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Looking Ahead to College—Part 2

  • Maggie S. Hogan
  • 2002 7 Oct
Looking Ahead to College—Part 2

How do colleges assess homeschoolers? This is taken from an article titled, “Home Education, College Admission and Financial Aid” in the Journal of College Admissions. It is valuable to understand what colleges consider in admitting home-schooled students.

“Assessment is a very serious issue. Often, admission personnel cannot easily get a feel for what has been learned at home, nor can they visit the home school as one might visit an alternative high school. Since there is no monolithic model of home education, there is no simple formula for assessment . . . Admissions officers might want to look for descriptions of programs of study, lists of projects, books, curricula, correspondence-school curricula should be examined. Outside evaluations of the student’s work might be in order, much like the mentor evaluations in adult degree programs. This is especially true for projects, many of which admission officers may neither have there time nor the background to evaluate. Many home-educated students audit, or take for credit, courses in junior colleges. Community-based projects could be important to look at. Obviously, essay and interview are germane.”

Widely Used Exams for College Acceptance and/or Credit

Send for information, then read and follow the directions carefully. There are books and computer software available to help prepare for each and every examination. The mega-site for college planning and test registration (except for the ACT) is www.CollegeBoard.org. Don’t miss this site!

PSAT/NMSQT - Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test -- This test measures verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities. It's traditionally considered the practice test for the SAT. Eligible juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT in October will automatically be entered into the National Merit Program.
Merit Scholarship awards will be given to approximately 7,000 - 8, 000 students based on their scores. A number of home schoolers over the last few years have been granted full or partial college scholarships because of the National Merit Program. Pre-registration and a small fee are required. Although it is traditional to take this test in the junior year (and the junior year is the year that counts for National Merit) consider also taking it in the sophomore year for additional practice. Register with your local high school.

For more information:
P.O. Box 6720
Princeton, NJ 08541-6720
(609) 771-7070

SAT I - Scholastic Aptitude Test (Formerly SAT) -- The SAT 1 is a three-hour test primarily consisting of multiple-choice questions that measures verbal and mathematical abilities. It’s administered six times per year; pre-registration and a fee are required. Register directly with the College Board.  (Heads up for 2005 – the SAT is adding essays, replacing analogies with critical reading passages, and expanding the math section.)

For a registration packet and a free copy of "Taking the SAT 1," write:
College Board SAT Program
P.O. Box 6200
Princeton, NJ 08541-6200

ACT Assessment® -- The ACT Assessment® is designed to assess high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. Go to www.ACT.org for more information and registration.

AP - Advanced Placement Exam -- The AP program offered by the College Board gives high school students the opportunity to receive college credit for what they’ve learned in high school or on their own. Tests are only given in May by participating high schools. (Although College Board welcomes home schoolers, you might have to be persistent with the local high school.) Students must register before April. I recommend you work out the details well in advance.

For free brochures on this program write:
Advanced Placement Program
P.O. Box 6670
Princeton, NJ 08541-6670

CLEP - College Level Examination Program -- CLEP offers credit-by-examination in a wide range of subjects commonly required for college undergraduates. CLEPS may be taken by students of any age. Taking and passing even a few of these tests can save time and money and allow capable students to get into meatier, upper-level college courses sooner. Write for the free CLEP Colleges booklet. Although most colleges accept CLEP credits, not all do. Ask colleges you may be interested in for their CLEP policy. Our oldest received credit for all the CLEP tests he took.

P.O. Box 6601
Princeton, NJ 08541-6601

Of course, there is another option entirely: College at Home. This is becoming more and more popular with home schoolers but it is an article in and of itself. Finally, think of this as just another extension of your home schooling. Continue to pray, plan, and prepare as you go down the college path. Happy Trails!

Maggie Hogan is a motivational speaker and co-author of "The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide," "Gifted Children at Home," and other resource books. She and her husband Bob have been home schooling their boys since 1991. Involved in local, state, and national home-schooling issues, they both serve on boards of home education organizations in Delaware. They are also owners of Bright Ideas Press (www.BrightIdeasPress.com), a home-school company dedicated to bringing the best practical, fun, and affordable materials to the home-school market.


Maggie's e-mail address is Hogan@BrightIdeasPress.com.

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