Just as your student is carefully considering which colleges are the right fit for them, colleges are looking for certain qualifications in prospective students! Here’s a quick overview.
High School Transcript
All schools place heavy consideration on the high school transcript because it demonstrates whether a student has met or exceeded minimum course requirements.
College Entrance Exams
Colleges expect a student’s SAT, ACT, or CLT score to align with their GPA, and this is particularly important for homeschoolers. A high GPA that doesn’t correspond with similarly high test scores could reflect grade inflation or bias.
As a homeschooling parent, you play a vital role in documenting your student’s academic courses. You’ll want to create an official high school transcript that lists all high school–level and dual-enrollment courses completed. And it will make your life so much easier to update the transcript each year as your teen completes courses rather than waiting to fill in the whole thing in your teen’s senior year.
During the senior year, it’s helpful to colleges if you go ahead and list all planned senior-year coursework and credits on the transcript, but in the grade column, enter IP (for courses in progress) or Spr (for courses
that will be taken in the spring).
At the end of your teen’s senior year, you’ll want to replace IP or Spr with the final grade for each course. (Because most students apply to college in fall of the senior year, remind your teen that colleges place a lot
of importance on junior-year course grades for acceptance.)
Because your teen’s transcript represents their homeschool education, you’ll want to be sure it looks professional. There are lots of tools to make this easy for you, and we can walk you through the process of creating your teen’s transcript.
Beyond the Transcript: Other Things Colleges Consider
Other important components that colleges consider are not found on the high school transcript. Colleges actively seek students who have developed leadership, demonstrated initiative, shown responsibility, committed themselves to service, developed special
talents, or honed remarkable abilities.
These qualities are most easily seen through extracurricular activities but can also be highlighted in college essays. As the parent of a homeschooler, you have a unique opportunity to plan, document, and present unusual extracurricular activities that
will impress colleges and help your teen stand out from the crowd.
Each year, parents and teens should add to an extracurricular activity sheet that lists any part-time jobs, summer jobs, community service, volunteer work, mission trips, clubs (4-H, Civil Air Patrol, JROTC, etc.), leadership positions,
councils (youth group leadership council, etc.), summer camps, awards, and certifications/training.
Describing All the Things
Lastly, we recommend that parents write course descriptions for all high school classes. Although not every college requires them, course descriptions provide a good record
of the content of courses shown on the transcript. Course descriptions come into play when students apply to selective colleges (including all of the U.S. military academies), compete for sizeable scholarships, or seek to qualify for Division I, II,
or III college athletics (NCAA).
Now that your teen’s prospective college list is narrowed down and important documentation has been prepared, your student can begin completing college applications.