During senior year, universities may ask you to provide mid-year grades, sometimes called a "mid-year report," in January. This is a regular part of the college application process, even if a student has already been admitted. Colleges want to see what - and how well - your child is doing during their senior year.
How Do I Prepare a Mid-Year Report?
The mid-year report came as a complete surprise to me when I was homeschooling. I had never before provided semester grades: only end of the year grades. I spoke to the four colleges we had been admitted to and explained the situation. Remember that your goal is to give colleges what they ask for, unless it conflicts with your beliefs. When you are easygoing and agreeable, they are more likely to have positive feelings about your child's college application. When requested by a college or the Common App, resubmit your homeschool transcript with some sort of indication about mid-year grades.
Carefully follow the mid-year reporting directions provided by the university. If you use the Common App, there is a space to provide the mid-year report. If you know your child has earned an A, give them an A. It's acceptable to estimate mid-year grades. That said, there are many ways to note mid-year grades in a college application, and it all depends on how you homeschool and how you grade. There is no one "correct" way to do it.
On your transcript, instead of a grade you can say "S," and make a note that "S indicates satisfactory progress through the first semester." You would not need to recalculate GPA.
You could indicate the grade thus far, with an asterisk (3.0* or B*) and in your notes section of the transcript say "* Class is in process, grade provided is a mid-year estimate not included in GPA."
You could say IP for the grade, and in the notes say "IP indicates class in progress. Grades are calculated and provided yearly."
You could provide your child's grade in each class (4.0 or A) and adjust the credit value and recalculate the GPA.
Semester Classes on the Homeschool Transcript
If the student has finished a semester-long class in December, include the final grade on the homeschool transcript. Include the final grade and credit into the GPA. Dual enrollment classes that are completed would also be included.
If you are beginning a semester-long class in the midwinter, then you include the class title on the transcript. In place of the grade, indicate "IP" (for "In Progress"). Include the credit value expected on the transcript, but don't include the credit or grade in GPA calculations.
Mid-Year Grades From Other Schools
If your child is taking dual enrollment classes, you will need to have the dual enrollment community college or university submit their final grades for the quarter or semester, and send those transcripts to the colleges your child has applied to. There may be a small fee. You can include those completed college courses on your homeschool transcript, as well.
If your child is taking classes at a public or private school that provides a transcript, then that school must also send a transcript with mid-year grades to the colleges your child has applied to.
Grades from homeschool co-ops or online classes that do not provide a transcript are the responsibility of the homeschool parent.
Mid-Year Report Demonstrates Progress
The mid-year report is intended to demonstrate progress, rather than senioritis or slacking off. As part of the mid-year reporting, you could choose to submit an updated homeschool transcript, a summary sheet, and any new information in the updated activity list. A cover letter might show the summary progress, listing each class, the current percentile grade or current grade in the class, and the updated cumulative GPA. Add any new awards and honors and new awards in progress. If taking classes outside the home, some parents will include mid-year reports provided by the homeschool coop teacher of those classes.
Final Report for College Application
When senior year is finished, this process should be repeated with the final report. That homeschool transcript will include all final grades, graduation date finalized, and the total GPA for all of high school.
Plan to Celebrate Your Graduate
Winter of senior year is the time to start seriously considering graduation and how you will celebrate. Your plan for graduation takes forethought, not just for the culminating graduation ceremony, but also to ensure your child has accomplished everything you want them to before leaving the nest. My book Graduate Your Homeschooler in Style: Make Your Homeschool Graduation Memorable will help you master the details of graduation ceremonies and mementos, party ideas, senior year essentials, packing for college, and what to do when homeschooling is finished.
This book is part of the Coffee Break Books series. Designed especially for parents who don't want to spend hours reading, it includes easy-to-digest information, perfect to read over a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop. Never overwhelming, always accessible and manageable, each book in the series will give parents the tools they need to tackle the tasks of homeschooling high school, one warm sip at a time.