How to Avoid Writing Homeschool High School Course Descriptions
I’m a huge advocate of parents creating homeschool course descriptions and transcripts, and I have all sorts of great resources on my website to help even the most intimidated and overwhelmed parent do this. But I also realize that some people won’t get around to. Although many, if not most, colleges like course descriptions to accompany a homeschool student’s transcript, there are several strategies for those who simply want to avoid writing them. If you’re one of these parents, here are some suggestions for achieving college admission success without them.
Check College Requirements
One method is to search for specific colleges which don’t require course descriptions. Some colleges only have five minutes to evaluate each applicant, so they don’t have much time to look at them closely. The difficulty is that you won’t necessarily know in advance whether colleges require course descriptions or not, because sometimes they don’t publicize this information.
Outside Documentation through Tests
A second strategy is to use test scores to supplement your child's transcript. Provide outside documentation through tests, which can reinforce the grades and evaluations represented on your student’s transcript. Testing options include SAT Subject Tests, AP exams, and CLEP exams. If you don’t include thorough documentation, sometimes a college asks the student to take the GED®.
Outside Documentation through Classes
A third option is to have your student take courses through a classroom situation, such as community college, online classes or distance learning - providing a transcript from a third party. Even with these outside classes, some colleges still require course descriptions, so it’s not always a perfect solution.
A fourth strategy to avoid course descriptions is what I call the “back door strategy.” This is when your student goes to community college, and later on gets their foot in the door to a 4-year university. Universities want to know that a student can handle college level work, which is why they want information on your homeschool.
Some universities will give direct admission, and some require an automatic transfer agreement with public universities if your child has an AA degree (a two-year degree) from a community college. The university may provide admission based on performance in class and with an AA degree, your child may enter as a transfer student rather than a high school senior. If a student has two years of community college and an AA when they apply for college, they may apply as a transfer student.
Fewer scholarship opportunities may be available with this method. If you’re using community college classes as a way to avoid course descriptions, make sure your child understands they need to get all A’s and B’s in order to earn college admission. Be careful, because this strategy can require a lot of hard work, but it is worth looking into.
Whatever choice you make, be sure to research the requirements of colleges you’re interested in, so you’re prepared to do what it takes to help your student earn admission!