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Confusing college admissions or ‘why the h*** do I need to create a transcript!?’ June 8, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in education, homeschooling, older son.
Tags: , , , ,

So who’s bright idea was it to homeschool anyway!?

Oh yeah. Mine.

So I had things all worked out with older boy. I have always been adamant that I will not give him grades because there is no way I can be objective. I had always assumed college admissions counselors would see things this way, as well. I’m a parent, so I can’t be trusted to be objective about my child. My solution therefore was to have older son take the GED. It’s a nationally recognized and relatively objective standardized test that shows he’s learned the equivalent to that of a high school grad.

Except that I was apparently very wrong.

After several discussions among Mike, the older son, and myself, we decided that older son should try to start taking classes at the university next fall.  Admittedly, he’s doing pretty well with the CLEP stuff, but I want him to start getting a handle on time management and working around classes and such.  Therefore, it was decided he should apply to start classes in the fall.  (We have open enrollment, so applying this late isn’t a problem.)

What a fiasco.

Older son couldn’t complete the online application because it didn’t allow his birthdate.  We also found some verbage saying that students who take the GED must be at least 19 before they enroll.  So we got frustrated and went into the admissions office.

It turns out that the age thing is some sort of statewide effort to prevent students from leaving high school early.  (Why in the world does it matter so long as they’re done?)  However, it turns out that it’s not going to be an issue.  All I have to do is write up a homeschool transcript…complete with actual grades.  And the transcript has to show that he completed the requisite number of years of each of the required core classes listed in their admissions requirements.

Really?!  They’re going to believe me that my kid did this stuff rather than take a test that shows he has the equivalent of a diploma?

Oh yes, and they need SAT or ACT scores.  Fortunately, older son took the SAT two years ago and those scores are above their eligibility requirements.

So yeah…my kid who should technically just have finished his sophomore year of high school but got super high scores on his GED AND had SAT scores making him eligible for college at the beginning of his freshman year AND has already CLEPed out of 3 classes can’t go to college until MOM makes a transcript for him.

I really don’t get it.

I guess this has reinforced some of what I’ve told older son about a big part of college is just learning how to jump through hoops.  Now if you excuse me, I have to go cobble a bunch of useless crap together.



1. Charles J Gervasi - June 9, 2012

That’s a pity. I guess part of college is learning how to jump through hoops. It’s also learning that human institutions are reflect human fallibility. Really cool stuff is not achieved by mastering an institution’s hoops, but unfortunately sometimes it’s worthwhile going along. I have a hard time doing it, so I would probably question whether the school is worth the hassle.

I completely agree that they should trust the tests. Standardized tests are more trustworthy than grades because not all high schools or even teacher’s are the same. It’s esp. bizarre in the case of home schooling. There has to be external assessment.

I would be seriously evaluating what about their program is so good that I should play their game.


mareserinitatis - June 10, 2012

I don’t know if I’d quite phrase it that way. I’m more concerned that what they’re asking me to do is bordering on unethical because of the way I structured his schooling. It’s also frustrating that they can’t accept that he obviously has a good mastery of material despite his lack of formal coursework. I think a lot of it has to do with the view of the GED as an ‘inferior’ way to get a degree. This strikes me as ridiculous as it implies that someone who is willing and motivated enough to go get their degree equivalent on their own is somehow less than someone who just stayed in high school and did what they were told in order to get their degree (which is what most high schoolers do). In other words, if you think for yourself that high school is not worthwhile for you but are willing to do the work it takes to get a GED, you’re not what they want at a college. (Too much thinking for yourself? Almost what it seems like.)

Fortunately not every college is taking this stance, so you’re correct in the fact that I’m looking at other options that allow us to function at least somewhat on our own terms.


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