Thursday, August 30, 2012

*GUEST POST* ~From Homeschool to College: What You Should Know About the Application Process

At times, the college admissions process can be more overwhelming for homeschooled students than it is for public school students. This is primarily due to the fact that most universities and colleges require homeschooled applicants to take a different (and often more complex) path when applying for admittance.
In recent years, however, several homeschool advocacy groups (like the HSLDA) have worked hard to bring equality to the process. Most importantly, they have helped abolish the requirement that homeschoolers must either get their GED or take an ability-to-benefit test to be considered for admission.
In addition to this, parents and students should make themselves aware of a number of other things before applying for college, including:
-Anyone who has been accepted to attend any accredited college or university in the United States is eligible for federal financial aid. In the past, colleges had concerns about federal funding regulations that did not recognize a homeschool diploma as legitimate. This is no longer a concern, as the Federal Financial Aid Handbook now states that a homeschool diploma is self-certifying.
-Many colleges and universities require homeschooled students to provide an in-depth portfolio showcasing school work from several years back. Even if your child hasn’t expressed an interest in college, you should still prepare content for this portfolio throughout the last four years of their schooling. This will save you time and work, if they change their mind along the way.
-Your child should not be required to take the SAT II exam. A portfolio review suffices, and you can contact your local legislator for assistance in this matter, if necessary. However, your child will be required to take and receive a satisfactory score on the SAT or ACT exam.
-Homeschoolers can, and should, apply for any and all available scholarships. Any scholarship that discriminates against homeschooled applicants should be reported to the HSLDA.
-Some colleges offer scholarships and grants that are specifically for homeschooled students.
-To increase their chances of receiving scholarship money, homeschooled students should provide evidence of involvement in one or more community activities; such as volunteering, playing a club sport or belonging to some other community club.
Although the college admissions process has been changed to accommodate the homeschooled student’s situation, parents and students still need to look out for any requirements that seem unnecessary or unfair. Keep in mind that there are people and groups out there who are ready to help you, should the need arise.
For more information on the admission requirements for any particular school, contact the school’s department of admissions.
Maria Rainier is a hardworking freelance blogger who dispenses online education advice and useful data for students, instructors and parents interested in the online education industry. Please share your comments with her below!

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