Posts Tagged ‘college advice for homeschooled’

Online Courses: Build a Better College Resume and Improve Your College Application without Leaving Home

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

High School students in their pajamas can enhance their college applications.
Colleges love to see that a high school student has taken online courses even if no credit is awarded for the course.   Online courses help your student demonstrate they can do college-level work and show their motivation to learn beyond basic curriculum requirements. By taking online courses, students can also explore interests in a particular profession or field of study. Students can also opt to take online classes that can earn them college credit.
Below we’ve listed some courses that can be taken online for credit and no credit. Some are free, some aren’t. This is not a comprehensive list, but a mere sampling.
Free online college courses for no credit:
Coursera offers courses from the top universities, for free to everyone. Current courses come from Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and University of Pennsylvania. Courses range from the maths and sciences to poetry and world music.
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are teaming up to offer free, online, college-level courses under a joint superbrand known as edX. MIT currently offers web-based courses featuring discussion forums, short videos, and laboratory simulations, all under the guidance of MIT professors and teaching assistants. Harvard plans to officially announce its first courses in the summer and begin offering the courses in the fall.
Open courseware at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins is a respected medical school offering a selection of popular courses which would be of particular interest to students who plan to study medicine, or a related field.

Udacity offers a variety of free online courses and students can sign up at any time. Currently all the courses being offered are computer related, and include: Building a Search Engine, Web Application Engineering, Applied Cryptography and Programming a Robotic Car.
Online college courses for credit:
Colleges offer independent study online courses that can be taken any time, any place for credit. They also offer a selection of online cohort courses that follow the semester calendar.

California State University
Miami Dade College
University of Texas
Online pre-college courses, some for credit and some not
Brown University (not for credit)
Students can demonstrate they can do Ivy League level academic work.
Northwestern College (for credit)
This is a college in Minnesota, not Northwestern University.
Oregon State University (for credit)
Through OSU’s Extended Campus, you can choose from over 40 college classes in subjects like Calculus, Art, German, Philosophy, Wildlife Conservation, Women Studies and Atmospheric Sciences.

Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (not for credit)
Provides students with university-level online courses in mathematics and computer science.

Contact International College Counselors
If you have questions on online courses, credit transfer or college applications and are a client of International College Counselors, please contact our expert college advisors at

Homeschoolers and college

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

As a college counselor, I know that college is hard to get into for everyone. They are looking for the best and strongest candidates.  Some of those are homeschooled students.

This week I signed three homeschooled students to my college counseling business, International College Counselors.

First I want to say, good news for homeschooled students and their parents — the college admissions process for homeschooled students has become easier, and more and more homeschooled students are entering colleges. 

In the past, homeschooled students had to fight hard for equality in the admissions process because federal government guidelines made it unclear to universities how their eligibility to receive federal funds would be affected by admitting homeschoolers. This changed in November of 2003 when the U.S. Department of Education sent an official letter to all universities. The letter stated that the admission of homeschooled students to college would not jeopardize federal assistance and clarified the position on compulsory age and self-certification of completion of secondary education.

Subsequently, colleges made adjustments in their admissions process and, today, a majority of colleges, including Harvard University, evaluate homeschooled applicants using the same college admission requirements as those for traditional students.

Requirements for college admission vary by institution but the most common requests include a homeschool transcript, SAT, ACT or SAT II test scores, written essays, external recommendations, and an interview. Other requests may include a GED, student portfolios, a list of texts used, and/or entrance examinations. In addition to academics, schools are looking for well-rounded individuals who have participated in varied extracurricular activities.

The key is start early!  If you’re not working with a college counselor, like the ones we have here at International College Counselors, check with the admissions office to find out what the colleges you’re interested in require, and stick to the guidelines.  Keep detailed transcripts and make sure your student takes the classes required. Colleges prefer an ideal four-year preparatory program. Colleges also place more emphasis on other criteria when one, such as class rank, is missing.

Like traditionally schooled peers, homeschooled students can also qualify for federal financial aid like Pell grants, work-study, and federal student loans to

help pay for college.  You will need to check the requirements for these.  Start early so you have the time to prepare. 

On thing to note, the number of homeschooled students is rising.  This means, that like traditional students, they too will have to work harder to set themselves apart. 

 Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors 

International College Counselors
3107 Stirling Road, Suite 208
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312 USA
(954) 414-9986

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