There are some things so big, so all-encompassing, that you just have to live through it to understand the enormity of the task: marriage, childbirth, and running a marathon are just a few things that come to mind. I would have to add college applications to the list after helping hundreds of families over the years make it through. There are just so many moving pieces to keep track of, so much stress, and so little time to get it all done.
One thing that often happens during this onslaught is that families lose track of what is of critical importance and what is “nice if we have time.” Too often students will invest days polishing a website, recording a music supplement, or putting together an art portfolio. In truth, unless the student is going to conservatory or majoring in music or art, this is not the best use of limited time. At least, not until the important things are done and polished to the best of their ability.
What is important? For the student, the most crucial pieces of the application are the essays and the activity section. If these are not done well, the opportunity to communicate important information to the college is forever lost. The essay is the student’s voice, their statement about who they are and what they think about. The activity section shows what is important to them and how they spend their time.
The important things for a homeschool parent are the transcript, course descriptions, school profile, and counselor letter. These are the documents that provide context and show the rigor of the school.
Until these critical documents are refined, don’t get tempted to do the fun things like websites and supplements. The admissions officers might not even get around to reviewing the extra things that are sent as part of the application. Time is limited and you don’t want a major investment on things that have minor impact.
Are you on our VIP List? If you would like to receive our newsletter, be the first to be notified of sales and new classes, and get special updates, click here!