7 Ways For Homeschoolers To Prepare for College

February 1, 2012

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(Thank you to Carolyn for this great guest post!)

As a homeschooler, you are no doubt very proud of your academic achievements and will in all likelihood be ahead of the academic curve when you are ready to matriculate into the college scene.  Due to the one-on-one and focused nature of homeschooling many students are able to advance more quickly through their studies and are therefore ready to test out of entry-level college courses.  Math and English test scores are not generally a problem, but the other side of this can be the lack of extra-curricular activities.  To become competitive with public or private school students, you’ll have to reach out into the community to round out your education.  Here are a few tips and resources for homeschool kids to help them prepare for college in their high-school years.

1. Athletics

If you are athletically inclined, but don’t have a school team to join, try checking out your options at community centers around town.  A lot of kids that go to public/private schools and compete on their schools sports teams also play the same sport for a club team.  Activate your social skills and join in!

2. Science Centers

Depending upon your location many cities have science centers that offer classes.  I grew up in Oklahoma City and went to the Omniplex to take lab and astronomy classes in a homeschool group.  Check with your nearest science museum to see if they offer any sort of field trips for homeschool groups or would be willing to set one up.  We got to dissect frogs in the lab, visit the planetarium and tour the gardens.

3. Language Classes

Check community centers and community colleges for foreign language classes.  Most colleges will want you to have a least 2 years of foreign language and studying it out of a book with no interaction might not be as impressive by itself unless you at least pair it with some sort of interactive speaking class.  Libraries, churches, community centers and other resources in your local newspaper and community websites should list any offerings.

4. Volunteering

Due to the open schedule homeschooling provides, you should take advantage of the volunteer opportunities in your community.  Colleges love to see volunteering on your transcript and the flexibility of your schedule may open up doors for you to get involved in ways that public/private school kids can’t.

5. Tests

Before you apply to colleges you will need to sign up for either the SAT or ACT standardized exams.  Get a book of example tests and study them beforehand, it will help to know what you’re about to walk into.  If you are seriously advanced in certain subjects, consider taking College Level Exam Program (CLEP) tests to earn college credit before you even walk onto campus.

6. Shopping Schools

Most universities will offer tabs to explain what is needed for homeschool applicants.  Check out the Online Education Database or other college ranking information to help you determine where you want to attend.

7. Student Aid

Go to the FAFSA website to apply for financial aid once you have selected your institution.

Once you have taken these steps it will be time to get your transcript and letters of recommendation together and actually apply to the school.  Good luck!

Author’s Bio: Carolyn is a guest post blogger who writes on the subjects of higher education, registered nurse schools and the job market.

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