I have a question about un-schooling and my chances at getting into good colleges.

Ok, I began homeschooling at the age of 15 when I graduated from the ninth grade. I learned close to nothing during my homeschooling years. I graduated with a 3.8 GPA and a homeschool diploma despite all of this. I guess my question is, what do I do about the fact that I know almost nothing? I want to go to begin college hopefully starting in the fall of 2022. I’ve been looking at SMU, Syracuse, The University of Texas and about 10 others. Should I enroll in community college classes for six months to a year to brush up on all of the material I missed? Would six months be enough time?Should I buy books about the subjects on Amazon? For example, when I’ve tried to do algebra, I just can’t even make an attempt. That just shows you how lost I am. I’m embarrassed about this. I’m afraid if I try to take the SAT or ACT, I would do horrible on it. I also have another question. Could I still go to medical school and become a physician despite my un-schooling?
Thanks for any and all answers.

Ther is a lot to answer here. You can start by looking at the courses those schools require or recommend that entering freshmen have. For example, many colleges will expect a student to have algebra, geometry and trig, two years of foreign language, four years of English, three years of science including labs, usually bio, chem, physics, and so on…

If you don’t have the minimum courses they expect, it doesn’t mean you can’t apply, but it might not be good for your application. You can email a copy of your transcript to the regional admissions officer at a college of interest and ask if, based on your transcript, you have met the required pre-college courses expected of incoming freshmen. They will be honest with you.

If you haven’t, you might need to take placement tests at the college, or a few classes at community college, or CLEP exams (visit collegeboard.com) to show proficiency and/or take some classes. As you don’t have a guidance counselor, you are going to have to be proactive and ask for help from here, or colleges, or at your local community college. In fact, make an appointment to meet an academic advisor at your CC, who can look at your transcript.

Now is the time to do this, before admissions officers are overwhelmed with this upcoming cycle, which is sure to be a nightmare.

And yes, you can go to medical school. That is all going to depend on your college grades, coursework, recommendations and MCAT score. High school won’t matter.

What you’re describing isn’t unschooling. What state are you in? How many years of English, math, science, and social studies did you complete in high school? Did you study any foreign language?

Do you have a library card? If not, get one and start ordering books. You can use Kahn Academy for math.

Where you can go to college will depend a lot on your budget. How much can your parents pay per year?

Many colleges don’t care about foreign languages. Years of foreign languages are often “suggested” but not “required” by colleges as many high schools in the US don’t support them. That was the case for two of my kids. They attend great colleges. So on your list of things to do, that seems a lower priority and hopefully might relax you a bit. You can find out what colleges “require” and “suggest” by googling for that school’s COMMON DATA SET. Most schools each year post this on their websites. On it you can find a wealth of information about other things too, like the number of apps they get vs how many accepted, both for freshmen and for transfer students.

You seem to be afraid that you don’t have the skills you need to succeed at college. You mention algebra, for example. Others here have mentioned good information about how to come up to speed with math. Khan Academy is free and it can help you pick up skills. You might also look at free online courses. Edx (a website) offers an algebra course and there’s no need to pay for the certificate - https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-to-algebra

It seems likely that you would first attend community college, as the course of study would already be programmed out for you. If you attend community college (CC) and then a senior college, you would be a TRANSFER student. The transfer student info of the Common Data Set could be helpful for you.

I have guided a few kids through CC and then to senior college. One opted to just take the minimum amount of time at CC to raise her grades and then transferred into a Colleges that Change Lives school (CTCL) with good merit money. FYI. this is one scenario. Another decided to attend CC and completed his Associates degree (AA), and then transferred, also to a CTCL school (https://ctcl.org/). His logic was that if the senior college didn’t accept all of his classes for credit, having his AA ensured that he retained credit for them one way or another.

Most CCs have various tracks of study. One track in most CCs is liberal arts based and is designed to help students prepare for senior college, and then to transfer. Most CCs are prepped to handle transfers to in-state colleges (universities run by the government in your home state). Some also are prepped to help students transfer to private colleges in your state and out of state. The CC’s counselor can guide you in this.

When you approach a CC, you will probably be tested to discover your math and reading levels. Then you will be placed in the appropriate level classes.

If you’re hoping to leave home immediately but also think CCs are the best approach, some CCs offer HOUSING. Be aware that if you go out of state, tuition prices are higher than if you stay in-state. Your parents’ location is usually the factor determining if you’re in-state or out of state for tuition purposes. Google for the rules. As an example, CUNY community college called Guttman only accepts first-time college students. So if you hope to attend, do not take a college class at your local community college before applying to Guttman. They will not accept you as they consider you a “transfer” student and they do not accept transfers there. Guttman is considered the best CC in the country currently. It offers housing in the CUNY system and it has a grad/transfer rate three times higher than most CCs in the country. Because of COVID uniquely this year, they are online for the fall at least. You might want to check with them directly. Because they are a unique program, very community oriented, they have a very different application process. Again, this might have changed or be changing because of COVID this year, so I dare not explain it. Check with them.
Here is the website: https://guttman.cuny.edu/

Here are basic expensese there.

Another CC that offers housing is Thompkins Courtland CC near Cornell University. They have housing – https://www.tompkinscortland.edu/
They also have ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS with Syracuse and several other institutions, including Cornell. An Articulation agreement basically states that all of your credits transfer.
Here are the approximate costs–

There are several other schools like this. If you google for SUNY webpage, for example, you can narrow the list of state institutions in NY at least to find CCs with housing. I believe (but need to check) that Westchester County also has a good CC. NYC has two other CCs with articulation agreements with Cornell, but I’m not sure they offer housing.

One resource for figuring out the best senior college for you is to consult COLLEGE NAVIGATOR. Not only can you narrow schools by majors and location, but they have a NET PRICE tab. That can help you narrow your search by affordability.

Because editing was closed when I remembered this, I’m putting it here. Sorry!

One innovation of Guttman is that there are NO REMEDIATION classes. Remediation classes are additional catch-up classes that virtually all CCs require. Guttman saw these classes as stumbling blocks against student success. They worked their remediation into regular classes, thus providing remediation while also removing the stumbling block. They have other innovations to guarantee student success.

Community college seems like it might be a great way to transition into a 4-year program. You can make up any deficits you may have from high school and get your feet wet taking college classes. Lots of folks start at community college (homeschooled or not) and end up doing all sorts of great things! If your goal is to be a doctor, go for it.,