Applications Away!

By , January 25, 2011

Monday we hiked to town, carrying packets of mail of Great Importance: transcripts and other supporting documents to complete Aly’s college application, and to apply for scholarships to attend that college.

It’s the culmination of more than three years of study, and a couple of weeks of compiling, composing, arranging, soliciting letters of recommendation, condensing Aly’s high school career into a coherent, concise, clear, marketable package. Our home became an application factory.

homeschool college applications

The "factory floor" in a calmer moment: churning out the scholarship applications! (Photo: Mark Zeiger.)

The additional challenge to Aly’s applications because her homeschooling makes her process a bit different from her peers. Alaska law allows Michelle and I to issue a diploma and transcript, which we will do under the umbrella of Mud Bay Home School. As Administrator of the school, I wrote a two-page school profile that included a mission statement, history of the school (hey, why not?) and an explanation of our method. We compiled a transcript for her that’s quite impressive. We backed it up with evaluations, writing samples, and more. A call to her target school’s Admissions Director assured us we were on the right track.

They, like many colleges, are becoming very familiar and comfortable with homeschool transcripts. In fact, many schools seek out homeschooled applicants, because they add diversity to a student body, and enter college highly motivated and skilled in time management, proper study habits, and many other skills that all students should have, but often don’t, coming from institutionalized education.

We spent Monday afternoon rounding up the last of her letters of recommendation. That ran her up against a class she attends, so Michelle and I took the college application and a package of scholarship applications for that school to the Post Office. Before mailing, the Post Mistress joined us in rubbing the scholarship packet for good luck.

Now they’re gone. Today, we celebrate! There’s talk of games, snacks, and homemade pizza. No doubt we’ll read recreationally once again. We’re bound to watch one of Aly’s favorite movies tonight.

The next day, we’ll be back at it. We’re urging her to apply to a few other schools, just in case. She’s got all the work done, she may as well maximize the value of the effort.

We’ll also be searching out more scholarships to apply for. This is particularly vital. With the cost of postsecondary education these days, and our meager income, she simply will not be able to attend college without significant financial aid. As she wrote in an application letter, “We are living proof that money does not buy happiness. Unfortunately, money does buy a college education, and that’s where I need your help!”

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