Monday, June 28, 2010

An Easy Way to Prepare a Homeschool Student for College

Princeton University Library, New Jersey

When your homeschooler suddenly reaches high school, the first reaction is often panic.  What I am about to share with you, is an easy option to prepare your student for college. This is not intended for Honor Students who are aspiring to Princeton, Harvard or Oxford.  The following information is for average, everyday, blue-collar, working families:

I am about to share with you what I did with my oldest two children. Rachel (22) and Nicole (21) both graduated from my homeschool when they were 16 years old. They BOTH went to college. Here's what I have learned:

1. We did not keep track of credits earned in each subject. In my school, there was no such thing as 4 credits of English, 4 credits of Math, etc. We simply never bothered. Frankly, I never imagined my girls were going to college in the first place. My plan was for them to finish their education with me, and hopefully, marry and become homemakers like their Mother.   I also knew about the GED. I knew they could get into college after earning a GED. So I was never worried.

2.  At 17, we enrolled Rachel in a Technical College to become a Cosmetologist. I prepared a transcript using a book (for homeschoolers) as a guide, and a notebook. This notebook contained all the books Rachel ever read. I used some of this information to put together her transcript. The books were mostly from the library. None of them were textbooks. Rachel read books on a variety of subjects including history, science, classic literature, etc.

The college wanted a copy of Rachel's High School Diploma. I obtained a standard diploma through Home School Legal Defense (when she was 16) and filled this out myself. I considered her to have completed my Personal Requirements for graduation. [Note: The Diploma itself is NOT affiliated with HSLDA.]

Rachel took an entrance examination, submitted her application and paperwork and waited for a response. We were invited to the school for an interview and a tour. Then we found out that Rachel was accepted.

She did not need a GED. She did not need a traditional transcript. She did not even need SAT Scores (even though she did take the SAT test).

Rachel graduated one year later and has been working in her field ever since.

3. When Nicole turned 18 (2 years after graduating from my homeschool), she was ready to apply to a Traditional College. She took, and passed, the GED test. As a homeschool graduate, we KNEW they wanted a GED from her. Nicole also took the SAT test. Her College of choice suggested she attend one semester of Community College first. We agreed and that's what she did.

But we found some amazing things from this experience:

1. When you go to college, they require you to take "core classes" in English, Math, etc. before you are allowed to begin classes in your selected Major.

2. You can attend up to 2 years at a community college, complete all your core classes, and then transfer to your college of choice to continue your education.

There are two amazing benefits from this:

One - A full time student at Community College (in our state) costs around $2,000 to $3,000 per semester. If you qualify - you can receive state and federal grants which pay the entire tuition. What does this mean? No Student Loans and NO DEBT.

Two - Once you transfer to your College of Choice (such as Boston University) and complete your studies, you will receive a graduation diploma from said College (such as Boston University) without any mention of Community College on this form whatsoever. So, the fact is - if you graduate from Boston University, you are considered a graduate of that school. You have also saved yourself THOUSANDS of dollars in tuition costs!

An Easy way to Prepare for College - To Sum Things Up:

1. Prepare your student to take, and pass, the GED test.
2. Enroll them in Community College.
3. Have them stay in Community College for up to 2 years. (They can stop at an associates degree here if they want.)
4. If they want a bachelor's degree, have them transfer to a regular college at this point.

[Community College does not require SAT scores; Nor do they require a transcript.]

Would you like to see what I'm currently doing with 2 of my students, and get more information about the GED Test? See my Schedule for a Teenager. My 15 and 17 year olds are studying to take the GED test. They will go on to Community College from there. I expect my youngest (12) to take the same educational route when he is old enough.

***I hope this post gave you some ideas and encouraged you as you prepare to homeschool older students. There are many ways to homeschool. The information I presented was just one example.***

Mrs. White
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Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for this was such a blessing..mine are still young 9,6,3,2,7mths..but I was wondering how to homeschool thru High School and then how to handle College...

TerriG said...

Thanks for posting this well needed information. My firstborn is taking the community college route via the GI bill and we are thankful for that.

Anita said...

Each state most likely has its own requirements for college enrollment. Here in MS you must provide a transcript and an ACT score. One of my daughters went to both a state community college and a private Christian college.

Mrs. White said...

Anita, that's interesting! Do they have to provide those things even with a GED?

HillaryM said...

Here in our state-Indiana-it is recommended that you NOT take the GED as a homeschooler. The GED is seen as being lower than a high school diploma. A diploma is just the pretty piece of paper stating that the requirements have been met. Many on our statewide list have made their own. In our state, homeschools are classified as non-accredited private schools. The requirements are vague which is great to count life experiences and non-traditional learning. The universities are seeking out homeschool graduates and will work with the families on transcript requirements. Keeping track of all books read-for 'school' as well as pleasure is an excellent way to 'prove' education. I know of one young man who was admitted to a private college based on solely this--he had not yet received the SAT scores and the college wanted him. I am also thinking about dual-enrollment ie. community college courses at the same time they are finishing our 'high school courses'-counting as 'credit' for both. Also, I have heard a lot about CLEP to test out of the core requirements for most liberal arts degrees. I have a while-eldest is 9-but I am always trying not to worry about the future :D Thanks Mrs. White your posts are always so encouraging. I'll try not to worry about college--for a while at least.

Mrs. White said...


I realize there are people who feel the GED is not as valid as a regular diploma, which is a misconception. I believe it is an excellent test. I think it is a great option for many people.

It's wonderful to hear all the different ways homeschoolers are able to get into college.

Unknown said...

This is exactly what we did with my 20 year old son who is now enrolled in a technical college.