Homeschooling high school students can have a competitive edge when it comes to the college application and admissions process.
The admissions team at MIT points out that their “admitted homeschooled applicants have really shined” when it comes to taking the initiative and taking advantage “of their less constrained educational environment to take on exciting projects, go in depth in topics that excite them, create new opportunities for themselves and others, and more.” These are some very compelling reasons why colleges in general are intrigued by homeschooled students.
It’s really important that you find ways of helping college admissions officers see how you’ve made the most of the opportunities available to you as a homeschooled student. You need to provide them with insight into your character, your experiences, and your perspectives.
You should not just rely on your transcript, the Homeschool Supervisor Report, and recommendations. Colleges are admitting you—not your parents, not your Homeschool Supervisor. They want to know about your perspective, and they want to know about it from you and your own descriptions.
I think it’s most important to start with yourself and not with the application. You want your entire application package to emerge out yourself rather than trying to force yourself to conform to it.
1. Set aside some time to write about the educational philosophy informing your homeschooling experience.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the phrase “educational philosophy.” Just write about how you have approached learning throughout high school. You might be in Stanford University’s Online High School or in Oak Meadow’s innovative homeschool program. Or you might be using a curriculum like the Charlotte Mason method or Classical Conversations. You might even be unschooling or creating an eclectic blend of educational methods. I want you to describe your approach to homeschooling for someone who isn’t familiar with this approach.
2. Describe your motivations for homeschooling. See if you can shed light on how homeschooling has been a good fit for your learning style and preferences.
3. Develop anecdotes that illuminate how your homeschooling experience has helped you pursue your interests in exciting ways. You might want to describe special projects you’ve worked on.
4. Describe what your learning environment looks like.
Prefer videos? Check out this video related to these four college application tips for homeschooling students.
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