From Homeschool to Full Scholarship US College University

I am sharing here the experience of a family that home schooled their kids in India from 2009 to 2018: 

Their oldest child has gained admittance into several extremely selective universities in the US though he has been homeschooled from standard 4 until now (nearly entirely in India; they did just one year in the US).  

Here goes:

As you may know, there are as many ways to do home education as there are parenting styles.  We fall somewhere in between homeschooling and unschooling.  That is, we use eclectic materials in a relaxed manner dependent on the child’s interests, but also have required subjects, though far fewer requirements than most traditional homeschoolers, especially in the lower grades.  We encourage lots of free time for personal exploration.  Our second grader finishes her required work in about half an hour, and our 5th grader in about two hours.  The rest of the day they are free to do their own projects.  Our high schoolers, on the other hand, have several hours of work each day, though the type of work is highly dependent on their individual interests.

 

Or oldest is finishing 12th standard and will be attending Cornell University in New York as an engineering student.  He also gained admission to the Engineering programs at University of Michigan and Georgia Institute of Technology, received the highest merit scholarship at University of Maryland College Park Engineering, and received a full-ride (full cost of attendance) scholarship at University of Central Florida – all with a home-made transcript, applying as a homeschooler.

 

For home educators desiring to send students to the US for university, here are some guidelines:

 

  1. For US Universities, only what is done in 9th-12th grade will be part of the application for admission (and since you apply during 12th standard, the only completed courses will be those taken in 9th-11th.)
  2. Look up admission requirements at the universities you are interested in to make sure your student is taking the required courses.  For example, many universities require 4 years of math, 4 years of English, 3 years of science, 2 years of social studies, 2 years of foreign language, etc.  This will vary by university and by desired program of study.  Look this up before your child is in 9th so that you can roughly plan out their high school years (9th-12th).  Because you are homeschooling, you can be creative – for example, instead of 10th grade English, you can do 20th Century Literature and Composition or A Survey of Dystopian Fiction, or whatever your child is interested in.  A science class could be a year long study of black holes, if that was what fascinated your child that year (the course description should explain how this was done at a high school level.)
  3. Along with a transcript, you should provide course descriptions for each course, describing what textbooks or other resources were used.  You don’t HAVE to do this, but it’s helpful, especially if your student has taken advantage of home education to study and do some unique things!  
  4. Standardized tests are especially important for homeschoolers seeking admission to US universities.   Here in India you can sit for:  SAT or ACT (you need one of these, not both – you can take practice tests and see which one you do better in), SAT subject tests, and AP (Advanced Placement) tests in various subjects.  College Board (collegeboard.org) is where you sign up for SAT, SAT subject tests, and AP tests.  ACT (act.org) is a separate organization.  Most universities require either the SAT or ACT, and many require 2-3 SAT subject tests, especially if you are a homeschooler.  No university requires AP tests, but they are great for showing college-level learning. 
  5. Competitions may be another way of proving what your child has accomplished; they are great if you have a child who likes them.  Olympiads, math competitions, etc. all are great for homeschoolers.
  6. If your child is a US citizen, have him/her sit for the PSAT.  You can call around to International schools in your area to see where it is being given.  If your child does very well on the PSAT, they can become a National Merit Scholar and get a FULL RIDE (FULL COST OF ATTENDANCE) or FULL TUITION scholarship at many universities.  Our son’s full ride scholarship at the University of Central Florida was based on being National Merit.  UCF has a wonderful program for National Merit students, as does University of Alabama, University of Kentucky, and many others.
  7. There are many on-line high school courses that are asynchronous, so that the time difference is not an issue.  Our students have taken several classes through PA Homeschoolers as well as WriteAtHome, which offers online English classes.  There are MANY providers of asynchronous online classes that students can take from India.

If you have any questions do drop in a line and I will get back to you!

 

 

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