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Tips for Home-schooled College Applicants

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Home-schooled students have been building a positive reputation over the last few decades. They tend to do well on standardized tests and demonstrate such good traits as maturity, independence, and self-motivation.

But, they are on a different track so their path to college is not always easy. Here are some tips to improve your chances of gaining admission to college if you have been home-schooled.

  1. First, and this starts earlier than your senior year, you must be sure to document everything. There is no high school transcript, so you and your parents and tutors must be sure to write down everything and describe it. Of course this includes your academic courses and activities. You should also include clubs, sports, and service activities as well as list any jobs you have done. Because there is the home-school stereotype of insulated or isolated students, also be sure to note your social experiences, broad interests, and activities in which you work with people.
  2. Also plan ahead. You need to research, visit, and choose your college early. The reason to have a finished list of colleges by the early summer of your senior year is because you may have to apply differently than the average high school student. As soon as you know where you are applying, make that important contact with their admission office to find out exactly what protocol you need to use to apply as a home-schooler.
  3. In your personal essay or even by writing supplemental essays make sure you emphasize how your home schooling was unique. Write about the creativity and self-learning in your academics, discuss any special travel or apprenticeships you may have used to learn. Include individual and group projects, and describe your mentors and interactions with them. Diversity is always a plus on college applications.
  4. Consider starting at a community college. Community colleges have more open door policies for admission, and they are a perfect place to prove you can transition from home-schooling and succeed in college. The tuition will also be cheaper.

All of the above can make it easier for home-schoolers to get into 4-year colleges of their choice.