On a special note, the College Board website now has an article specifically on college admissions policies for homeschoolers.

Paying for College

http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/index.html?affiliateId=rdr&bannerId=pay

The “Paying for College” section will be an eye-opener for your teen. Knowledge about the costs of a college education may change the way your teen thinks about his spending habits, especially if he will be required to contribute toward his college education.

Parents will appreciate the site’s comprehensive information on the parts of financial aid—scholarships and grants, loans, and work study programs. Being aware of the financial aid timeline will enable parents to meet deadlines associated with these sources. To miss deadlines may mean missing out on money.

The “Financial Aid Easy Planner” will give you a step-by-step explanation of the various costs of a college education and includes, for your convenience, a college cost calculator. Tips on applying for scholarships, where to look for them, and how to spot scholarship scams make good reading for both parents and teens. A scholarship search engine will help you determine for which scholarships your teen may be eligible.

If you are comfortable with the idea of educational loans, the website offers information to get you started in exploring various loans while warning of the dangers of too much debt. Different federal loans such as Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS loans are discussed in detail.

Many families are able to reduce the cost of college by using the high school years to give their teens opportunities to earn college credit. This may allow their students to graduate early, reducing campus expenses. Other families may choose to take an alternative route, using the community college and credit-by-examination to earn a degree.

Whichever route or method you choose for your family, remember that the Lord is the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills. He will provide the necessary means for your teen’s next steps, since He is the one laying out the path. You can trust Him!

College Board Resources

If all of the above information is not enough, check out additional resources listed on the College Board website, including The College Board Book of Majors (information on career options and trends), The College Application Essay (helpful hints on writing a stellar college application essay), and various reports such as “Admissions Decision-Making Models: How U.S. Institutions of Higher Education Select Undergraduate Students.”

We hope you’re convinced that the College Board’s website is a bonanza of information for both homeschool parents and students. Enjoy exploring the site and utilizing all of its offerings! 

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummerserve as High School Coordinators for Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and helped develop HSLDA’s Homeschooling Thru Highschool Web site four years ago. As former homeschool moms of now-grown children who have graduated from college, Becky and Diane can relate to your good times and bad! Their desire is to help you homeschool through high school with excellence. Most of all, they pray that your homeschooling years are full of joy and the delight of knowing that your investment in your teens is seen and rewarded by the Lord.

This article was originally published in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of HomeSchoolEnrichment Magazine. To learn more, and to request a FREE sample copy, visit www.HomeSchoolEnrichment.com.