Monday, August 18, 2014

Tips on The College Planning Process for Homeschoolers #JourneytoCollege

Homeschooling through high school and then onto college can be challenging if you do not plan ahead.  No one told us what steps to take and when to take them for preparing for college. For our daughters first  2 years of homeschool high school they took classes for their age and interest. During that time and after the fact we did learn some helpful tips to plan for college. Do you have any college planning tips? I'd love for you to share them in the below comments! This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Kaplan Test Prep. I received compensation to write this post, and any opinions expressed are my own, and reflect my actual experience.


Tips on the College Planning Process for High School Homeschoolers

1. Freshman year
  • Involve your student in all of the college planning. Don't just do it for them but show them and let them know why and how! Get your free 2014 KapMap College Planner and stay ahead of the curve.
  • Include college test prep books or online classes in your homeschool curriculum. This will give the student a chance to get familiar with the test and build their test taking skills. We loved using online classes. Right now Kaplan has a special offer for you. Save $100 when you enroll in their SAT and ACT course through 8/28 and use the promocode: SHESPEAKS100.
  • Talk to other homeschool families who have kids in high school or have started college for their advice.
  • Keep a detailed transcript of classes, activities, volunteer hours, etc. Search online for homeschool transcripts for examples.
  • Check out state guidelines as to what is expected of high school graduates.


2. Sophomore year
  • At this point the student needs to be the one to narrow down college choices and find out if the school requires SAT, ACT or both. They should be taking the initiative to do everything else from here on out with you being there guiding when needed. 
  • Schedule the required test and take it this year. 
  • Enroll in a local Community College to take dual high school and college credit class for the Jr and Sr years of high school. Use the school and guidance counselor to answer questions on transferring to a 4 year.
  • Check out the four year colleges of intent and find out which is better for your student, go in as a 2 year transfer student or as a freshman. Let this guide your student on how many classes to take at the local community college. This includes checking out which classes would transfer, if ACT or SAT are required, tuition and scholarship opportunities for both.
3. Junior year
  • In the summer before junior year, visit and apply for 4 year colleges during college visit days. The student should be the one finding out all of this and checking dates with you on when the visits will be. Most of the time the application fee is waived during these visits. Come prepared to fill out college application, including the essay. Check online prior to going to know what will be expected on the application. 
4. Senior year
  • The student should make final school choice on best fit which can also include the one that gives the best scholarship package. Send all required documents to the school 

Some of these tips seem very basic but for us, we didn't know when to get things going. We didn't check to see if the ACT and/or SAT was required at the school of choice. For our homeschool girls they are taking the last two years of high school as dual credit at our local community college. This has been a blessing and has saved us a lot of money. During these 2 years they can complete all the basic classes for college and even graduate with an Associates degree. One of our daughters just transferred to her 4 year school as a junior with an awesome transfer student scholarship.

I just downloaded KapMap and I wish that I would have had that for our first 2 college girls. The test information and admission tips are very handy and we will use the scholarship information for the next two girls who will eventually transfer to their 4 year school. 

Over all the best thing we have learned in this college planning process is to involve our student in it 100% of the time and pass over the responsibility on to them to take charge of. This way they learn how to deal with the system and feel 100% involved in their own future. 


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