Getting out of high school and get-
ting into college are two different things.
With the exception of some state schools,
most colleges don’t care that your kids
were homeschooled. They care that your
kids are good students who can handle
college level work.
Colleges are in the business of academ-
ics. They want to successfully graduate
students who will go on to great jobs, and
donate back to the institution. What they
demand from you is what they demand
from any student in a public or private
school: verification that you are ready for
college level work. And if you’re planning
on scholarships to finance college, you’ll
need a unique and compelling story that
demonstrates how you will fill a gap or
bring diversity to the student body.
How do you do these things? Let’s start
with the end in mind—a compelling college application. Knowing these details
will allow you to think through your
approach from freshman year through
senior year and give you a basis for decision making when it comes to making
academic and extracurricular choices.
First, establish your case by demonstrating success in your academics.
Verification of your academic work starts
with the transcript. You can choose to tran-
script any course, but colleges will gener-
ally consider the core subjects of English,
math, science, history, and a foreign lan-
guage when they make acceptance deci-
sions. The more rigorous the coursework,
the better your application looks. Col-
leges understand the value of transcripted
AP and IB (International Baccalaureate)
courses offered through most public and
private schools, and AP / IB tests are open
to homeschooled students. Many times
your homeschool coursework involves a
level of critical thinking and writing more
rigorous than AP work. Course descrip-
tions help you demonstrate this.
You can provide the next level of verification of your coursework and its rigor
with a list of course descriptions. Take
the time to write a short and compelling
description of each course in one of the
core subject areas. This will strengthen
your case for admission and scholarships. Be explicit with your descriptions.
Tell your story on your terms, and don’t
depend on the admissions counselor to
infer the correct details. Here’s a sample
Rhetoric/Comp & Lit Analysis I - Rhetoric
is the art and science of persuasion. Students study and analyze great speeches and
essays of the past. They will critically analyze persuasive discourses by the “greats”
and “not-so-greats” from all ages, while developing and applying a Biblical worldview
to their reading. This is also an advanced
Higher Ed/College Prep
The Path to Great Colleges
by Andy Erickson
Your goal is to bring unique, well-rounded
experience to the admissions process.