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[Book Excerpt] Finding a College

~ A word from our founder, The HomeScholar Emeritus, Lee Binz ~

This is a chapter from my book, Finding a College: A Homeschooler's Guide to Finding a Perfect Fit. You can purchase a copy in print or Kindle version on Amazon.

How to Find a College

Finding the perfect college for your high school student (both the parent and the child love the college) can be like finding true love. The perfect college is the one that loves you while you love it — a match made in heaven. It takes time to find the perfect college but like true love, it's worth it! Your child will probably spend four years of their life there, so it's important to choose carefully.

You want a college that values your child's academic achievements and thinks you are a great home educator. This school should see your child's gifts, adore your homeschool transcript, love your high school records, and see the value of your child's homeschool diploma. A perfect college is not truly perfect but it's a perfect match. The college should respect your beliefs and core values.

In other words, search for the perfect college — they love your child and you love them. Look for a college that has the same views on education as you do. I looked for a college that was student-directed, delight-driven, and always challenging, but never completely overwhelming.

There are thousands of colleges in the United States, so one of the hardest things to do is narrow down your list to a manageable size. Here are three ways to get you started on the path to finding your true love college!

College Fairs

One of the best ways to learn about colleges is to attend a college fair. These events bring many (sometimes hundreds of) schools together in one place, so you can go from booth to booth collecting information about each school. If you don't live in a metropolitan area, it might be more difficult to find a college fair close to you, but it's worth traveling to your local city if they are hosting one.

You can locate college fairs on the National College Fair website at www.nacacnet.org, which lists a huge number of colleges, and the National Christian College Fair at www.nccf.us, which is a bit smaller and only made up of Christian colleges. If you've never been to a college fair before, a smaller event is a good one to start with because they are less overwhelming than big events held in large cities. There are also smaller, local college fairs (including homeschool college fairs) which you can find through a simple Google search.

Testing

Another way to find colleges is through your student's testing experiences. The PSAT®, SAT®, and ACT® each include a college search function. When your student fills out the information at the beginning of the test and agrees to release their test scores, colleges will receive this information. Colleges will send you information about their institution if they think your student would be a good fit for their school.

As homeschoolers, our students don't tend to get their names on national educational databases like public or private school students do, so this school search option is good to participate in. Although homeschoolers are private by nature, at a certain point you want colleges to find your child and invite them to apply. I recommend releasing the information at each test because it can return information about some colleges you may not have considered, or never knew existed. There are many colleges and how are you going to know which ones are out there unless they contact your student?

Online and Book Searches

Another way to find a college to visit is through online searches. You can do a Google search for colleges online, but I prefer using the College Board website at www.collegeboard.com. The U.S. News & World Report website, which offers information on colleges and how they're ranked, can also be useful.

There are thousands of colleges and universities out there, so start early to weed out the ones that don't appeal to you and put together a list of 15 to 20 that are good possibilities. Once you have a list of possibilities, you can start the serious work of narrowing your list down to a few to visit. Remember, true love is waiting around the corner and you must be well-prepared!

Finding a College is one of my Coffee Break Books. What are Coffee Break Books? These are books designed for YOU - a busy homeschool parent feeling frustrated by something, and needing information NOW - all put together in an easy-to-read, short, simple format. Coffee Break Books are perfect for overwhelmed, sleep-deprived moms with a baby on their hip. Simple, large font makes them easy to read even when distracted or pulled in a million directions. They are designed to help parents tackle just ONE issue of homeschooling during just ONE coffee break! Each book combines a practical and friendly approach with detailed, easy-to-digest information. Never overwhelming, always accessible and manageable, each book in the series will give you the tools you need to tackle the tasks of homeschooling high school, one warm sip at a time.

Learn more in my review below:

This is a chapter from my book, Finding a College: A Homeschooler's Guide to Finding a Perfect Fit. You can purchase a copy in print or Kindle version on Amazon.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2024

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