View Full Version : Applying to College: Charter school transcript or your own transcript

05-08-2017, 05:48 PM
We've always homeschooled through a charter school, so my son who is finishing 11th grade at the moment appears to be a public school student because he has a transcript from a charter school. As someone else posted the Charter school is nice because it will do the school letter, the counselor letter and maybe even a teacher recommendation letter (we've had the same ES - education specialist for all of high school). BUT their transcript does NOT really show the work my son actually did. They will not put AP or Honors on the science classes so it looks very bland. They also put health and world geography on there instead of the world history that we did. My plan was always to pull out of the charter at the end of 11th grade so he would graduate from my 'private' school (in california you homeschool thru a charter school or make your own private school) so that I could send my transcript. Has anyone done this? Used a charter school almost ot the end and then used your own transcript? IF I do this I will have to write all the school letters myself.

If I use the charter it was recommended by an admissions counselor that I write a narrative transcript (course descriptions) to go along with the charter school transcript and even ask the charter school to submit the narrative transcript for me so it comes from the official school. I kind of like that idea - saves me some work.

Thoughts? Anybody here do that? switch from charter at the end to private? Is there anyway the colleges might end up seeing the charter transcript if we don't tell them about the charter? If you go to three different high schools do you have to submit all the transcripts? or does it all end up on the last transcript?


05-08-2017, 06:58 PM
Where does your child want to go to college? Is he going a UC or Calstate, or will he attend a community college? If it is a UC or Calstate, you have to make sure you fulfill the base requirements. If it is a CC, you have more flexibility, as it won't really matter, as long as he has his degree. If it is a private school, then you should contact them directly and see what they will take.

05-08-2017, 07:41 PM
he's going to do some dual enrollment classes his senior year but he's mainly looking at private - small liberal arts colleges, maybe a few bigger schools like U of Chicago or even U of British Columbia. We did NOT do a-g because prior to the election he had no desire to stay in California, but now he may apply to a few schools here.... or Canada! lol. But he has taken SAT subject tests and will be taking more so he could get in UC schools via testing. His test scores are very good, not perfect so they won't get him into the best schools so he needs a transcript/course descriptions that reflect his concentration on science and that they were honors classes, not just Physics, but Honors Physics with lab, etc.

05-08-2017, 08:25 PM
With all of those circumstances, I would contact the schools directly. Check their website and talk with their admissions office. Find out what they want. It will be a pain if he is applying to a bunch of schools, but depending on how they respond to your questions, may also help you and him decide if that school is right for him. If they scoff at these issues from the beginning, then they may not be open to him from the beginning.

I think you will have the most flexibility with the private, liberal arts colleges. I would be most concerned with the UC schools, since he didn't do the A-G requirements.

You may have a few different options. The official ones from the charter school and the homemade ones with the descriptions. It sounds like he will have multiple transcripts since he has homeschool, charter school and his dual-credit units from a college.

Why would you have to write all the school letters, even if he is not enrolled? There were people who knew him through 11th grade?

This sounds like a good option
If I use the charter it was recommended by an admissions counselor that I write a narrative transcript (course descriptions) to go along with the charter school transcript and even ask the charter school to submit the narrative transcript for me so it comes from the official school. I kind of like that idea - saves me some work.

You could add the discrepancies on the transcript in your narrative. (Sounds like BS that the charter is doing this, and dishonest. They are stating that he completed requirements that he didn't take.)

I don't know if this is any help. Working in the college system is different than navigating into it.

05-08-2017, 09:14 PM
Well, the charter school had health and world geography as required courses and we turned in samples in those topics but I wouldn't say we did a whole course on them. We were doing biology when they asked for health so I can say that and I did have read an article on alcohol/drugs and he read part of the Teenage Brain which I could count for health. For world geography I could write that we traveled to Scotland and Japan, just not all in that one semester. He just got his black belt so his sensei will write one letter and he's been doing a ranger internship with a park ranger we've known for probably 10 years so she willl write his other letter, but until he takes a CC class I'm his only academic teacher. He's going to try to get into a computer programming class over the summer so hopefully that might end up with an another letter.
The charter school transcript annoys me for what it leaves off. It doesn't have that his calculus class is AP and the year he did Pre-calc they put Algebra 2 because they insisted that he take that first but he'd already done a really good algebra class and we decided to skip Alg 2 and move on to Pre-Calc (all AoPs), so they show him skipping pre-calc instead of alg2. Either way I'l have to do course descriptions. We're going to visit a few schools in June and I'l ask admissions for their thoughts.

05-09-2017, 10:55 AM
Does the Calc class include the AP exam? It seems that evidence would override what they unbudgingly wouldnt adjust in the course titles.
I was thinking to outsource last maths and sciences with labs, possibly more to the community colleges, just so the courses would be done and no bickering over college credit or not. But, I still have a ways to go before my oldest is ready to think about it.

