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Homeschooled student in Oregon, with very little to show. What does he need to do to get admission?

peace2018peace2018 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
It is my humble request to all the participants in this forum to take a look at the unique situation we are in and provide some constructive feedback. I say"unique" because, as parents of a 16-yr old, we feel we have some real challenges in getting our son cross the impending hurdle and enter a reasonably good university. Here are the details:

Residents of state of Oregon

Supposedly "Home schooled". Refused to attend high school beyond the 9th grade. He has had no teachers, counselors nor anyone to guide him. He refuses to seek any guidance; nor does he listen to any words of wisdom. He feels he has the innate smartness to reach his objectives. Of course, he is 17 yrs old and has no clue what the real world has in store for him. He spends lot of time in online games, chatting with members of virtual community. While he does possess a very capable intellect, I just don't think he knows how competitive the world has become and how well one needs to be prepared.

So, very briefly, I have touched on the problems we are facing. Now, I come to the real issue...

He is preparing for SAT. He has taken ACT and has scored 28. He neither has transcripts nor does he have a portfolio of activities during his years away from school. In fact, he rarely interacted with the outside world. But, for a 16 year old, he does possess a good grasp of societal dynamics, geopolitics, financial markets, economic theories etc. I am proud of his intellectual capabilities, but also know that words without action mean nothing in this world.

He wants to pursue Economics/finance/cognitive sciences etc.

What are his chances in Oregon? We very much doubt that he could find himself in one of the elite schools (that was his goal, but he doesn't have the work ethics to get there). He had NYU, Univ of Chicago, UCLA etc. in his short list. Now, he rarely talks about these schools. He seems to be slowly settling for lesser schools, a sign of resignation and awareness of lack of preparation, or even dwindling motivation.

If he continues with his frivolous attitude, and misses the SAT (this will be the 3rd time, and every time he rationalizes his decision to skip with some "exceptional" reasoning) does he have enough score on ACT to get admission?

What are your thoughts and suggestions. I deeply appreciate any feedback from the community here.


Replies to: Homeschooled student in Oregon, with very little to show. What does he need to do to get admission?

  • 3scoutsmom3scoutsmom Registered User Posts: 4,517 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    Most colleges generally require a high school diploma. He really wasn't homeschooled in high school if he did nothing. Your best bet is to go to a CC and even they might require a GED if you can't produce a high school transcript.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,891 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    Without some indication of completion of the usual expected college prep high school course work and graduation from high school, frosh admission to colleges, other than open admission ones like community colleges, is likely closed to him.

    Starting at a community college and aiming for transfer admission to a four year school that does not require high school stuff for transfer students may be a more realistic route, but only if he is willing to commit to school work.
  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,008 Senior Member
    You may want to post on the homeschool forum on this site.

    What you are describing sounds closer to unschooling than homeschooling, but I think there are some unschooling parent on that page, and also could maybe direct you to forums off this site.

    Does your state require a student not in a brick and mortar school to file a plan with the SAU?

  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 1,450 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    Does he have a psych diagnosis? IEP from when he was at school? He isn't a student, so he is a high school drop out per se? Do you have any help with that? Where does he get his ideas of possessing an innate superior intellect from? The ACT isn't much help in that regard.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,476 Senior Member
    he does possess a good grasp of societal dynamics, geopolitics, financial markets, economic theories etc. I am proud of his intellectual capabilities
    If you know that, he must have done something:
    What books has he read? List them, per "theme", and classify the themes into fields (Humanities, Quantitative and Logical Reasoning, International Awareness, Ethics, Economics&Society..) rather than narrower subjects (English/History, Math/CS/Stats, Foreign Language/International relations/Geopolitics, Religion/Philosophy, etc.)
    For instance, if he has a 28 ACT, he presumably covered Algebra1&2+Geometry and basic statistics+data analysis, right? List that. Think through what he's done to prove he has a "good grasp" of these subjects. If he engaged you in discussion over an issue, write it down.
    If you travelled, if he watched documentaries... add it to your big academic categories.

    He should have proof of covering..
    - Math through precalculus
    - foreign language through level 4 (intermediate; 3 semesters of community college also covers that)
    - 4 years of history and social science (including geography, economics, sociology, psychology, government/political science). He is required by law to have covered US history in order to graduate.
    - 4 years of English including literature and nonfiction, with critical reading, literary analysis, and lots of writing/composition
    - science: biology, chemistry, physics + one other (this may be the hardest to document, since he

    You're the parent. Next time, don't allow him to skip the SAT. He goes into the car and you drive him. Be ready to answer his "Or what?" when you announce you're taking him to the SAT ("Or you go back to HS in the Fall" "or you"ll pay me back for all three tests by working at ***" <-
    job he wouldn't want but that has openings in town....or something relevant&credible.)
    This "no skipping again" shouldn't be presented as a threat - it should be akin to "I know you're capable of doing very well and I want to see how well you do. So tomorrow I'll make sure you're up, I'll cook you a nice protein-rich breakfast, I'll pack you water, sliced apples, and your favorite candy bar for energy and morale, and I'm going to take you to the SAT. I'd like you to promise me you'll do your best."

