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What to do to Prepare for Your Senior Year of Homeschool High School

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Are you about to be a senior homeschooled high schooler? Curious what to do to prepare for your senior year of homeschool high school? Here is a checklist to keep you on track!

What to do to Prepare for Your Senior Year of Homeschool High School

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Build, Grow, and then Shrink Your College List

Create a balanced list with reach (harder to get in), target (ones you hope to get in), and foundation (sure to get in/fall-back) schools.

Start with a college search and keep a list of the colleges.

On each college’s website:

  • Take a virtual tour
  • Investigate your major’s department. (What classes are offered and required? Internships or research opportunities? Where are grads getting jobs?)
  • Explore Student Life, Athletics, School Values and Culture.
  • Review admission requirements

Link to help:

Check Admissions Requirements for Colleges you are Considering

Have you taken the necessary classes to be considered for a particular college? Some, such as University of California and the California State colleges are very specific.

Do you need to take an additional or different class your senior year? Are there additional steps you should take for the major you are considering? Talk to your mom (homeschool teacher) to get the plans set for your senior year homeschool classes.

What to do to Prepare for Your Senior Year of Homeschool High School

Register for a College Essay Workshop

Check your local library or do one online, such as at College Essay Guy’s Essay Bootcamp. IEW provides an option as well. Here are the Common App Essay Prompts.

Create Your Common App Account

Chances are you’ll need a Common App account because one or more of the colleges you apply to will use it as their form of application.

After creating your account, do these steps:

  • Use College Search to add colleges of interest to your list
  • Use My Colleges to investigate what is required with your application. Recommendations? Extra Essays? Courses & Grades section?
  • Work on the following Common App sections: Profile, Family, Activities, Writing
  • Read the Essay Prompts and brainstorm topics.

Tip: Don’t work too far ahead. Some sections should be filled out after you start school the fall of your senior year.

What to do to Prepare for Your Senior Year of Homeschool High School

Work on Letters of Recommendation

If you know you will need a teacher’s letter of recommendation, reach out now via email or in person. Humbly ask if they will be your advocate, and thank them! As soon as your have worked on the application where you have a link for them to submit the recommendation, email it to them. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Tip: Most colleges require only one teacher letter of recommendation. More letters do not increase your chances of admission.

Not sure if you even need a teacher or counselor letter or essay? Check out Common App Recommender Guide here.

Visit Colleges

Make plans early and sign up for tours/appointments at the colleges you’d like to visit in person.

See 14 Tips for an Effective College Visit and Campus Visit Checklist.

Investigate Cost of Attendance and Utilize Net Price Calculators

Here’s a net price calculator.

Consider whether the schools on your list are a good value. The Return on Investment (ROI) Report is one way to measure value.

Explore More Post-Grad Options

Maybe college right out of high school isn’t the best option for you? Consider and research taking a Gap Year, military, or vocational/trade schools.

What to do to Prepare for Your Senior Year of Homeschool High School

Get Your Transcript Ready

Check with your mom/homeschool teacher to see if everything from your first three years of high school is already on a transcript and ready to be sent with the college applications in the fall. I recommend

Consider Dual Enrollment for Senior Year of Homeschool

Check into CLEP, DSST, AP, or community college classes for your senior year.

Continue to Study for SAT/ACT

Even though many colleges aren’t requiring the SAT or ACT for admission any longer, they are still used for qualifying for scholarships. So, if you’re going to take the test during your senior year, study up this summer to raise your score!

Work, Intern, or Volunteer

Spend your summer learning and experiencing new things. These will be great to add into your essays that you or activities list for the college applications.

Teen Volunteers cleaning the park

Create an Email Just for College Stuff

Make a new gmail email just for college, scholarship, and financial aid applications. It will help keep your other inbox cleaner and keep you more organized.

Read Some Books to Prepare for Senior Year of Homeschool

Here are a few books to read or peruse your summer before your senior year:

Free Download of the Checklist

What else do you recommend to do to prepare for your senior year of homeschool high school? Leave a comment below!

Join the High School Challenge!

FundaFunda’s annual summer High School Challenge contest for homeschoolers is open!
Teens can win Target or Amazon gift cards – or the grand prize of $150 just for doing fun assignments that prepare them for college. Registration costs $5, but everyone is eligible to win the $5 back by only earning 30 points (easy to do). But there are lots of better prizes for students who put in a little effort.
Students get 31 challenges that earn them points. They choose which ones and how many to do and must complete them by July 31.
Included in the price are a free activities tracker (we explain how to use it) and a $20 Intro to Google Drive class for free!
Find out more about the High School Challenge here.

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