Research

Research

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In 2015 I had an idea….

My son was getting ready to start high school, and I realized that if we were going to continue homeschooling through high school, I would need to add “college counselor” to my list of other homeschooling-related responsibilities. First, though, I needed to do some research and find answers to some of my burning questions about college admissions for homeschoolers. I found lots of stories about other homeschoolers’ personal experiences going through the college application process, and these were encouraging, but I wanted more strategic information. I wanted to know things like:

  • How do admissions officers viewed homeschoolers? Do they think they’re academically capable? Socially competent?
  • What can our kids could do to stand out in the admissions process? How can we best demonstrate their academic capabilities without standard transcripts and GPAs?
  • What common mistakes should we avoid?

The short story is, I didn’t find much. So, I decided to ask college admissions officers these questions directly, and then share it with other homeschoolers who I figured probably had similar questions. After some thinking and planning, the result was a year-long research project comprised of two national surveys:  one for homeschoolers, another for college admissions officers.

Survey of Homeschoolers

I invited homeschoolers from all over the country to share their experiences, concerns, and questions with me about the college admissions process so I could make sure to include them when I talked to college admissions officers. And boy did they! I heard from parents in every region of the country with all types of worries, requests, and general concerns. After gathering this input from over one hundred families over a couple of months, I developed the next step of the process….

Survey of College Admissions Officers

Through an online survey, I then asked college admissions officers from all types of schools in all types of places to share their perspectives about homeschoolers, along with their recommendations for what our kids could do to best represent themselves throughout the application process. And they did! I got some amazing information, did some follow up interviews, and wrote a few articles. But mostly, I decided that the best way to share this information was in a book…

So that’s what I’ve been doing throughout most of 2016 — writing my first book about college admissions for homeschoolers. It will be released in 2017 by GHF Press, and I’ll definitely let you know when it’s available — make sure to follow this site so you’ll receive announcements! I’ll also be traveling around and doing some speaking about this topic, too, so stay tuned if you’d like to know more and have a chance to meet in person.

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