Summary: After graduation, the typical next step for a high school senior is heading to the college or university of their choice. It’s important to work with the guidance counselor in the online homeschool program to create a path or checklist to successfully prepare for this next step in an organized way.
Five Steps to Becoming College Ready for Homeschool Seniors
High school starts with 9th grade when students are around 13 or 14 years old which means they may not know if they want to go to college or not or what they want to major in if they do go. That’s okay because they still have interests and skills they have already started developing and these can be used to help create a ‘path to graduation’ to plan out the next four years of classes and electives. This can, and probably will, change and evolve over the time period but the goal is to engage students in subjects they are interested in and want to enhance their knowledge and skills which could lead to a career or degree decision.
As part of this process, parents and students must work with the school to make important
decisions such as whether the teen wants to take standard or Honors classes which allow them to earn high school credits earlier and satisfy the credits needed for graduation. Dual enrollment is another great option allowing students to graduate with a high school diploma and a 2-year degree from a reputable institution because they take a class that is applied to both areas. The details of this program will look differently depending on the enrollment program and its location but are generally offered to 11th and 12th graders. For example, an accredited online homeschool program may have a standard college it utilizes but is not geographically close to the student.
They may also have an option to earn credits from a local school so if you join online homeschool in Florida then nearby community colleges may be available for the student to complete dual enrollment.
Another factor to consider is that students may have a list of colleges they want to attend after graduation so they need to do the research to see what the requirements are, the admissions checklist for each school, and how the online homeschool platform can help with the process.
Transcripts, SAT/ACT results and other documentation may be managed by the school and electronically transmitted to the different colleges, so the student only needs to ensure that everything is moving in a timely manner. The online website for the school should provide access to tools and resources that can help families research the steps, find testing sites, and understand timelines for the different things.
The SAT/ACT tests are commonly required for individuals entering into college as a freshman and are typically offered every year in multiple locations for high school students. If the online program offers an SAT prep elective, it is recommended for the student to take this as early as possible so they can become familiar with the form, timing, and content of the exam. Students can take each of these tests several times if they want to better their score before sending the selected results to their list of colleges. Something to keep in mind is that the SAT includes an Essay (ACT has a Writing section) which may or may not be required by the university so the student can decide whether to opt-in for this or not as needed.
Preparing for college is not complete without considering the financial aspects including aid, scholarships, and costs of tuition and fees. When you join an online homeschool in Florida that is accredited then classes should be NCAA-approved and accepted by most higher institutions on the transcript. This is important because scholarships for sports are tied to the NCAA-approved courses and grades and accreditation helps the transcript to be approved by the admissions board faster and without complication.
Families may also be eligible for scholarships that are state-specific depending on the online program’s organization so this is a question to ask the guidance counselor or a staff member so parents can take advantage of all opportunities. Financial aid is a separate process with specific deadlines for each school year so it’s important to be aware of these and have all necessary documentation readily at hand to complete the process.
There is no restriction on when a parent and student can start looking at colleges so the best plan is to start early in high school so there is no rushing or panicking at the end to make decisions and get everything done. Online homeschool can help with the process and give families the chance to stay ahead of the steps and complete them in a logical and orderly manner. Homeschoolers that graduate through an accredited homeschool program have all the proper documentation to smoothly enter into college and with excellent grades and test scores, they should be able to earn several acceptance letters to choose from. Being prepared means having options and following the path after graduation to the desired end so that students can get to the future they want.