Font size: +

Helping Students With College Applications

Even perfect homeschool teens don't have a thorough understanding of college applications. And who among us has perfect teenagers?

It's tempting to think you can let your child go to fill out college applications, and they will be mature enough to handle it from there, but that's not how it normally happens. There are so many details, deadlines, and complicated forms, it's difficult for a young adult to figure out the system. Working on it without help can make a difference in scholarship awards. The help of a parent is a key ingredient in success.

Because the process is overwhelming, young adults will often need another adult to come alongside and help with the details—much like we rely on others to help us with complicated matters like tax returns, legal documents, etc. Most advisers suggest that you sit down with your teen once a week to go over deadlines and progress. Make sure that each piece of the application process is sent by your family and received by the college. Here is a general list of each item they need to consider, so carefully check the deadlines for each item.

  • Application
  • Application Fee
  • Essay
  • School Specific Supplement
  • Official Homeschool Transcript
  • Athletic or Art Supplement or Requirements
  • Course Descriptions
  • Activity and Award List
  • SAT® scores
  • ACT® scores
  • AP® scores
  • CLEP® Scores
  • Other Transcript 1
  • Other Transcript 2
  • Community College Transcript
  • Course Descriptions
  • Letter of Recommendation 1
  • Letter of Recommendation 2
  • Letter of Recommendation 3
  • FAFSA® - October 1
  • Mid-year Grades
  • CSS/Profile
  • Reply to College
  • Deposit to the college you choose
  • Thank you note to interviewer 

Once you start getting admission notices and scholarship awards, help your child weigh the pros and cons of each school. For each school, review the total out-of-pocket cost by adding together cost of attendance and cost of housing. Then figure out the financial aid they have provided. That way you can determine your student's actual cost of attending each individual school. Then check your financial situation, reviewing how you will fund college, to determine what you can actually afford to pay when the first bill is due.

Calculate the Cost of Attendance 

A. Tuition
B. Fees
C. Books
D. Extra Course Fees
E. Other fees (parking, etc)
Total Cost of Attendance (A)

Calculate the Cost of Housing

A. Housing, Room and Board
B. Meals
C. Travel or Transportation
D. Incidentals (laundry, recreation)
E. Other Individual Expenses or Costs
Total Cost of Housing (B)

Combine Financial Aid 

A. Institutional Scholarship
B. Institutional Grant
C. Private Scholarship
D. Work/Work Study
E. Other Aid Received
Total Financial Aid (C) 

Calculate Actual College Cost

A. Total Cost of Attendance
B. Total Cost of Housing
C. Total Financial Aid
Actual College Cost (A+B)–C

The actual out-of-pocket cost is all the expenses, minus the scholarships. The remainder is the financial gap that must be filled in order to attend college. If you need more scholarships, try these ideas: 9 Tips to Earn More Scholarships NOW. After that, your options are few.

Consider How to Fund Additional Costs

1. College Budget and Savings
2. Student Loan
3. Parent Loan

Senior year is a stressful time. Don't give up! Remember that scholarships usually arrive well after the congratulation letter trumpeting their admission. That means you may have a few months when you know which college your child REALLY wants to go to, but you don't have a clue how you will pay for it. Hang on through that difficult patch. Scholarships often come in waves starting in the fall and continuing through spring semester.

Get four hours of free training from The HomeScholar on how to launch your teen successfully into college and life with Secrets of the College Launch Master Class.

The HomeScholar Master Class will give you a play-by-play plan on how to enable your teen to succeed in the college application and launch process. Each session highlights common challenges you will meet at every stage of the launch process, and then it gives you precise solutions so you can spend less time trying to find answers and more time enjoying the final few years of your homeschooling career.

  • Session 1: The 5 Fundamentals of College and Launch
  • Session 2: The 10 C's of College and Career Success
  • Session 3: Fears and Tears, Cheers, or Wet-Behind-the-Ears
  • Session 4: How to Be Your Child's Best College Coach

The four critical training sessions are all included, and it's all FREE to you! Get the free Master Class now! Secrets of the College Launch Master Class

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

What Do You Need to Homeschool High School?
Early High School Credits in Middle School

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Subscribe to Our Blog


Monthly Archive

208 N Western St.
Amarillo, TX 79106
Phone: 1-888-533-2435
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9.00 am to 03:00 pm (PST)
QR Code
No Internet Connection