Advice for a former home schooler

<p>Hi! This is my first post on cc. =) I've been reading a lot of the Ivy forums, but I wanted to ask a few questions here on the admissions forum.
I would really appreciate it you could all give me some feedback!</p>

<p>As mentioned, I was a former home schooler. I was home schooled from 7-9 grade, and returned to high school my sophomore year.
Because I was home schooled, my freshmen year grades are nonexistent, thus putting me at a disadvantage in several areas. </p>

<p>1.) My first question pertains to class rank. Because I don't have freshmen year grades, my class rank is pretty much shot. Although some people have asked me before if I was valedictorian, this is clearly impossible because of those missing grades. Will the college take this into account--for instance, let's say I won't be at the top 5% of my class because of my not-so-great rank? By the way, my class is relatively large--about 600+ people.</p>

<p>2.) I also have a question about SAT scores. I'm thinking about re-taking it to get about 2350+, but someone said with my current scores (CR 800, W 750 Essay 11, M 720) it's not worth it. What are your opinions on this? I'm planning to apply for liberal arts programs, not engineering, so does the lower math score matter as much? (For schools like HYP?)</p>

<p>3.) This is somewhat trivial, but will the schools like HYP ask for music recordings or writing samples if I say on my application that I won music awards and writing awards? Although I could send them might take some prep time (like the music recording for example)</p>

<p>1) I'm not entirely sure about this but my recommendation would be for you to ask your counselor to explain your situation in her rec letter. That way, colleges will get a better sense of your context/</p>

<p>2) I think with your scores, you don't need to take it again. However,if you feel the need to and you think you have the time and energy, then do it. But I don't recommend spending your time doing that though.</p>

<p>3) Usually, you would opt to send in supplements if you feel like you have extraordinary talent in a particular field. Most schools won't actually ask for them but you could send them in if you want to. However, check with the school to see if they actually allow supps like those because many schools don't want more writing samples.</p>

<p>shrimpthief: I'm sure colleges know about the case of home-schooled students. There's no need to worry. Just make sure they know that you are home-schooled. For the SAT, you're fine. Although I always try to say that Good Enough is not Good Enough! Don't worry about SAT's. If you feel like it, do it. If you don't feel like retaking, don't retake it. </p>

<p>Happy trails!</p>

<p>Stanford has a reputation of being particularly welcoming to smart home schooled students - even ones that home schooled all the way through high school</p>

<p>If you weren't at the school for freshman year, why wouldn't they just calculate your GPA without that and compare your stats with the rest of the class? I don't see how it would take away from your rank.</p>

<p>Firstly, congrats on the 2270. That's a fantastic achievement (even if you read of others sweating about not hitting 2380 or 2400! LOL) Don't fret over trying to improve unless you just have SOOO much time on your hands.</p>

<p>The top school adcoms know what to look for and are SEARCHING for the best applicants so will be able to recognize the strengths in your file too (freshman year grade situation and class ranking). If you're worried, just staple a note restating this fact and how it likely affects your class ranking -- once this is recognized and a look at your 10-12 grade marks confirm your achievement, you'll area will be settled. Assuming you've performed well with a challenging curriculum, then it goes to the "intangibles" such as essay and recs.</p>

<p>At that point, it's a crapshoot with the ultra selectives as you probably well know.</p>

<p>Don't send music/writing samples unless it's the primary focus of your application (i.e. you've declared your intentions to be passionately devoted to music forever and it's your life's accomplishment; that super academic work is just secondary to you) or you're extremely talented and intend to wow the english or music dept (and only if you're already published or are on the state or nat'l champion musician). Otherwise, don't bother. They'll accept what you state.</p>

<p>Regardless, good luck. Your credentials seem to indicate well for you, whichever college fortunate enough, ends up conferring the diploma for you.</p>

<p>College Confidential also has a Homeschooling and College Forum </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a> </p>

<p>whose participants may be able to add to the good advice here. </p>

<p>Usually admission offices only want supplements to your application if they ask for them. They see plenty of paper and other materials. (Harvard's admission officers recently tell a funny story about receiving a stuffed squirrel from a student who was interested in taxidermy.) Awards from national award competitions speak for themselves. Your essays will demonstrate your writing ability. </p>

<p>Good luck in your applications.</p>


Yeah, that's what they did at my school. Except the one place where it mattered was graduation: you couldn't be valedictorian or salutatorian unless you'd been there all 4 years.</p>

<p>I really don't school's weighing/ranking system is strange--compared to other schools in our area. I don't think we even go by the 4.0 scale. =/ The class rank dilemma is what I have learned from my counselor. She says that my missing freshman grades mess up my rank.</p>

<p>Don't sweat the rank thing - our HS doesn't even rank students anymore.</p>

<p>I wonder if your GC is correct. Your GPA is an average. I would guess that your average is compared to all the other averages (thereby giving you a rank, just like everyone else). I could see if you were only at the school for a year, but starting as a soph? It seems unusual. I would just double check.</p>

<p>Being the valedictorian or salut. has no effect on your acceptance at HYP or anywhere else, because the h.s. figures out who receives those titles long after colleges have sent out the acceptance letters.</p>

<p>Obviously, having the transcript that puts you in the running for the honor <em>does</em> have great bearing on college acceptances. But the title itself does not. So being in the top 5 or 10 or 15 students of your class (depending on its size) is just fine.</p>