Getting into College
College admissions application will require high school transcripts, scores from college entrance exams, academic honors, community involvement, leadership experiences, letters of recommendation, work, and extracurricular experiences. Transcripts should include the course title, the number of credit hours based on your state's system of recording credit hours, the numerical and letter grade, and the grade point average (GPA).

College applications are designed with traditional high school education and extracurricular activities in mind. If the application includes a long list of extracurricular activities but your student can check only one or two, don't be discouraged. Be creative. Remember, the college admissions committee wants to know your child's background. Create your own attachment and organize his extracurricular activities in a way that puts him in the best light.

While my son could not check the leadership options of student council or class president, his positions in Boy Scouts and within our church proved that he had leadership experience. My daughter evidenced her involvement in community service by recording her time as vacation Bible school teacher, mission trip volunteer, and afternoons spent helping a young mother.

Academic honors can be awarded through you as a parent-teacher, through homeschool co-ops, and by tutors. National academic honor organizations available to homeschoolers include Who's Who Among American High School Students (, National Honor Society (, and National Honor Roll ( Your student should begin requesting letters of recommendation when he begins high school. These outside recommendations lend credibility to homeschool students whose parents have served as teacher, principal, and guidance counselor. Consider seeking recommendations from other academic instructors, coaches, and teachers of extracurricular experiences, pastors, youth leaders, community leaders, and family friends. Ask for three or four signed originals and set up a filing system for your transcripts, entrance exam scores, extracurricular involvements, honors, letters of recommendation, and information about each college.

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Renee Janzen resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her four teenagers. Micah studies engineering at Baylor University, having earned 85% of his college expenses in scholarships. Grace is a homeschooled senior and a candidate for National Merit Scholar. Samuel aspires to be a pilot via the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Natalie is considering medicine, but really wants to be a mommy. Renee operates a home business teaching junior and senior high homeschoolers, advising homeschool families concerning college, and writing. You may contact Renee at

Copyright 2007.
Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Fall 2007. Used with permission.