How to Be the Best Guidance Counselor When Your Homeschooler is Applying to College

When my first homeschooler was applying to colleges, I scrambled for all the information I could get my hands on. I mean, there had to be an all-in-one resource for homeschoolers applying to college. I was shocked to find that there was none.

Sure, I pieced things together the best I could, but dang it wasn’t easy. There were so many unknowns.

Now, after working with hundreds of homeschoolers and seeing tons of homeschool applications and documents, you could say I’ve learned a few things.

homeschool college books and coffee

What I’ve Learned

And that’s what I hope you will find here. A clear path for your homeschooler’s journey.

Download my FREE College Prep Planner for Homeschoolers and know exactly how to launch your teen into a college and life they love.

Your Role as Homeschool Guidance Counselor

Traditional high schools have guidance counselors. Among other things, these counselors act as the main source of communication between students and colleges. Many help students in their college search, their college applications, and their supporting application documents.

Your job is not much different. As homeschool guidance counselor, you will…

get your homeschooler into college infographic

 

When to Start Planning

Ask any homeschooler what they would have done differently and they would say start earlier. But what exactly does that mean?

In Middle School…

  • Understand what your role as guidance counselor really means.
  • Research what colleges typically require of homeschoolers.
  • Plan - as best as you can - a high school schedule that will prepare them for colleges they might consider.
  • Understand financial aid lingo and realities.
  • Start documenting all high school level work.

More on Preparing Your Homeschooler for College

How to Be Sure You Prepared Your Homeschooler for College Admissions
The Best Way to Boost Your Homeschooler’s College Chances
What Every Homeschooler Needs to Know About AP’s
How to Get Your Homeschooler Into Selective Colleges

How to Stay Organized

  1. Plan out your high school years with college prep classes.
  2. Keep track of high school level course names, instructors, grades, and materials used.
  3. Keep track of all extra-curriculars, awards, and recognition.
  4. Collect a few samples of work - a couple of graded essays and a lab report or two.
  5. Create a Trello account and collaborate with your homeschooler to keep up with tasks and deadlines.
  6. Create as many spreadsheets or checklists as you need: financial aid, college list, audition requirements, etc.

My favorite tool to stay organized!
Trello
Watch my video about staying organized with Trello!

College Requirements for Homeschoolers

Some schools have no special requirements for homeschoolers. Others do. But here’s the thing. YOU have to do the legwork and find out. How?

Check each school’s website. Many have information specific for homeschool applicants.
Find out who your homeschooler’s admissions rep is. Many reps are assigned to a particular region of the country. Sometimes, though, you’ll find a specific rep for homeschoolers.
Call or email the admissions office and ask!

Check out this example of College of Wooster’s homeschool requirements.

Creating the Homeschool Documents

When I use the term homeschool documents, I’m referring to four pieces of the guidance counselor application.

Homeschool Transcript

A 1-2 page document that records grades, credits, and GPA.

Course Descriptions

A detailed document that describes courses, materials used, and the methods of evaluation.

School Profile

A 1-2 page document that describes your homeschool history and philosophy, curriculum and state graduation requirements.

Counselor Letter of Recommendation

A letter, written by you, that highlights your homeschooler’s best qualities: academically, extra-curricularly, and personally.

More About Homeschool Documents:

How to Create a Homeschool High School Transcript That Colleges Love
How to Show Colleges That Your Homeschool GPA is the Real Deal
How to Write a Homeschool Counselor Letter That Colleges Love
All You Need to. Know About the College Application Midyear Report

Dealing with the Common App

The Common Application is an online application that many institutions use for submissions. As guidance counselor, you will create and maintain your own account - separate from your homeschooler’s account.

Here, you will answer questions about your homeschool and upload the four homeschool documents I describe above. You will then submit your report to the colleges by the application deadline.

The good news is you can create a practice account so you get a feel for how it works and what’s expected of you as guidance counselor! Check it out!

homeschool college books and coffee

And Be Sure to Read My Ultimate Guide to the Common App!

What You Will Need Most

Being the homeschool guidance counselor is NOT for the faint of heart. There are a lot of balls to juggle in the air.

I created Fearless Homeschoolers for you - the homeschool parent who is doing her best to tackle all that’s required of her.

For more support, check out my services or join our active Facebook Group. There are lots of fabulous homeschoolers, just like you, ready to support you on your journey!

Download my FREE College Prep Planner for Homeschoolers and know exactly how to launch your teen into a college and life they love.

Your Turn

What is the one thing you wish you had a better grasp on when it comes to being the homeschool guidance counselor? Email me and let me know. I respond to every email. :)