Okay, I’ve been holding off creating this post because it really is a delicate subject. At first I didn’t want to offend, and then I realized some people really don’t know when they are making mistakes… they really just don’t know. Therefore, I am forced(I didn’t want to) write this post on the “Don’ts of Homeschool College Admissions”.
1. Do not, under any circumstances contact the Admissions Office on behalf of your child. You are not being helpful, and you are not well-thought of for doing it. Encourage your student to contact the school with any questions that either of you may have.
2. DO NOT, under any circumstances, even if invited, sit-in on your student’s admissions interview. Even if its casual and no big deal, even if its at a coffee shop and therefore, a public place. DO NOT feel its okay to even introduce yourself to the interviewer or walk-in with your student.
3. DO NOT monopolize a student-led or otherwise campus tour. Allow your student to ask the “majority” of the questions asked. Your clever quips and observations are not appreciated… I promise you.
4. DO NOT write a guidance counselor letter that sounds as-if your student is Einstein, unless they actually have found a cure for cancer or answered the modern questions on physics and gravity. Otherwise, try to accurately assess the weaknesses and strengths of your student.
5. DO NOT write a guidance counselor letter that says your child is the smartest most intelligent person you’ve ever met… DO NOT. Admissions officers will just assume you don’t get out much.
6. Do not use your guidance letter as an opportunity to re-iterate every award and extracurricular activity your child has ever done. I assure you Admissions officers can read about all of these highlights on the other 85 pieces of correspondence you were required to send.
7. Do not squirrel your child away safely in their rooms until its time for college, and then wonder how you’re supposed to demonstrate “academic passion”. Please, allow your student to dual-enroll, volunteer, attend summer camps, travel for missions trips, and intern(if possible). Give your student the opportunity to “find” themselves and grow that “academic passion”.
8. Do Not wait until the last minute to prep for major standardized admissions tests like, the SAT, ACT, or the PSAT. If you know in 7th grade your child is destined for higher education, start researching testing strategies and test taking techniques most appropriate for your student when they’re in 7th grade.
9. DO NOT. DO NOT homeschool high school and not KNOW your state’s minimum graduation requirements. Seriously, do not do this. You do a disservice to yourself, your child, and all other homeschoolers who look bad because of you.
10. DO NOT think it is okay to allow your student to handle their own college admissions document creation. It is not your student’s responsibility to create their own transcripts, guidance letter, or school profile… it is not. If you don’t feel you can create these documents, ask for help. A transcript created by an 18 year old LOOKS like a transcript created by an 18 year old.
Honestly, I pray that this list helps someone in some small way. If you can think of other don’ts, please post them. If you are a homeschool mom looking at college admissions for your student in the fall, consider yourself warned.