7 Tips for Showcasing Your Student to College Admissions

Get your homeschooled high schooler into college, with their homeschool transcript.  #homeschoolhighschool #getintocollege 
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Homeschool transcripts are being well accepted by colleges, especially when two important things come along for the ride -Good course descriptions and great reference letters.  

This time of year, a few years ago, we were finishing our transcripts and starting on our college applications.  Are you facing this task with your teen this fall, or just wanting to find out how to do it....... for later? 

As many of you know, my daughter is now a rising junior in college. We were so nervous about applying to college when she was a senior.  It helped to research the college websites, and talk to my friends who had already applied. 

But the whole thing turned out to be not such a big deal.  

And I am so glad that we homeschooled all the way, and my daughter still is close to us, and comes to us with any concerns.  It really helped to build up our relationships as a family.

Today, I have gathered up tips for course descriptions, reference letters, and more, to help showcase your child's accomplishments, in the best way.....

 I have included a few pictures of my kiddo just for fun. Here's one showing her as a 5th grader, and one at her first day at college.

Here are my latest tips to help you with your college application process.

1.  I recommend making your transcript just one page. 

The colleges that we applied to wanted just a one page transcript, with the course descriptions attached in a separate document.  More info on making homeschool transcripts is here. 

2.  What about activities, volunteering, awards, etc?
  • There is a place for these on the actual college application itself.  It does not need to go on the transcript.  I found that the colleges liked seeing the activities, etc, on the application.

You can list your teen's activities, leadership, awards, honor society, volunteer hours, jobs held on the application itself.

3.  Choosing a Homeschool Name - I recommend using a homeschool name, like Jones Academy, as opposed to Live and Learn Homeschool, as it gives your homeschool more formal, respected tone for the transcript.

4.  The homeschool transcript should include all the courses taken,  at home, and any outside courses, too.  That way, your homeschool transcript serves as the clearinghouse for all of your teen's high school coursework.  This gives the college admissions officers one place to see everything, at a glance. And that is what they are looking for.

5.  Request transcripts from all outside sources as well, such as community college, any online courses taught by someone else, etc.  Be sure that these are sent directly to each colleges that your student is applying to.  I found that it was easier to have them snail mailed to the colleges, than to try to upload them onto the application itself.

6.  What are course descriptions anyway, and do I need to include them?

Many colleges request that you also send in course descriptions, as you know.  Sometimes this can be simply a sentence but some colleges may want a short paragraph. 

Note that not all colleges require course descriptions – please check with the college in question.  

HSLDA has a nice article on Creating a Course Description.  They also have sample descriptions here.

I have a chapter on course descriptions in my new e-book on Amazon, and the link is at the end of this post, if you are interested.  It includes a printable for keeping all those details, as you go, to make writing course descriptions easier.

7.  And finally, including strong reference letters can be key to college admissions, too....

The common application for college usually requires a letter from a teacher and the school counselor.  But for homeschoolers, we can often use letters that come from coaches, co-op teachers, or other leaders in our student's activities. 

Some families write their own counselor letter, and that is an option, too.  Moms talk about doing just that in the yahoo email group below.

Here is a helpful email group called hs2coll@yahoogroups.com -  Many of the families there used multiple recommendation letters for their college applications, and got into a wide variety of colleges.

I have a printable with a letter for requesting college references available in my e-book, with many more downloadable planning printables there as well.

"Betsy's book is a terrific resource for homeschooling parents who are planning to send their teens to college.  As a homeschool upperclassman advisor, I can attest that the information is spot on.  Also the book is chock full of resources with links and lots of helpful forms.  Be sure you are ready to take notes while you read!"
              .......review by Vicki Tillman, from www.7sisters.com

I am so glad that we homeschooled high school, as it gave my daughter a solid foundation, as she explores, spreads her wings, and learns on her college campus.  I can't wait to see where it will lead her....

What other tips would you add to this list?  Thanks for stopping by, and I encourage you to leave a comment or two. 

Have you seen my facebook group called Homeschooling Through High School?  Join us!

And here's my book... 

...sharing how I helped my teen get into all of the colleges she applied to, with scholarship offers.

Homeschooling High School with College in Mind - 2nd edition

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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