Summer programs are excellent opportunities for home-schooled students to work and study with other students in a collaborative environment. While there are many programs to choose from, try to select one that best fits your child's academic goals. Make sure that your son or daughter gets to know the program supervisors and instructors as they will be an excellent source for recommendations.
If the college offers potential students an interview, be sure to request one. Take advantage of the opportunity for a face-to-face dialog with a representative of the school. For most home-schooled students, the interview can only improve the chances for college acceptance since the student has the chance to show his or her academic interests, passions and maturity. Some admission officers may question whether a home-schooled student is socially prepared for life on a college campus. An interview will go a long way to answering this question and eliminating any doubt.
Even today, colleges are slow to provide reasonable application alternatives for home-schooled students. Therefore, your child needs to accept that fact that it will be more difficult to apply than it would be if he or she were a "traditional" student. But hopefully, your child will relish this opportunity to highlight what he or she has learned and accomplished.
For instance, since you have to create a "transcript" for your child, encourage your son or daughter to use this opportunity to focus on academic strengths and projects. Be sure to include explanations and examples. This is something that students from traditional schools probably cannot do, and it can help the home-schooled student to stand out from other applicants.
Be creative in how you adapt to the college's requirements. Always remember that colleges don't focus as much on forms and records as they do on what the entire application says about the student. They want to know how each applicant would make a valuable addition to their student body.
It was not an easy decision to home school your child. And it certainly was no walk in the park to actually play the role of teacher. You did it because it was in your child's best interest. The same attitude is true for applying to college. It won't be easy (in fact, it's not that easy for traditional students either) and there is no denying that you will face some extra hurdles. But each challenge that you tackle, and each frustration that you overcome, is for the good of your child.
Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.
By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
The only how-to book which shows all students how to get into the school of their dreams. Based on the experiences of dozens of successful students and authored by two graduates of Harvard, this book shows you how to ace the application, essay, interview, and standardized tests.