How to Create the WOW Factor for College Admission
Submit comprehensive records for the best chance of convincing a college that your child is a good fit for admission and scholarships.
But comprehensive records are ... well ... comprehensive. Often admission officers don't read the whole package, word for word.
Sometimes a college looks at your records just long enough to know that you are one of those homeschoolers who, you know, educates your child. Don't laugh ... this doesn't always happen!
Submit comprehensive homeschool records with your official application package. This will become a large piece of the information they use to make their admission determinations.
Or let me put it another way. Part of the admission and financial award decision is based on their gut feeling about the student in general. It's not quite based on how much they like your child, but more how much they like the child's fit within the college for a variety of reasons. This is why they have a lot of leeway in influencing scholarship decisions. "We balance feelings with facts" one college representative said to NPR.
You want to provide the WOW factor when you apply so they like your student more.
Provide the WOW factor by convincing them of your homeschool's academic rigor and your child's scholastic achievement, by showing colleges exactly how hard they worked in their classes.
Submit comprehensive homeschool records with your actual application. It goes along with the forms, essays, and test scores. The comprehensive record becomes a major piece of the application, like an SAT score, that alone may not produce a dollar for dollar scholarship amount, but gives an overall impression that can earn scholarships because they like your child's application.
College admission advisors fight over students. Each admission advisor has their favorite kids. They meet together and fight over who deserves admission, and sometimes even the amount of scholarship money they deserve. You want them to have all the tools in their arsenal to fight with. Comprehensive homeschool records are a big piece to include. Let me show you what it actually looks like as they are talking about each applicant. This is a two minute video, but very helpful in explaining what they look for, and why I recommend what I recommend.
College Admissions: Inside the Decision Room
This is a video of what it actually looks like to be in the room while advisors are talking about each child and what is in their application package. You can hear them confess, "I'm going with my gut here" and how they talk about different pieces of the application.
Notice how the "make grandma gasp" technique works in the essay. Read more: College Admission Essay Tip: Make Grandma Gasp, Not Blush!
And they are looking for proof of how the child was educated. At one point they mention a child who earned multiple perfect 5 AP scores without taking AP classes. This is the impact you are trying to make.
You want them to say, "How did this kid who was homeschooled end up so educated and so talented in what they love?"
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