Thursday, May 17, 2012

College Applications and Scholarships: Day 4 Graduating a Homeschooler

So, CAN a homeschooler get into college?  Are there scholarships available for those weird, unsocialized homeschool kids?  {Of course, THAT is asked tongue-in-cheek!}  And the answer is YES and YES!   Colleges LOVE homeschool graduates and the opportunities for scholarships are numerous.  

If you are graduating a homeschooler or planning to soon, there are several things I would suggest if college is in the forecast.  
  • First of all, GET INVOLVED.  Get involved at church, get involved in missions and get involved in your community.  One of the best things we can do for our children is to get them involved in the lives of those around them.  Model compassion.  Model ministry to others.  Model grace.  As home educators, we have opportunities to serve others that many don't have due to time constraints and school schedules.  For example, you can serve at your local Operation Christmas Child Collection Center -- beyond packing a shoebox, you can help pack the shipment boxes!  "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring GOOD NEWS."  Romans 10:15

  • Second, HAVE A PLAN.  I don't know about you, but I live by a calendar.  Not just any calendar, mind you.  My calendar is color-coded.  Each person in the family has their own individual color and there is a separate color for church and Crew.  I check my calendar every morning (and several times throughout the day) to make sure that I have thought through how to get each person where they are supposed to be and when they are supposed to be there.  BUT, I also know that my calendar is a "work-in-progress" and not a finished masterpiece, which means that things can be added or taken away as we go along.  Our school plan is a work-in-progress as well.  I have a plan for each of my children but it is always being tweaked and finessed based on the interests and heart of that child.  I know the basic classes/credits that we need to successfully graduate and we work toward that goal throughout high school.  The beauty of a custom-designed education is that we can work on these subjects in a way that works best for our family -- learning around real-life experiences.  PLAN for things like ACT (or SAT) testing.  These are major parts of college application.  Claire didn't take her ACT until her Senior year.  I will make sure to have the others take it earlier.   "Teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom."  Psalm 90:12

  • Third, BE AWARE OF DEADLINES.  One of the things that surprised me most about the college application process was the time schedule for getting paperwork filled out and submitted.  If your child is thinking that college is the place to be after high school graduation, begin collecting catalogs and application packets for them to read through.  The earlier applications are placed on file, the more opportunity you have for scholarship offers.  Make sure you have a transcript ready to submit along with your application and be aware that any coursework that your student is currently working on should be on the transcript with an "in progress" note beside it.  Although some colleges have a slightly modified application process for home educated students, they offer step by step guidelines to see you through.  AND scholarships are available to ALL students.  You will want to make sure to fill out the entire Financial Aid Packet included with your college admission applications.  Claire is fortunate to have received an ACT Scholarship, an endowed scholarship, a Freshman Leadership scholarship (based on community activities and involvement) and a Girl Scout Scholarship.  Yes!  She is headed to school on full-scholarship next year.  There are LOTS of scholarships available.  ASK around, PRAY and BE AWARE OF DEADLINES.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11
It's been quite a year of learning how to wade through the college application process and it is exciting to receive the letters in the mail that say "We want you!" and "Congratulations!".  If you have any questions, I'd be delighted to answer.  Please let me know!

I can't wait for tomorrow's posting.  Stay tuned for Claire's EXIT INTERVIEW from Long Leaf Academy. If you have any questions you'd like answered from a homeschool graduate, feel free to include them in the comment section below as well.  She'll be thrilled to answer!


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  1. Deadlines! That is when I get stressed. Thanks for more encouragement.

  2. Thanks so much for this series! We volunteered for the first time this year at the shipment warehouse for our local OCC and it was such an awesome opportunity and blessing!!

  3. Thanks for your encouragement, Melissa! And YAY for y'all for volunteering at the OCC warehouse. OCC is near and dear to our hearts. LOVE that ministry!

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Lots of great info this week. Some things I would have never thought of....deadlines...oh no!! Just kidding. LOL

    My first college student (she won't graduate high school until 2014) wants to be a detective....police academy first. Fortunately that is only about 65 miles away and 10 weeks of school. At least to start. We have websites saved in Favorites, papers printed for reviewing.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with me!