Do you wonder who does the applying for college these days – the parent, or the child? When we were kids, it seemed like mom and dad were out of the College Application Process. Their role was to write the check. Today, parents are becoming more and more involved in assisting their children find and gain admission to college. But what is the proper role for parents to take in helping their homeschool student find a college?
The truth of the matter is that the student is still responsible to do all the applying. Homeschool parents, however, take on roles that are played by public school high school guidance counselors and advisors.
Parents are GREAT guidance counselors, though. The love for their child can ensure success, and their careful consideration will help prevent any major slips. So when you are looking at college applications, it is the student who does the applying: filling the forms, asking for the recommendation letters, writing the essays. It’s the guidance counselor (you) who will guide them through the process, providing opportunities for college fairs, and college visits, and providing “timely reminders” each step of the way.
When we planned our college visits, I made contact with the college and I asked the advisor what they would like me to bring. One time, they asked for “all” my homeschool records. We met as a family with the admissions advisor, and we were all together in the room. He never asked to see my homeschool records, although he did look very appreciative when I brought them. Later in the visit, my children sat in on a classes and I remained at the advising office. I wanted them to know that my children were not so sheltered that I had to go to class with them. As I was there, I spoke to the advisors about my homeschool record keeping. It seemed like an administrative task that a public high school would normally handle, not a student. That is when I gently suggested that they might enjoy actually LOOKING at all the records I had brought with me!
Treat the college search as a partnership between yourself and your homeschool student. In this partnership, they need to take the lead and do the heavy lifting. Your role – as usual – is to guide and remind.