How can homeschooled students stand out?

Application Process

Our counselors answered:

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Nathalie Galindo

How can homeschooled students stand out?

When thinking of ways to stand out as a home-schooled student, the primary thing to remember is that being home-schooled doesn't necessarily mean you can't participate in things outside of the home. If you are a home schooled student (or the parent of a homeschooler), you must remember that Admissions Officers are doing the best they can to make a case on your behalf, but they need the right ammunition to do so. So consider this: The 3 main parts that are reviewed throughout the application process are: Academics, Extracurriculars and Personal Qualities. If you are able to corroborate your excellence in all of these different areas through THIRD PARTIES (this is very important, since family members will likely have a biased perspective), then you'll be able to stand out. When it comes to academics, remember that, if you have the means, you may be able to take classes early on at a local community college or other academic institution. Make an effort to take classes outside of the home, be they online or in person, and most importantly, that you build a strong relationship with a reputable academic who can speak honestly about your academic preparation. Sure, your grades will play a role in all of this, and your test scores too (yes, they still need to be excellent too), but these don't give admissions officers a full picture of your academic prowess. In terms of extracurricular activities, sure, you may not have access to some of the same resources available right on the school campus, but make an effort to find ways to get involved with your community: join a sports league, create volunteer projects, work with local government, run your own nonprofit, create your own business, etc. Whatever it is, make sure that you not only do a variety of things that create deep impact in your area of work, but also that there are third parties who can corroborate how much of a difference these make. Admissions officers need to get a sense of how different, unique or extraordinary your activities may be (at a local, state, national and international level) so be sure to explain that in the application process. Finally, in terms of personal qualities, be sure to convey how you interact with peers of your age group, and that you get to know a reliable adult outside your family so they can speak to your personality and your ease of adaptation to different communities. Colleges and universities are seeking mature young people to come to their campus and bring a positive perspective to the college experience. College tends to be a truly life-changing opportunity, in great part because of the people you encounter there-- if you don't have the maturity to maintain positive relationships with those around you (regardless of whether you are a home schooled student or not), it will be much harder to make a case on your behalf. Remember that in order to really stand out, you must demonstrate excellence in all areas. After all, you are competing with thousands of students each year, both home-schooled and not, who do wonderful things to maintain an excellente academic profile, impact their communities, and remain wonderful people to be roommates with. Use the home-schooling experience to really stretch the boundaries of what you can participate in and what you can contribute to society, and you'll certainly have the chance to stand out in the admissions process.

Suzanne Shaffer
Owner Parents Countdown to College Coach

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Home schooled students are no longer frowned upon by colleges. But in order to stand out they need to keep excellent records, supplement their home education with some structured education, and be involved in extracurricular activities.

Sarah Glover
Student Mercy College

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Home schooled students have many ways to stand out. I'll list a few below. 1.Play up your strengths. Are you an accomplished violinist? Are you a math whiz? Is reading your forte? If you have a great strength, play it up! Sometimes home schools don't have the same requirements as public school students, and as a result, their transcripts may look a little bare in comparison. If you took a piano class, you took music, and that can go on your transcript. Sometimes, you have to be a little creative. Did you debate in high school? That's logic! Did you attend a seminar on how the government works? That's social studies! It's not that you didn't learn everything that the public school kinds learned, you just learned it a different way. And that's what makes homeschooling so incredibly fantastic. 2. List ALL your extracurriculars. ALL of them. If you took anything outside the house, anything at all, list it. On everything. Especially your applications. Colleges are looking more and more for opportunities for kinds to learn outside of class, to gain life experiences and bring them ahead of the crowd. Homeschooling students have greater opportunities than public schoolers, since school work is more flexible. So, get out and do whatever your community or city offers, then list it all on your resume or your transcript. That will help you stand out from the rest.