October 23, 2009

Applying for College

Meg is a senior in high school and has been homeschooled since kindergarten. This picture is an example of her work in Culinary Arts class. She loves to cook, and our local high school has a class with that name, so that's what we call it. :) I've written a lot about her, so check the sidebar to get more articles about Meg. She's our second child and very artsy. She learned to read later than most kids and is drawn to theater, singing, dancing, and art of any kind. We all assumed she'd get into college with her musical theatre resume (which is quite impressive), but she's decided to go another route.

Last year she audited a college course called Lifespan Human Development and just loved it. It made her see that helping people is what she really wants to do with her life, maybe even becoming a counselor. She's had enough theatre experience her four years of high school to realize it's not the world she wants to live in. That's one good thing about unschooling--you can let your child dive into her interests until she's sick of it or at least has a realistic view to make informed choices for her future.

I did some research into possible college options. My husband is employed by a state university, so we get tuition breaks at a handful of colleges if he gets rehired each year. Among those colleges, one of them had a minimum ACT score for homeschoolers (Northern Illinois University), so that one was out. But the other three were still possibilities. The one here in our hometown had the best major, perfectly suited to her interests, so even though she would LOVE to move to another city, she agreed to apply. I got online and saw that they were encourging kids to apply by mid October. Yikes! I looked at her transcript, updated everything, had her fill out their two page online application, and within just a few days, we had all the paper work in.

I was amazed at how little they required: a transcript with GPA and ACT score, a list of extra curricular activities, plus the online application. That was it! I was prepared to show them samples of her work through the years, along with book lists, etc, but was hoping I wouldn't have to get it all out. :)

We also included a letter of recommendation that was not required, but since she is homeschooled, I thought it might be a good idea. Meg approached the teacher of that college course she took last year and received a wonderful recommendation. Because Meg had written a small paper, taken a test, and participated in class, the teacher had a sense of Meg's ability to handle a college class.

After just a couple weeks, she received an acceptance letter! We are thrilled.

This has all worked out well for us because it means Meg can live at home and save some money. But since she also wants more independence, we're going to create an apartment in the basement of our church/house. You know we live in a 100 year old church, right?

Here is a link to a blank homeschool transcript form you can use as a guideline. For her extracurricular activities, I organized them by year and typed it on a Word document. Just start making lists every month or two, and keep reminders of their activities (certificates, newpaper clippings, photos) in a file folder for each high school year. That will make the job easier in the end. 


JoVE said...

Congrats on college acceptance and on a well thought out plan. You might like this post I read recently about deciding what you want to do: http://www.heartofbusiness.com/ode-to-diapers/

And making an apartment in your basement sounds like a very good way to get independence and a less expensive college experience.

Karen said...

Speaking as a woman with a BS in Human Development and Family Relations, I know what a great major that is. There are so many directions you can go with it when you graduate, because it includes some statistics, some counseling, some child development. In my case, I went on to a Master's in Early Childhood Ed.
Best of luck Meg!
Thanks Jena, for once again giving hope to those of us who have yet to consider our kids' higher education -

Jena said...

JoVE, thanks for that link. Very helpful article!

Karen, it's nice to hear that was your major. :) Meg was glad to hear what you had to say about it.

Anonymous said...

I emailed this post to Uber because he is really getting interested in this kind of stuff, and I realize that it is going to be here before I know it (and WAY before I am ready for it!). Great post...wishing her the very best of luck in this exciting new venture!

gina said...

How exciting!! My oldest just took the PSAT a bit ago- anxious to hear how she did. She's only a sophomore but it's all going by so fast!!

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