What do you do NOW? Homeschool junior year is filled with key tasks that must be done in order to successfully get college admission and scholarships. But absolutely NOTHING is normal this year!
Normally, during homeschool junior year, students should take PSAT/NMSQT®, attend college fairs, prepare for and take the SAT® or ACT®, visit colleges, and choose 4-8 colleges where they will apply during senior year. How is any of that possible when nothing is normal?
"A student who does not take the PSAT/NMSQT because of illness, an emergency, or other extenuating circumstance, but meets all other requirements for NMSC program participation, may still be able to enter the competition. The student or a school official must write to NMSC as soon as possible after the PSAT/NMSQT administration to request information about procedures for alternate entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program. To be considered, a request must be postmarked no later than April 1 following the PSAT/NMSQT administration that was missed. The alternate entry request should include the name and address of the student; the contact information of the person making the request; the name and address of the student's high school; and a brief explanation of why the student missed the PSAT/NMSQT. The earlier NMSC receives the written request, the greater the student's opportunities for meeting alternate entry requirements. Upon receiving and processing the request, NMSC will provide alternate entry materials, including instructions for program entry and a form that requires the signature of a school official." ~ NationalMerit.org
Finding the colleges where students will apply is the overarching goal of junior year. The first step is to attend college fairs. With most convention centers closed, the usual plan is a mess right now. Attend an in-person college fair if you can, but also make a plan to attend college fairs virtually. There are two options, and I encourage you to attend both. Find a Virtual College Fair: NACAC Virtual College Fairs and Christian College Virtual College Fairs
Download my eBook Finding a College You Love to learn more.
By the end of junior year, you'll want to be sure your student chooses 4-8 colleges where they will apply. Because colleges may be closed, or students might become ill, consider the location of the university carefully. Is it close to home or to a close family member? Can you drive there and back, moving the student without requiring a flight? Do they have excellent online classroom management, in case campus is closed? And does the university have high quality health care with safety measures already in place?
Whatever college your student plans to apply to, homeschool records have never been more important. When schools are closed and the SAT® and ACT® tests can't be taken, how do you prove high school academic success? Homeschool records! Prepare your records now, while you are healthy and have time. I've helped my fair share of parents who have been extremely ill with coronavirus and are really struggling to make their homeschool records right now. Create a professional and accurate transcript and thorough course descriptions. Provide a list of activities and awards and a reading list. Application forms may require additional documentation, but having those records ready to go will make your life much easier in the long run.
Homeschool records are a way to provide pandemic-proof, outside documentation of the homeschool transcript, but the records must be ready. You can find more information about how to make your student's complete comprehensive academic records here.
PSAT/NMSQT® is a registered trademark of the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
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Great post, you are the BEST!!
Grand Canyon University has free virtual campus tours you can click this link to sign up: Live Tours: https://forms.gcu.edu/gtr/gcu-live-tours?gcu_source=udr
We have many homeschoolers taking our inexpensive dual enrollment and each class is lead from a Christian Worldview, here is the link to our dual classes: https://www.gcu.edu/individual-courses/dual-enrollment
We also have homeschool specific high school counselors you can reach them at email@example.com WE LOVE our HOMESCHOOLED students and also have no out of state tuition. YAY! Email us if you have any questions on the college process, we would love to help!
Having had 4 NM scholars, our family sees the PSAT as our most important test. (All four had multiple options to go to college for free--tuition, room, board, books, computer, study abroad, etc.) In fact, our youngest, a 10th grader, is taking it as I type this. Back in August, I signed her up at two different schools in two different counties that will administer on two different days. Because she is in 10th grade, she is allowed to take it more than once (as per PSAT-NMSQT rules), so she will get more practice.