I know there is a new field of college admittance consultants; perhaps talk to one of them? There was (at least) one on SHS - lives in Orange County area, Im sure I could find her if you want. She has at least the firsthand experience with charters and colleges. I personally know another one as well.... so they cant be all that uncommon. :p

Good luck!

05-09-2017, 12:38 PM
Yeah, well I screwed up on the AP exam, thought they were offered twice a year and he could take it in the fall... nope. So he won't have the exam. He's going to do the SAT Math 2 in a few weeks and will probably sign up for calculus at CC for fall. Figure that would be good way to get used to regular classroom - with material he's familiar with.

I think I talked to the woman you're referring to. She's the one who told me about the narrative transcript. Someone else just told me their charter school guidance counselor told them to select homeschooled and send in their own transcript. Seems there is no right answer.

I'm not too worried about showing that he did science with labs since we've been using lab books and can definitely demonstrate very lab heavy science courses.

05-26-2017, 01:11 PM
We went to a college info session last weekend where there were admission people from 5 schools: Brown U, Rice, Cornell, Columbia and U of Chicago. One of them even mentioned homeschoolers in their talk before the questions started. She said if you homeschool through a clearing house they want to know about it and how it works. Both Brown and U of Chicago said they want to see descriptions of the courses and resources/books used. They also recommended SAT subject scores for outside validation and reference letters from outside the home. Interviews were also recommended. So I'm going through the charter school transcript and re-writing my course descriptions/titles to fit with it. The Charter school actually has some course descriptions for english, etc so I'm stealing bits and pieces that appropriate for what my son did. I may have to add a course or two that they didn't put on the transcript but I feel better after talking to these admission people.

07-12-2017, 04:13 AM
LOL I only come online once in awhile but when I do I always find the right posts. You probably did talk to me. I have spoken to dozens of college admissions counselors and have my college admission certification AND am with a CA charter - Non A-G.

The narrative transcript is the way to go. My charter has agreed to add it with other documentation on the common app so that it is more official. I will write it out exactly the same as if if I were filing a PSA. Also ask if the charter can add an honors to any course that you bumped up. For example if you did an AP level course but did not get the AP on the transcript then ask for them to add an honors designation Most are allowed to do that for non A-G courses, you just have to ask.

If the charter wont add the narrative, every single school I spoke with said to email it in. There is no problem with that. They want as much info as possible and are happy to have more.

The situation really depends on how good your counselor is. The charter I am with at this time just had a kid admitted to both Princeton and Columbia. This is their second Ivy acceptance in 3 years.

Also beware of lying on an app! Should I lie to the University of California? – College Seekers (http://www.collegeseekers.education/2017/05/30/should-i-lie-to-the-university-of-california/)
(I wrote this a few weeks back.)

Feel free to PM me!


PS Hi Alexsmom!!!!

07-21-2017, 11:56 AM
Hey Laura! Yes it was you and thank you for all your advise. We visited Colgate and University of Rochester last month and both the admissions people there also said the same thing - they want to see course descriptions, how did the student learn/cover the material. I just sent a copy of my course descriptions to the guidance counselor at our charter and she said they looked really good and professional. At Colgate the admissions person who reads the homeschool applications actually sat in on my son's interview. He really liked both of those schools. U of Rochester has an open curriculum so you can take whatever classes you want - no required classes. They have a lot of double and even triple majors because of it. DS got his SAT Math2 score and it was over 700 so I think he's all done with the testing, now he just has to tackle the essays...ugh. I also found a solution for the AP calculus problem. The course he's finishing right now is AP Calc AB and I found an online class that fills in the gaps to bring it up to AP Calc BC and then he can take that exam next spring to get an AP credit. Actually that was another question I asked admission people, do they prefer community college classes or AP and they said they did not have a preference, that they realize not every one has the same options available to them. DS did get into one community college class for this coming fall and is high on the waitlist for a computer programming class so we're hopeful on that front.

07-21-2017, 12:37 PM
My brother went to University of Rochester - he got very into the frat scene and almost didn't graduate because of the drinking etc. He is 36 now and graduated in 2004, so things change. Interestingly his wife, who he met at U or R, grew up in Hamilton. Hamilton is such a beautiful town. I don't know anything about Colgate as a school, but I just loved Hamilton.

07-21-2017, 01:16 PM
We asked the tour guide about frats (prefering they don't exit) and he said they have them at U of R but they don't take over the campus. Said there are more students doing research then involved in frats. Colgate has frats too but the fraternity houses are practically in Hamilton, down the hill from the college. Colgate/Hamilton is beautiful and what was really impressive is that the campus looks like this beautiful old stone college but when you walk inside the building they're actually pretty modern. Looks like they've done a lot of work updating interiors and the new buildings blend in with the old. I was really surprised at how nice the U of Rochester campus was as well. If you had just plopped me down in the middle of the campus I would have thought I was at a small liberal arts college somewhere.

01-20-2018, 05:21 PM
My son graduates this year. I made our own “official” transcript and included a list of classes with curriculum used. No long descriptions. He was accepted into all 3 schools he applied for. I was stressed about it but turned out they were all ok with that.