6 Tips for Going from High School to College

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.  

A few years ago, my daughter and I were finishing our transcripts and starting on college applications.  Now she is a senior in college.  It is so fun to see her there, loving it!

 Are you thinking about homeschooling high school, but are wondering about those related tasks, like writing course descriptions, or things like "Where should I put my teen's high school activities, on the transcript, or ?   

On campus, heading to class.

Below are 6 tips to help you plan for high school and the possibility of dealing with the college admissions process. 

Let's start with activities and awards and what to do about them.

1.  What about activities, volunteering, awards, etc?  Where should I put them on the transcript?
  • 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.

2.  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.

3.  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.

Just put an "*" next to the courses that were done from outside sources, and a simple note at the bottom of the transcript, stating these were done at whatever place your child did them, the name of the college, or school, etc.

When your teen applies to college, you will send your homeschool transcript via their application to the colleges.  But be sure to also request any transcripts for credits earned from outside sources, such as community college, or public school, to be sent to the colleges. 

4.  Request transcripts from all outside sources as well, such as community college, any online courses taught by someone else, where credit was granted from them, 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.

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

 Course Descriptions 

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.  

Resources for Course Descriptions

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

Quick Start Homeschool has an article with sample descriptions called Writing Course Descriptions for High School. 

I have high school planning forms and tips for course descriptions in my book on high school mentioned below.

And finally, let's talk reference letters...

 Reference Letters  

6. If your student is taking an online course, or something at community college, then you already have a teacher to ask for a reference.  But many of us don't have one available, nor do we have a school counselor to ask. 

Letters from our student's activities can be just the ticket.  We used letters from Youth and Government, volunteering, and irish dance.
Often the leaders and teachers at co-op know our kids so well, that they can be a great source for reference letters.

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.  

The group mentioned above is on yahoo groups - called HS2Coll.  This group is especially helpful if you are aiming towards ivys.  If you would like planning forms for reference letters, and more tips on that, I have a chapter on that in my book on high school.

Don't forget the fun!  At a festival.

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....

Here's my book that I mentioned above  -  Homeschooling High School with College in Mind..   

Available on Amazon

Click here to get yours.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

Want to stay in touch?  
This post was shared on my favorite linkups here.

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