional school approaches), our homeschool methodology, and our homeschool students' outcomes (all of our kids' high school awards/honors, college degrees/honors).

    And, the counselor letter obviously discusses the student.
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 4,869 Senior Member
    I never did any course descriptions. I emailed and asked Adcoms directly about it and was told they only needed them if a course had a "different" name and the content wasn't obvious. Geometry is assumed to be Geometry. If you had said "9th Grade Math" then it would be an issue. All of our course names were rather obvious - even "Great Works of Literature" which my middle son did as an English course. The Adcoms told me they wouldn't even look at a description if it were obvious.

    Middle lad did extensive reading more than most students, so opted to submit a long "Books Read" list. I know that was looked at because some of his interviewers asked him about it (or a book or two on it). It at least gave them something to ask questions about! Other interviewers asked about his various ECs and what his homeschooling was like, etc.

    YMMV If in doubt, I've yet to find an admissions counselor who wasn't helpful. My lads got in everywhere they applied except for one waitlisted lottery school. They also all got significant merit aid so I've no regrets.
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 737 Member
    The transcript document I loaded into the common app had the first page as a traditional transcript. 2nd page was a credit work sheet showing subject distributions. 3rd and on were class descriptions. There isn't a great place to load class descriptions in the common app so that's how I did that document. It is easy enough for schools to discard the other pages and just keep the transcript doc if that's what they want. I do teach a few classes at home. But we've also used online classes, co-op classes, multi-sourced classes. And now also DE classes.

    If your student's diploma is being issue by an accredited school program, I wouldn't worry about it though.
  • milgymfammilgymfam Registered User Posts: 263 Junior Member
    I made a single long document, where the first page was the transcript, the subsequent two were copies of the transcripts from her accredited high school classes taken under our homeschool umbrella, and then the rest were course descriptions or links to the college’s course descriptions for her DE classes (she has 48 credits from three colleges). I also then created a separate school profile that included a comparison to the local school district and our reasons for homeschooling. We didn’t have any trouble with the common app. So far my daughter has been accepted to a college with a full scholarship, and become a QuestBridge finalist. I figured more info was better than less.
  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Registered User Posts: 5,116 Senior Member
    I'll add to the voices that say yes, creating course descriptions, particularly if a student is applying to 1) highly selective schools, or 2) schools that ask for course descriptions, would be a very good thing!

    I've been independently homeschooling for 20 years and have graduated two sons. For both sons, I made the following documents:

    1. Transcripts with course descriptions attached (I also had a page of activities between the transcripts and course descriptions)
    2. School profile- includes a) homeschool philosophy b) reason for homeschooling c) profile of school in relation to neighborhood and local high school d) curriculum e) grading and ranking (I used standardized tests for rank) f) standardized tests
    3. Counselor Letter of Recommendation
    4. Reading list (which I uploaded under transcripts on the Common App, since there's room for 4 transcripts)

    For both sons, I had community college transcripts sent directly to all schools. For one son, I added/attached an outside provider's transcripts to my own transcripts in the one document.

    Other documents my boys had:

    1. Activities resume
    2. Music resume
    3. Music repertoire

    I got positive feedback from such schools as Harvey Mudd and WPI letting me know how much they appreciated the detailed information because it made it easy to see exactly what we did for homeschooling.

    Eldest son was admitted to all his schools including MIT and Princeton. Middle son was admitted to most of his schools including an Ivy (Penn) and some UCs (Univ. of California).

    YMMV of course, and not everyone feels the need to do all this, but I do advise the homeschooled parents that I work with to have these documents if their kids are applying to selective schools.
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