    Perhaps ask him whether he'd like to go back to a regular HS, or an alternative HS.

    If he gets aggressive and angry when you cut his videogame access, consider he might be addicted to videogames or at least suffer from a dependency.

    If he refuses to help you document his work, ask him whether he wants to go to college and what he's ready to do in order to go. If not, does he want to take a break and start working somewhere, then resume his high school curriculum once he feels ready?
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 Registered User Posts: 3,286 Senior Member
    Do you have a community college near you? You might talk to them about him taking a placement test to see where he shakes out on math and English. A 28 on the ACT is pretty decent actually.

    Definitely post in some homeschool forums to see if there are ideas for you.

    What does your spouse think? What is the plan for when he is 18-19?
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,911 Senior Member
    edited May 19
    He needs a GED or he won't be going to any college. His ACT score is decent. I would be impressed if his SAT score can top his ACT. He needs to go to CC and understand the kind of work that will be required of him at college. University is a lot of work. To go straight into one after playing games online for a few years is a recipe for failure, IMO.

    Everyone parents in their own way. In your shoes, I would tell my son in unambiguous language that the second he hits 18, if he isn't in college pulling decent grades, he is going into the workforce and paying rent, utilities, etc... Then at 19, he is out of the house. Reality is, well, real.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,911 Senior Member
    Your son can do CLEP exams too. There are many, go to college board's website and check and see if any universities near you accept CLEP. If he passes the exams it means he won't have to do basic Intro classes such as English 101, etc...
  • CorinthianCorinthian Registered User Posts: 1,411 Senior Member
    We struggled with school refusal for our younger child during 9th grade. She ended up losing credit for most of her second semester freshman year classes. We spent a lot of time talking/arguing (with lots of drama, tears, screams) about options including online school. Another option was a program at a community college for high school students that was on the CC campus and basically a combination of dual enrollment and regular HS classes. We also looked up and talked with D2 in detail about the requirements to be admitted to our in state universities. D2, for example, especially hated her foreign language and social studies classes, but we made it clear that by state law she couldn't graduate without 3 years of social studies and couldn't be admitted to the in state universities without 2 years of a foreign language.

    Fortunately she was motivated by the fact that she wants to eventually become a doctor. She recognized that goal requires her to go to college. So despite her dislike of her high school, she finally came around and cooperated with going back to her old school. But if your son is 16 and totally refusing school, then I suggest to make him get a minimum wage job NOW and let him know that that's his future if he can't get at least a high school diploma. Make him work all summer if he won't do some sort of summer school.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,501 Senior Member
    I read this more as "high school dropout" than "homeschooled". He can't just step back in when he refused any formal or homeschooled education options for years. He should earn his GED, then attend CC to prove he can succeed in the classroom. Then look at transferring to a 4 year school.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,438 Senior Member
    I was going to suggest community college as well. Is there a dual enrollment program at your CC?

    How is your relationship with your child now? Was counseling suggested when the school refusal started? Do you have concerns about his transition back to classes?
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 1,336 Senior Member
    Rules vary, of course. But at our local Illinois CC, there is no GED or HS diploma requirement to enroll at the community college, but there are basic proficiency tests that needed to be passed in order to enroll.

    We know two homeschool students who started community college as young as 14, taking remedial "high school level" non-college credit courses at first (math, writing), then college credit courses in foreign language or art, and building up to full college level courses.

    When it came time to apply for transfer to a four year, they had earned a AA and had a full transcript showing proficiency in a wide range of courses at the college level.

    For any colleges or universities that required a HS transcript, a homeschool high school transcript can be built using the remedial classes at the CC, and other homeschool coursework completed.

    For the OP's student, it seems like the standardized test scores are not the important part of the equation here. Intelligent or not, four year colleges will be looking for evidence the student can handle college level coursework.

    Seems to me the easiest way for a "drop-out" or other type of unconventional student to do that is to head off to community college and build a kick ass transcript and resume. Then apply for transfer to a four year, having gained some experience in conventional schooling, some maturity, and hopefully some $ in the bank from working.
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 1,336 Senior Member

    I wouldn't recommend CLEP for this student. Without a traditional high school transcript, the student needs to demonstrate he can handle conventional college level coursework. He should be taking all the basic courses, not only to fill out a college transcript for transfer eventually, but also because he probably needs the practice and confidence and discipline.
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