Everyone tells you that you have to create a homeschool transcript and other documents for the Common App and other applications, but no one tells you how.
So, I’ve gathered my best resources and articles for you to easily plan and create a homeschool high school transcript and supporting documents that colleges find professional and credible.
Applying to colleges as a homeschooler is different than traditional applicants because you, the parent, act as counselor, submitting documents on behalf of the student and their homeschool.
The four main documents a homeschooler submits to the Common App are:
Your homeschool transcript is the core of your homeschool documents. Admissions will likely look at this first to get an overview of your homeschooler’s academic rigor and grades.
Think of course descriptions as the extension of your transcript. Admissions officers love to see course descriptions because it an adds a layer of context that is necessary for homeschoolers.
The school profile adds yet another layer of context by providing information about your homeschool and its history, philosophy, and academic standards.
Your letter of recommendation adds a powerful perspective on your teen that no one else can give. Use this letter wisely to provide a professional, yet personal, take on your teen.
Yes, colleges accept homeschool transcripts as legitimate and credible. You don’t need to be part of any “accredited” program. You don’t need to get your transcript notarized. Your homeschool transcript is official because you are the counselor, the supervisor of a legitimate homeschool.
However, it is your job to create one that provides context and shows you took your homeschooler’s education seriously.
A homeschool transcript looks like any other high schooler’s transcript. Ideally, it’s a one page document that lists course names, grades, credits, and GPA. Testing may or may not be included. Activities and awards should not be.
Here’s an example of the homeschool transcript template I use for families who use my one one one services:
You can DIY it or use a transcript template or use a homeschool transcript service. All are good options. A few questions to ask when selecting a template or service:
Your homeschool transcript isn’t just a collection of course and grades. It’s a document that reflects all of the decisions that went into your homeschool high school years.
Your GPA is the same. It’s more than a number. And before you calculate it, you have some decisions to make.
Colleges applications are online these days so you’ll simply upload your transcript and other documents through their portals. A few will ask for you to submit through Parchment. Many, however, use the The Common Application, AKA The Common App.
Your homeschool documents have the same deadline as your student so make sure you’re ready. Most college application deadlines are between October and January.
In February, you’ll submit your midyear report. In June, you’ll submit your final transcript. For each, you’ll update the GPA and credits for completed classes.
In most cases, colleges are looking for the same thing in every applicant: academic achievement, extracurricular distinction, and strong character.
The following articles will help you create a high school plan that refines and shapes your homeschool story into an unforgettable transcript.
My method is simple: tell your homeschool story in an authentic and powerful way through the transcript and other documents that you submit through the Common App and other college applications.
Just as you were intentional in homeschooling high school the way you do, create a college application in the same way.
As you enter the high school years, your role as homeschool parent changes. Suddenly, you are counselor, director, leader, manager.
That means you have decisions to make along the way…whether planning high school or applying to college.
My advice? Know your goals. Plan in advance. Keep good records. Stay consistent.
In the early high school years, focus on planning and record keeping. Plan a high school that nurtures your homeschooler’s story and values. And keep thorough homeschool records along the way, updating your transcript and course descriptions each year.
By spring of junior year, focus on polishing all four of your homeschool documents. Become familiar with the Common App so that when it’s time, you’re ready to tell colleges your homeschooler’s story.