I got a wonderful letter from a member, and she was very specific about why she felt her daughter got a huge, Huge, HUGE scholarship that covered a full 93% of the cost of attending college! Here is the short version, in case you are in a hurry, but need to know what Kathleen did to become so successful.
Executive summary for busy parents
Start your transcript early - learn how in junior high!
Keep great high school records so you are ready for anything.
Read excellent literature - quality, not quantity, will help the most.
Be active in your child's education and don't give up.
Consider community college carefully, it can be "Rated R".
Here is the letter Kathleen wrote, so you can learn more.
I have been so blessed by yournewsletters, website, and theTotal Transcript Solution. Last October, my daughter was accepted and awarded the highest academic scholarship from all four of the private Christian colleges she applied to. Two of those universities invited her to compete for "up to full-tuition scholarships," and in early April, she was awarded the Presidential Honors Scholarship at the University for her well-written essay. She was also awarded a vocal/music scholarship after I encouraged her to audition even though she had an insignificant amount of vocal training! All combined, Michaela was awarded 93% of her tuition for four years. Room, board, and books are virtually her only responsibility.
Know that I recently met with the Director of the Honors Program at the University who identified with interest, an unusual activity Michaela completed during high school that was listed on her TTS transcript. I presume the Total Transcript Solution made it easier for the university to conclude that Michaela's unique homeschooling experiences would be a welcome addition to the University community!
Thank you for your sound advice on starting a high school folder. The best thing I ever did was start Michaela's transcripts when she started doing high school work--and that was in 8th grade. And every time we did something, a college class or a field trip, a conference, or a missions project, anything... I printed it off the internet, dated it, and put it in a folder. That little nugget of advice from you has SAVED me. One of the essay scholarship questions on the application was, "What kinds of extra-curricular cultural activities have you done?" Fortunately, I found ticket stubs in Michaela's folder from a Latin museum and a Latino Film Festival we forgot she attended two years earlier for her extra-credit Spanish coursework at the community college. Every parent should have a folder, whether they are homeschooling or not!
The BEST advice you ever gave me: read excellent literature. Michaela scored nearly perfect on the SAT reading and writing components. For lack of time (both hers and mine), she never completed any formal English/writing curriculum during high school. Your encouragement in that area helped me step out in faith believing that it was quality, not quantity that would produce a right result. Michaela devoured good books and wrote in her journals (and I coached her with my limited knowledge of community college general education English!), and she wrote a very creditable essay when it counted most.
Thank you for your dedication and service to the homeschooling community. Your recommendations and resources have empowered me to take control of my children's high school education. I know that we will complete high school with absolute success. My second daughter, only a sophomore this year, is nearly finished with high school and plans to take community college courses this fall in fashion design. Her youngest sisters will be starting junior high in the fall. I have every confidence they will all experience comparable success, and I can't wait to make their transcripts!
Hopefully this will give more parents hope to keep their children out of the public school system. We need to keep sending a message that it can be done! You were right about junior colleges. Just from my girls taking foreign language classes at our local junior college the last 2 years... they've been exposed to a lot of inappropriate behavior from both teachers and students. I didn't feel like I had a choice because they needed language and I didn't have time to teach it properly. I'm glad Michaela made it to a Christian college where at least most of the environment is going to be positive. Can't wait to see the amazing things she's going to do there.
Finally, I give all the glory to God who shows me daily that "apart from Him, we can do nothing." There were weeks and months when we were inundated with admission essays, college visits, sports, injuries, illness, life in general; times when I felt we were so far behind we would never catch up. BUT GOD!