Thursday, September 30, 2010

Applying to Colleges (part 2)

A sign that home school students are catching the attention of colleges around the country is the increasing presence of home school-specific information on college admissions websites. Although every school is different, here are samples of the requirements you might expect to encounter:

Barnard College - NY

Home-schooled applicants follow the same guidelines as all other applicants with the following exceptions:

In lieu of traditional teacher recommendations, the applicant may submit two
letters of recommendation from individuals who have taught the student in some form of an educational setting, such as a tutor, a research adviser or an academic internship mentor.

In lieu of an official high school transcript, the student must submit
a complete listing, by year, of all courses that were taught at home. The student should also list the books that she read and she must indicate how her performance was assessed and include that assessment (teacher comments, actual grades, etc.)

As parents are often the primary adviser for students who are homeschooled,
a parent letter may substitute as the high school guidance counselor letter of recommendation.

Duke University - NC

The admissions application itself is the same for all students, regardless of educational background. We require a transcript (
homemade transcripts are perfectly acceptable as long as they list the courses of study a student has followed for the four years of high school or equivalent), recommendations from three instructors (at least two of whom are not related to the applicant—and employers, religious leaders, sports coaches or other adults can write these recommendations if all academic instruction takes place in the home), essays, an extracurricular activities list, and standardized testing.

Applicants are not required to present a GED or proof of accreditation. There is no separate application for Duke's merit scholarships; all students are considered for merit scholarships on the basis of their application for admission. We encourage homeschooled students to submit their applications in time for us to
arrange an interview in the student's local area with a member of Duke's Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee.

Grove City College
- PA

An official high school transcript and any college transcripts. The transcript should include the student’s course of study and grades.
2 letters of recommendation from individuals outside the home
2 essays (see application for the topics).
In addition, serious applicants are
strongly encouraged to schedule an on-campus interview

Brown University - RI

The Secondary School Report form should be completed by the persons most responsible for guiding your overall learning. In addition to the provided prompts the Admission Office would be interested to know
why you and your family have opted to pursue home schooling as an alternative to a more traditional public or private school education.

We would also be interested to know
what resources you and your family have used to craft the home-schooling curriculum and to know what degree of liberty you the applicant have had in guiding your own education.

Generally speaking we would prefer to see
letters of recommendation from instructors who have taught you in a traditional classroom setting and who can speak to your abilities and potential in a reliably objective way. For both of these reasons we would prefer not to receive letters of recommendation from your parents, immediate relatives or from academic tutors in the paid employ of your family. If all of your instruction comes from persons in one of these three groups then we will accept letters of recommendation from any of them.

We need
a detailed accounting of the entire curriculum that you have undertaken over the course of the last four years. This includes a full listing of subjects covered and a syllabus of books and other learning resources used.

Wheaton College - IL

If you were homeschooled for any part of high school,
you must submit the Homeschool Information Form in addition to the application for the College of Arts and Sciences or the Conservatory of Music. You must also submit a transcript that is signed by a homeschool official. A transcript template is provided for your convenience.

University of Virginia - VA

While we do not require that home-schooled applicants take any special steps in our admission process, we do recommend that they try as best they can to help us see their academic performance in the clearest possible context. In recent years successful home-schooled applicants have chosen one (and usually several) of the following methods: taking courses in a local college; joining organizations in their community; providing samples of academic projects (e.g., essays, research papers, articles) they have completed; sending multiple recommendations from non-family-members who know them well; taking more SAT II Subject Tests than we encourage of all candidates.

Although the diversity may seem daunting at first glance, if you look again, you'll start to see a pattern emerge: recommendations from non-family members, book lists and detailed curricula, and a campus interview.

With these things in mind, even if a school does not specify particular requirements for home school applicants, your students will be prepared to ask good questions, present a strong portfolio, and impress the school with their ability to take the initiative!

(For more information about applying to colleges from CC, take a look at The Challenge Difference and Alumni Survey Results (PDF), also available

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