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  1. #1

    Default Homeschooled kids: big schools, little schools for college?

    LKNomad's post about her son perhaps preferring a college with a small(er) student:teacher ratio got me thinking: where ARE homeschooled kids "comfortable" when they go off to college?

    I am thinking about my public-schooled cousin, one of 2,500 in her graduating class, choosing a large public university (albeit 1200 miles away) for her college because "I am used to big." Our kiddos are, well, "used to small," what with their 1:1 or at most 5:1 ratios here at home. Does this translate to their college of choice? Or do their majors and the college's reputation have more to do with it? It can't ALL boil down to cost, can it?

    Just wondering how it pans out for them. Granted, many of our kids dual-enroll for a class or two or 10 in high school, so they've got the lecture hall, note-taking experience down pat. And I also know many large universities have residential colleges within them where kids eat/sleep/take core classes together for the school-within-a-school feel...even though the other students at the university can expect 40:1 in a "small" class. But I am simply wondering, statistically, if homeschooled kids choose larger or smaller colleges.

    Carol, I am sure your daughter would have lots to say with this. I know she's a self-starter and is in a residential college within a large university. How was that transition?
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  2. T4L In Forum Dec19
  3. #2

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    I'm not sure if there have been statistical studies of small vs. large schools for homeschoolers; I'd love to see one if it exists!

    Anecdotally, for my two, quality of program was first priority, followed VERY closely by cost and how many dual enrolled credits would transfer (also boiled into the cost factor). DD only applied to Iowa, but DS applied to 5 schools, three large public universities and two small private schools. However, he'll be going to Purdue as it's the best combo of program and price for him.

    In general, I think taking dual enrolled courses helps students get past the fear of "Can I handle college level work?" even if it's at a smaller local campus.

    I know she's a self-starter and is in a residential college within a large university. How was that transition?
    Honestly, DD was very anxious herself about the transition. All last summer she kept telling me she'd most likely just go to class and stay in her room and study. However, for the girl that is a self-described introvert, she's become very involved on campus, mostly in writing groups and LBGTQ groups. Heck, she even took a road trip in February to another big 10 campus as one of her LBGTQ reps to a conference. I think what really matters is how much a particular college student puts the effort in to seek out small groups where they feel they belong.

    One thing going for the large universities is that they have soooooo many different campus groups/clubs/teams compared to small universities. Students are bound to find things they want to be involved in.
    Last edited by inmom; 03-30-2016 at 02:16 PM.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3

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    If anyone is interested, over the past year dd has occasionally blogged about college life during her freshman year. PM me and I can send you the link.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  5. #4

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    I am dealing with a traditional schoolers this year, but I will still comment based on our experience. My son went to a huge high school and he wants a small school, not because he wanted something different, but when we toured (and we toured a lot) he realized that he had a type that he just liked better. He like the SLACs which stand for small liberal arts colleges. They have specific things in common such as no graduate programs (no TAs teaching classes). The ones he liked specifically stated they were non competitive and some don't even let you see your grades unless you ask, many have a "core" that is required of all students that is the "liberal arts" aspect of the college. So it is more focused on a wide range of ideas not just ideas in your major. All the ones he chose have a first year writing seminar that is part of the core that teaches more than just how to write well, but teachers critical thinking skills. There is also a lot more freedom to move among majors and some schools really encourage students to explore before choosing their major.

    The large schools just seemed really impersonal. Yes, they have more options, more majors, famous professors, but they have huge classes, fewer opportunities to really get to know professors if you are an introvert like my kid. He needs a place that is more nurturing.

    What is interesting is if you look at schools that send large numbers of students to PhD programs and you look at pure numbers, it is the large research schools that have the most success, but if you look at the same information and look by school size ratio, then you find that many of these small schools actually send more kids onto grad school. Take a look here.

    Look at the main table then scroll to table 4. This is for science and engineering.
    nsf.gov - NCSES Baccalaureate Origins of U.S.-trained S&E Doctorate Recipients - US National Science Foundation (NSF)
    Mom to two boys
    14 year old/9th grade homeschooler
    Non homeschooled son heading to Reed College this fall, and proudly wearing his Reed/Atheist t-shirt.

    I spend a lot of time sitting in an ice skating rink - still

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Homeschooled kids:  big schools, little schools for college?