From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


5/1/2008 10:53:19 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--May 2008

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
Q & A Session with College Admissions Officers
Dear Friends,

It's May--how quickly the school year has flown by! We know you and
your children have been working hard all year, and for those of you
who wrap up your school year in June, the end is in sight. As you put
your finishing touches on this year's schoolwork, remember your
efforts are not in vain. Keep going and keep trusting that through
your labors much more than academics are passed on to the next

This month we'd like to invite all of you to join us as several
college admissions officers share their advice and comments for
homeschoolers who are applying to colleges. Without exception, all of
the responding schools (Carnegie Mellon University, Wheaton College,
Savannah College of Art & Design, Belhaven College, along with
Performa Higher Education--an educational college consulting firm)
state that homeschoolers are welcome applicants at their institutions.

Carnegie Mellon University summarizes it well by saying, "Each year,
[we] have seen a greater number of homeschooled applicants. In many
cases, we have found homeschooled students to be very strong
candidates for admission." Tim Fuller, Senior Consultant with
Performa Higher Education and a former director of admission with
Houghton College, added, "Don't sell yourself short! Homeschooled
students often get awarded top scholarships, get admitted to college
honors programs, and in my experience, achieve at or above the
academic level of the average college student."

The following are some tips these schools recommend as you design and
execute your high school program:

Plan out a strong high school program to include both core academic
and elective courses.

Colleges list on their websites the minimum high school requirements
needed for admission. But, keep in mind this caveat from Tim: "Any
course that broadens your educational experience can be beneficial.
And, I would also encourage you to go beyond the minimum core
requirements, especially in subject areas where you have a particular

Rita Gagliano, Savannah College of Art & Design, suggested, "If there
are specific course requirements [that a college specifies for a
particular major], then set about including those in the curriculum."
She also recommended that if your child has specific abilities, then
provide courses or experiences in your high school program to develop

Keep good records.

Jeannine Nyangira of Wheaton College commented, "Since every
homeschool curriculum is unique, students should consider ways to
clearly establish their academic abilities." One of her suggestions to
accomplish this is to "keep grades with clear standards instead of
simply Pass or Fail."

"Documenting the textbooks and/or required reading that were a part of
your child's experience" is recommended by Carnegie Mellon.

A clear and professional-looking transcript is the main tool that
college admissions officers use to evaluate the high school program.
According to Suzanne Sullivan, Belhaven College, "Something very
simple will do, but a transcript of sorts is needed for admission and
scholarship purposes." Samples of transcripts may be found on HSLDA's
high school website.

Other schools make similar requests of homeschool students; so if you
know ahead of time the specific information that a particular college
is interested in, then you can begin in the early years of high school
to record the information and keep it current at the end of each year.
This will be a blessing when the senior year rolls around!

Carefully choose extracurricular activities.

Extracurricular activities play an essential role in the admissions
process. Jeannine notes, " will also be important for a student
to consider their church involvement and leadership and
extracurricular opportunities. We do not expect students to have done
every possible activity. The best advice we can give is to determine
what a student's interests and passions are and then pursue those."
Rita adds, "Get involved! Extracurricular involvement, volunteer and
work experience, church and community service all contribute to a
well-rounded resume and show evidence of a well-rounded student."

In general, being involved whole-heartedly in a few activities is
preferable over being half-heartedly involved in many activities. So
help your teen to narrow down his interests and then put his whole
heart into an activity. This is an opportunity for your child to
develop his talents, showing colleges he is able to stay focused and
persevere towards a goal.

Assist colleges to become better acquainted with your teen.

Jeannine told us that "Wheaton College is interested in the whole
student. During the admissions process we will strive to get to know
our homeschool students academically, emotionally, spiritually... in
short, holistically."

According to Rita, another way that a school can get to know a
homeschool applicant is by the student providing an academic
portfolio. In fact, Savannah College of Art & Design provides a sample
portfolio on their website.

Many colleges indicate on their websites specific homeschool policies
that will help them to evaluate your teen. Some examples are:

University of Maryland
U.S. Air Force Academy (this is a highly selective school)
University of North Carolina
Houghton College (this link provides good info for all homeschoolers
to consider)

Consider a personal interview.

Colleges may have mandatory or optional personal interview
requirements depending on the size of the college and the number of
applications they receive. If an interview is possible, consider the
advantages. Your teen will be able to share in more detail about his
educational experiences while expanding on the projects he's completed
and the extracurricular activities he's been involved in. An
interview affords the opportunity for a college admissions officer to
become better acquainted with your teen.

Tim highly recommends that homeschooled students take time to be
interviewed, stating the interview process is "...a means of helping
you understand the college and them understanding you."

Colleges may give your teen the option to interview in person on the
college campus, by phone, or by a regional alumnus of the college.

Apply for scholarships and financial aid.

In most instances, the admissions officers stated that homeschoolers
are eligible to receive the same scholarships and financial aid as
other students. Financial aid may be based on need or on academic or
extracurricular excellence. It is emphasized that adhering to
deadlines when applying for scholarships and financial aid is
extremely important. Tim also advises, "If you encounter requirements
that seem relevant to public and private school students only (like
class rank), be sure to explain why you warrant consideration

Rita suggests that homeschoolers include a resume with their
applications stating, "While not required for admission, a resume may
enhance and strengthen your admission file when being reviewed for
scholarships." She further encourages homeschoolers to prepare before
taking college entrance tests since scholarships are awarded on the
merits of achieving high test scores. Suzanne agrees because their
"scholarships are based on the foundation of the student's GPA and
ACT/SAT score."

The financial aid sections on college websites will prove helpful in
becoming familiar with the necessary forms and policies of individual
schools. You may also want to review one of our past newsletters on
this subject . Our high school
website provides additional information to direct you to sources for
scholarships and financial aid

Keep it all in perspective.

Be assured that applying to college need not be an intimidating
process! It's clear that homeschoolers are positively impacting
college campuses across the country at state and private, secular and
Christian, and large and small schools. Use this opportunity to lead
your teens in trusting the Lord to guide them in their next step.

Join us next month as we'll discuss the possibility and advantages of
a transition (or gap) year as part of your teen's post-high school

Blessings to you,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Colleges Recruit Homeschoolers

The Missourian: Colleges in Missouri are recruiting home-schooled

Associated Press: Colleges Coveting Home-schooled Students

More college info from HSLDA

Check out the new HSLDA high school brochure: Keeping on Track: A
Timeline for High School

Becky and Diane's speaking engagements:

May 2-3, 2008 Long Island, NY Loving Education at Home (LEAH)

May 9 - 10, 2008--Christian Home Education Association of Pennsylvania

(Becky and Diane)

May 30-31, 2008--ENOCH of New Jersey

June 14, 2008 - Eastern Panhandle Home School Conference of West

-> Is customer service an art or a science?

For us, good customer service is both an art and a science
-it should appeal to our members and be effective. Consider what
our members say about us:

The freedom HSLDA allows me to have as I homeschool is wonderful!
They handle the law and I get to dedicate the time to my daughter.
- National City, CA

HSLDA members since 1993, our membership is just as important to
us as our children's curriculum. Thank you HSLDA for all you do on
our behalf! - West Valley, NY

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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