*looks around*

<p>...Hi. My name is Hannah - I'm a junior in highschool right now, and I've been homeschooled since 7th grade. There don't appear to be a ton of homeschoolers here, but I'll pose a question anyway. I'm taking two courses at a community college right now, and I plan to take three more next semester. I'm pretty sure I'm going to ace the two courses I'm taking right now, and I'm going to assume that I'll ace the other three I take, as well (hope that's not giving myself too much credit, but these courses really aren't hard for me...). So, assuming that by the time I'm applying to colleges I've taken five CC courses and maintained a 4.0, do you think this will really be a big help? Should I take more than five, or will five be sufficient? I don't want to take so many that I end up transferring in as a sophomore instead of a freshman, but I want to take enough that colleges will have a way to judge my intellectual ability.</p>

<p>The reason I ask is that my family has never actually done the grade system, so I have no idea what my highschool GPA would be. I have no idea what I'm going to do in the way of a transcript; I might put together a portfolio of some type or something. Anyhoo. Thoughts?</p>

<p>Hi mgls,</p>

<p>If you haven't done so already, I'd highly recommend that you take the ACT, SAT, or some other college entrance exam. The results, combined with the classes that you're taking, should be a good indication of how universities think you'll perform. Obviously, universities want transcripts from high schools, but they may ask you for something different or forego the requirement all together. I have a feeling that each university does it their own way, so you might ask the universites (in which you're interested in applying) what their criteria for homeschooled students are.</p>

<p>you can take courses and still put on the application you wish to come as a freshman, I know harvard has this option</p>

<p>Our two daughters were home schooled K-12 and are now in college. Neither took any community college courses, but here is what they did do:</p>

<p>They each made extensive letter and email contact with many colleges and professors IN ADVANCE of submitting the application package----and it was a package! In emails, ALWAYS cc: Admissions Office</p>

<p>The Application:</p>

<p>They wrote a two page cover letter with each college application, which explained their home school background, educational ambitions, etc. This was their main "marketing" tool.</p>

<p>In general, they wrote a lot in their applications. If there was no room, they wrote in "see attached" and then attached pages. They worked on the theory that if the colleges were not getting grades, "real" teacher recommendations, GPA's, etc----they would make up the difference by submitting a lot of written material that gave a broad view of their academic potential. I tend to view application forms as "suggested" format by the colleges. The application is YOUR application; take charge of it and present yourself in a manner that makes the best presentation.</p>

<p>They took SAT and SAT2 tests.</p>

<p>They submitted a "List of Recently Read Books" (title/author) These were books just read for pleasure/enrichment.</p>

<p>They each submitted two main essays and several other writing samples. (The main essays were produced by MS Word and included small illustrations that were drawn by them and small photos that illustrated the essays.)</p>

<p>Submitted separately:</p>

<p>We parents wrote the "school report" in a letter format--as unbiased as possible. :) They prepared a "transcript" that listed each high school subject, year taken (9th, 10th etc), the textbook/author used, and general areas covered.</p>

<p>They had at least 6 people submit LETTERS of recommendation (not forms). Letters were mailed BY the people directly to the school. (At the top of each letter they wrote: "RE: Jane B. Student, ssn#123-45-6789, applicant for Fall 2005) ----put that at the top of EVERYTHING you send to a college.</p>


<p>Both daughters are now English majors--one at Kenyon, the other at Wellesley.</p>

<p>Homeschoolers generally take CC courses under some sort of dual-enrollment status, so they keep the option of applying as freshman rather than as transfer students. It's also useful to take the corresponding AP exam (if there is one) as you complete CC courses. It will give colleges more of a standardized basis for comparing your grades to other students', as well as increase your chances of getting credit wherever you end up. Harvard, for example, gives AP credit but will not give credit for any college course taken during high school.</p>

<p>The more standardized test scores and grades from things like CC courses you have, the less you will need a "package" like Morgantruce describes (and the converse, of course). If you have some CC grades, for instance, plus some SAT II and AP scores in a breadth of subjects, you need a lot less in the way of a portfolio than you need if you learn everything at home and have only parent-assigned grades. Decide how you learn best, and how would prefer to document what you have learned.</p>

<p>Thanks for the responses!</p>

<p>I actually just took the October 9th SAT. Two days until I can see the scores online...<em>nail biting</em></p>

