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Should I be worried

doodlebug04doodlebug04 1 replies1 threads New Member
I am a homeschooler who is currently taking dual enrollment classes but would like to enter a higher or ivy league college. Because I homeschooled I've never been in a club and have never ran for a student leadership position of played a sport. Should I be worried about acceptance and what realistically should I expect?
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Replies to: Should I be worried

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6145 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I don't think that you should be worried.

    I do think that you should think very seriously about what you want in a school.

    One big issue: How large of a school do you want? There are quite a few smaller schools (typically called liberal arts colleges in the US) which are very good, and which offer a very strong undergraduate education.

    Another big issue: What can you afford? You and particularly your parents need to figure out what you can afford to spend. Then you should run the "net price calculator" on a few schools to see what they are likely to expect you to pay. For some families the two match up. For some families there can be a big difference. If you parents are divorced, or own a small business, farm, or rental property, then the NPCs are likely to be not accurate and reality is likely to be quite a bit worse than the NPCs predict. Nearly all small business owners and farmers that I have talked to have needed to send their kids to in-state public schools (I recently met the second exception that I have ever met -- the first had a small business that was so successful that spending $300,000 to educate his only child was not a problem). Otherwise at least in our experience the NPCs are very accurate, although not necessarily optimistic.

    Finally, you should understand that the highest ranked schools are very difficult to get into, and a very significant number of the spots for freshmen are taken up by students with some sort of "hook", such as being a strong athlete. You need to identify at least two "safeties", which are schools that you know you will be accepted to, you know you can afford, that have good programs in your likely majors, and that you would be willing to attend.

    With two safeties picked out, then you can start thinking about other schools that you would like to apply to.
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  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 648 replies1 threads Member
    What extracurricular activities have you done? Job? Babysitting/ family support?
    Some top colleges care about holistic factors. Some don't. You could target colleges who will consider primarily your academic achievements.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 1320 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    I would say you *may* have some cause for worry when talking about top schools with holistic admissions. My girls were/are homeschooled, but they participated seriously in a number of extracurricular activities. We were told that homeschoolers have to show what they did with their extra freedom that was worth the time, so to speak. What do you do besides school?
    edited November 2019
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  • threegirlpileupthreegirlpileup 286 replies20 threads Member
    I think that as a homeschooler, you need to be able to paint a holistic picture of how you've spent your time, and it really helps if you can show how you've used the flexibility of homeschooling to pursue your interests (academic or extra-curricular). I don't think it has to be formal school-type clubs or student government. My homeschoolers have been involved in the arts, scouting, things like that.

    Is there a possibility to get involved at the school where you are doing dual-enrollment? My dd did not do that, but she had friends who got very involved on campus and got to do a lot of cool things, plus it would give you some more formal extra-curriculars to put on your applications.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35299 replies399 threads Senior Member
    If a top college (and OP did mention Ivy,) wants kids who integrate with peers, try new things, climb out of the box, then it matters.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2730 replies8 threads Senior Member
    Selective doesn't mean better. It just means selective. After a certain point all the Harvard applications look exactly the same. All of them have perfect grades and perfect SAT scores. All of them have an essay with a "hook." With a 5% admissions rate, it comes down to 90% dumb luck. You're getting an accredited bachelors degree the same as any other university. Take some time and research affordable schools based on your career goals and interests.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 1320 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    @coolguy40, no selective doesn’t *automatically* mean better, though many of those schools are objectively better than some other schools. That’s besides the point as OP needs to know what that any school that looks at ECs will expect to see something solid from a homeschooler. As for cost, often the most selective schools are the cheapest, if you’re in a lower income bracket. My D19’s selective school costs us less per year than the local community college would.
    edited November 2019
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  • doodlebug04doodlebug04 1 replies1 threads New Member
    I've worked at my family business since I was 12,
    Taken piano lessons for 7 years
    I have volunteered and have dedicated time in my local church such as choir pianist sunday school teacher and etc.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42530 replies460 threads Senior Member
    What kind of work? What level of responsibility?
    Do you have someone who can review your applications?
    Have you applied ED anywhere?
    Have you applied to your State Schools and honors college?
    What are your stats? GPA, test scores, high level courses taken?

    What are your matches? safeties?

    What's your EFC? Have you run the NPC on all the colleges you've applied to?
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