5 Tips for Getting Your High Schooler Ready for College

Homeschooling a high school age student can be challenging, as subjects become increasingly harder for parents to teach. Moreover, college preparation might seem daunting to many homeschool parents, with seemingly little resources available that are geared toward homeschool students. As many homeschooled students apply to colleges, however, a growing number of colleges are offering specific guidelines and requirements for homeschooled applicants. In this post, we will share some tips on how to prepare your homeschooled student for college.

1. Start your research early

It is good to start gathering information about college admissions in eighth or ninth grade. This helps you to have enough time to plan curriculum and activities according to admission requirements for the colleges your student is interested in. At this level, you should also help your student research their interests. Your ninth grader might not know the exact career path they want to take, but the earlier you encourage them to explore their interests and research colleges on their own, the more motivated and prepared they will be for college admission.

2. Make a long-term plan

Once you have a general idea about your student’s interests, lay out a four-year high school plan. This plan can cover an array of goals including curriculum, extracurricular activities, leadership skills, volunteer hours, and other accomplishments. Mapping out what your student needs throughout their homeschool career will help them allocate their time better and stay motivated and confident.

3. Keep a detailed transcript

The transcript is one of the most important parts of college application. Keeping a detailed transcript is a good way to show the admissions committee your student’s academic rigor and diligence. In addition to student information and course information on the transcript, you can also keep course descriptions that you can submit to colleges, as some colleges find them helpful and even necessary.  

4. Take standardized tests          

It can’t hurt to start getting your student ready for the necessary tests. Have your student take the SAT or ACT and identify where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and decide which standardized test to take and include in the college application.

5. Hone essay-writing skills for college applications

Essays are one of the most important factors that can sway the admission decision in or against the applicant's favor. It is the best way to prove the student's ability to think critically and write clearly and persuasively, and tell their unique story that sets them apart from the rest of the applicants. Writing skills take time and practice, so it is best to get started on refining these skills early.