<p>Morgantruce - I had planned to do something very similar, it's encouraging to see that others have done the same. I think there's a certain benefit to being homeschooled, in that you already have something that stands out to college admissions officers as well as a legitimate reason to include a boatload of extra material. Writing is probably one of my greatest strengths, and I don't mind exploiting that in college applications! ;) As for e-mail contact with professors, what types of questions did they usually ask?</p>

<p>I hate standardized tests with a passion. I'm only going to take as many as I have to. I have taken the [old] SAT, and depending on my scores, I'm either going to take the SAT II Writing test and two other SAT IIs, or the ACT with the writing section. I'd rather take the ACT with the writing section, but we'll see.</p>

<p>Oh, and what about extracurriculars? I'm deeply involved with my church, being on several committees and possibly will even have held a position in the church 'government' before I apply. My probable major is Religious Studies, so I think it reflects my passion in that area well...but I don't really have much else in the way of sports or anything. Should I try and find something else to be involved with?</p>

<p>Thank you all! :)</p>

<p>Texas makes a valid point. Homeschoolers with a few college courses under their belt are less of a "pig in a poke" to college adcoms. The credits show an ability to do college level work---high on the list of several important things colleges are looking for.</p>

<p>You needn't mention your writing skills here... they are evident. :)</p>

<p>Concerning contacts with professors... they know very well that you are trying to get accepted. They certainly understand "the game" of making contacts. They are certainly NOT going out of their way to trip you up with difficult questions (in Latin!) They are most likely going to remain "informational"---providing you information about the way their department operates and what they have to offer. Make sure you read the college catalog AND course descriptions----so you don't ask the professor something that is written in those catalogs. If, after reading all that, you still have questions, then you might consider posing a question or two in an email. From the response you get, you will be able to tell if this fellow "wants a pen-pal" or wishes to be done with you. You don't want to be a pest or overly shy and retiring. Be sure and cc: the Admissions office on every email. Showing the adcom that you know how to interact is a big plus----and let's not kid ourselves: it's the main reason you are contacting. I know you will spell/grammar check everything you send out.... Yes!</p>

<p>Showing an adcom that you have a real love of learning, but not in a heavy-handed way, is central to getting accepted IMO. Do that in your own way.</p>

<p>I think colleges are sensitive to the fact that homeschoolers do not generally have a long list of high school clubs that they belong to. Showing that you have an *involvement * with a few things you are passionate about is worth more than *belonging to * a long list of clubs. Rather than just describing what the activity IS, give real anecdotes that SHOW your interest.</p>


<p>Such a lucky outcome couldn't possibly be duplicated:</p>

<p>One of my daughters submitted her "List of Recently Read Books" with her application... and brought along a copy to her "30 minute" interview. </p>

<p>I was waiting down the hall while she interviewed... an hour... TWO hours...</p>

<p>Three hours later, she came out of the interview with a HUGE smile. When we got back to the car, I asked her what in the world was going on in there. She said that there was small talk for about ten minutes---until the interviewer glanced at the "List of Recently Read Books" and discovered several books by an obscure author who was also a favorite of hers! The whole rest of the "interview" was a very excited and enjoyable exchange all about that author and those books----and nothing about college. "I think I'm getting in here!"</p>

<p>She did... and I'm a big fan of "List of Recently Read Books"</p>

<p>Wow - I think I'm going to start carefully recording the books I read!</p>

<p>EC's - think outside the box of "school clubs". Almost anything counts. Church activities, volunteer work, community theater, music or dance lessons/practice, scouts, hobbies, fitness activities. Whatever you spend your time on that is not strictly academic.</p>

<p>Hey Hannah. I'm in the same boat, though I've only been homeschooling for a year (started last year as a sophomore). I don't keep grades of my work at home so I'm stressing about transcripts. There are books out there describing how to write them, though, which you should look at. I'm also worried about getting teacher recommendations: I'm going to try to get as many of my CC professors twice, if its possible, so they'll know me better. I'm a little shy about asking them for recommendations though, in a class of 50 they hardly know me, although I sit in the front row so they atleast know my name and recognize me. anywho, I'm sure I'll figure it all out:)
morgantruce-- what a great story! I can't believe she was in there for THREE HOURS!!