Nextstudent.com is a website dedicated to helping students pay for college. They are primarily a student loan lender. As the homeschooler count in the U.S. tips one million, they are turning their marketing efforts to homeschoolers. If you have a student looking forward to college, you may want to visit the nextstudent.com website.
Meanwhile, they took the time to survey colleges about what homeschoolers should do to prepare for college admissions. There will be homeschoolers who do not agree with this approach. There will also be homeschoolers who have gotten into college without taking these steps. Still, here are some tips you can you use to ensure a painless college application.
Use the Common Application, and online service that makes applying to colleges easy. They allow you to fill out one application that can go to any of their 300 plus member schools. They now have a supplement form for homeschooled students. (There is also the portfolio option for applying to colleges.)
Take standardized tests: Since homeschoolers do not have school rankings and GPA’s can be questioned, colleges rely heavily on standardized test scores from SAT, ACT, or Advanced Placement tests. It also helps if the student takes a couple of SAT 2 subject tests.
Apply for financial aid: Many homeschoolers do not realize that they have the same access to financial aid and student loans as other students. The truth is that all students are equal footing (in most cases) when it comes to getting money for college. You can apply for Federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, work-study programs and federal student loans. There is an exception though for federal aid and it is that homeschooler will need to have completed a credentialed or state approved homeschool program.
Read Who Pays for College