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  1. #21

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    Avalon said... "My impression from reading this thread and from other threads about homeschooling high school is that students who want to go to university need to be taking AP courses, dual-enrollment courses (which are supposed to be college-level, right?), and extra-curriculars. It sounds like you need to start early, and push your kids along."

    I'm glad you raised these questions. As I mentioned in the opening post - there are over 3,000 colleges in the US. Most of them take the majority of students who apply. Colleges need students. Most homeschoolers, even very relaxed homeschoolers, will not find it difficult to get into mid-range liberal arts colleges and many public universities especially regional state universities. The difficulty of getting into the state public flagship depends a lot on the state you live in (they vary from not difficult to get into to really competitive so check for your state).

    If your teen isn't focused on the top-ranked colleges, there really isn't a lot of reason to focus a lot of worry on admissions. For most families the bigger concern is the cost of college. APs and college courses tend to come up at this point for three reasons.
    1. More selective schools more often meet financial need and having some outside AP and college work improves admissions odds at selective schools.
    2. APs and dual enrollment can save money for students going to some schools. A single AP science course can save a family $4,000 in college credits at some state universities.
    3. Some higher level work - APs or college courses can make students more competitive for merit scholarships.

    My suggestion is always that families do not treat APs or dual enrollment as an "all or nothing" sort of decision. It doesn't have to be for every subject or for every year of high school. Know the range of options available and choose what is a fit for your student and his or her goals. If you are having to push or drag - it doesn't sound like a fit. For most students starting out small is the best bet - try one AP or one dual enrollment in an area of interest. See how they enjoy it and make decisions from there.

    Avalon - this article from my site explains my thoughts on this subject in greater detail. I hope it is helpful!
    Last edited by Homeschool Success; 04-09-2016 at 09:00 PM. Reason: adding link
    Barbara Hettle, Homeschool and College Admissions Consultant, Founder of Homeschool Success
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  3. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accidental Homeschooler View Post
    But, and this is a big one, her apps were weak on extra curriculars/leadership... So I would just suggest, from lessons we learned in this process, that if you are going to shoot for the top schools, scores alone are not going to do it. It is really like building a resume.
    Hooray that she's ended up with some choices that she likes and that will offer good aid packages!

    The point you raised about extracurriculars is a big one. At selective schools where so many students have strong courses and scores, activities really are the place to stand out. This is especially important for homeschoolers. When you know a lot of homeschoolers and you see teens doing well, it can be easy to forget that the stereotypes about homeschoolers really do persist for some people in admissions. Demonstrating strong connection to community through activities can be helpful and homeschoolers have some creative options available to them that students in school all day do not.
    Barbara Hettle, Homeschool and College Admissions Consultant, Founder of Homeschool Success
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  4. #23
    Last edited by Accidental Homeschooler; 04-09-2016 at 10:56 PM.
    Julie,
    Former Homeschooler to two daughters, age 20 and in college and age 12 back in ps.

  5. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accidental Homeschooler View Post
    Going to add the URL Colleges That Change Lives


    My son, who is at a traditional school (my other one is homeschooling) got into some very good schools including UC Berkeley and UCLA, but as I mentioned on another post, he is now down to two school. Both are in the CTCL list.

    I attended the CTCL fair when it came to Los Angeles last year, and it was eye opening. There are really schools for everyone but THESE schools, which have a variety of admission rates, really are different. We felt it when we set foot on the campus of the two that he was interested in.

    I attended an accepted student reception this afternoon for one of the two on the list...OK I will just use the name, Reed. And asked the admissions officer for our region about homeschoolers, especially our CA charter high schoolers, and he was quite positive about homeschoolers in general. It is this type of school that appreciates the different kind of kid with different experiences.

    Reed is the most selective on the CTCL list, but there is a wide variety. Also don't be shocked by sticker price. Many have merit aid and some will help quite a bit if you don't have a lot to spare. I had to laugh at the CTCL fair when I went to talk about scholarships with one admission officer at one of the schools and she started with, "Well everyone gets an automatic $20,000, scholarship." Why not just lower the price, I asked????? Can't remember which school that was but there are a lot of options.

    One thing the admissions officer said today was that with homeschoolers, even if they are brilliant, they need to show that they can work in a classroom setting. This is where dual enrollment and classes come in. He said that they are used to seeing an eclectic approach from homeschoolers which include a variety of things like online classes, EPGY, CTY, community college, subject tests, AP tests, a whole mix, but the kid needs to show they can work with others, at least for Reed.

    When you start to see the schools that you like, and I really suggest looking through CTCL schools it does not hurt to call and ask your local rep from those schools that you like, what they need to see from your child, in order to qualify.
    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

  6. #25

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    Reed sounds like an amazing place to go to school. I know someone who left the U here to teach there. She wanted to be in a school where teaching was the focus and was just as,if not more, important than research and publishing. She is an amazing teacher/lecturer and loves it but that doesn't mean as much at a large research university as at a small liberal arts school in terms of advancement and recognition.

    It is going to much more challenging to find a good fit for dd10 who is 2e, but I know it will definitely not be a large research university, which is exactly what my older dd wanted. At least I have a bit of breather before I need to worry about it.
    Julie,
    Former Homeschooler to two daughters, age 20 and in college and age 12 back in ps.

  7. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accidental Homeschooler View Post

    It is going to much more challenging to find a good fit for dd10 who is 2e, but I know it will definitely not be a large research university, which is exactly what my older dd wanted. At least I have a bit of breather before I need to worry about it.
    What was interesting about touring all the schools is that for many the office if disabilities is strong and supportive. We recently attended admitted students day at Oxy (not a fit for this DS) but one of the parents asked the professor panel about students with LDs and they said that it was quite prevent on that campus and they thought the number of students registered at the disabilities office was about 25%.

    Another we toured, Lewis & Clark, mentioned their disabilities office during their regular info session, without prompting.

    At the national college admission councilor conference, I attended earlier this year, NACAC, it was not really an issue during the panel sessions but I hope it becomes more prevalent. There was one panel where they discussed schools with test free (no SAT or ACT) options and they stated that this allowed then to take more LD students and that their own research is showing that there was little difference in success rate between students who submitted SATs and those who didn't. So the issue of LDs and other disability issues are starting to be addressed.

  8. #27

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    A bit YES to the suggestion to check out Colleges that Change Lives schools. Also realize there are many other good liberal arts colleges that aren't included in that organization, but also provide good merit aid and a college experience with a lot of individual attention.

    If you'd like to learn more about liberal arts colleges this is another great resource.
    Last edited by Homeschool Success; 04-10-2016 at 07:38 PM.
    Barbara Hettle, Homeschool and College Admissions Consultant, Founder of Homeschool Success
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