Friday, June 29, 2007

Questions about Homeschooled Kids and College

We have a discussion going on our local homeschool list about hs'ed kids getting into college. It started with a question of whether getting a diploma from a correspondence school would be more helpful for applying to colleges.

It's an expensive option, because you'd have to pay for the full course-load, and the child would have to meet the requirements of that corresponcence school to graduate. So it's a great question, and we got some wonderful and helpful answers from parents on the list who have kids that are in college.

I suggested the parent read this article, "Community Colleges Look at Homeschooling," at the VaHomeschoolers site, and also check out the homeschooling teens webpage as well.

Another parent mentioned that her son, in his last year of homeschooling high school this past school year, had this experience at PVCC when he went to enroll in some classes:

Here's how my son's first encounter at PVCC's guidance counseling office went (I swear):

"Hi. I want to take a course here in August. What do I need to do?"

"Do you have a High School diploma?"


"A GED?"


"SAT scores?"


"OK. Sign up here for a time to take the placement exams that everyone taking credit courses here has to take. Now sign up for an appointment with our guidance counselor to pick your courses. She'll help you with registration this first time."

Another parent mentioned the homeschool2college yahoo list as a great resource.

There is some question as to whether a student needs a diploma or GED to apply for financial aid. Here's Ann Zeise's page on financial aid at A to Z Home's Cool. There may be some answers there. Additionally, if a child "graduates" from a homeschool program, the parents can issue them a diploma. I'm not sure if that would be enough for financial aid programs, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone has used that.

One parent replied to our email list that she'd gone through the financial aid process last year and didn't remember needing a GED or diploma.

And here was yet another parent's comment on the subject of PVCC:

Teens can enroll at PVCC without GED/diploma if they are considered dual enrolled, that is, a high school student who is taking college courses. They will receive both high school and college credit for these classes. Jan Reed is the counselor for first year, dual enrolled and home-educated students. She does not make admission decisions, but is very helpful when choosing classes, etc. She will help your student find a professor with a teaching style that works well for her. Also, Susan Hannifan with Disability Support Services is terrific.
Hope this is helpful!

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Meg_L said...

My oldest is finishing his junior year and I do hang out on homeschool2college. I can't say enough about what a resource that list is.
Your question about GED and financial aid - You do not need a GED except in a few states (like NM) that have a special scholarships for residents and explicitly require it. In fact, for many top rank colleges getting a GED would work against you.

Amity said...

I used a portfolio plus SAT scores (at that time required for all applicants) in my college admissions process. No grades, no transcript, no diploma, just a short narrative account of what I'd learned in each subject, accompanied by book and resource lists.

That was all I needed, and it generally left quite an impression - it was apparently a nice change of pace for bored admissions committees.

I did also do a joint enrollment class at a local university in my last year of pre-college home education, but it certainly wasn't emphasized in the portfolio - it for me to get a taste of classroom life, not for the admissions officers.

And ditto what Meg L said about GEDs - they carry a huge stigma for many colleges.

HomeschoolCPA said...

Thanks for tyhe link to Homeschool2college. I'm going to check it out.

I'm a CPA and have helpd several tax clients fill in the FAFSA (financial aid application form). The form does not request a GED. But get ready- it asks a lot of personal questions about your financial situation! I've also read that as personal as the FAFSA gets, some college financial aid forms ask even more questions (value of your home, etc)