Thursday, October 31, 2013

Home-School High School - CLEP, Community College, and Scholarships

CLEP exams, Community College, and Scholarships can be confusing topics when homeschooling in high school. Wouldn't it be nice if there was just one single source for information, so you could figure it all out easily? It seems like there is conflicting information out there!You might have heard that if your child attends a community college, that eliminates your opportunity for a scholarship. This isn't always true but here is the big problem. Universities are each unique companies, with their own policies. There isn't a single answer out there. Each college will do it differently. They may each decide whether or not to accept AP or CLEP tests - and decide if they will be given credit, placement, or used for outside documentation only. They each get to decide their policy on who gets scholarships as well - just those who demonstrate "need" or those who have superior test scores. Those decisions are usually based on only one thing: what will increase their ranking nationally. They will determine what is the best business decision for their company.Meanwhile, their crazy and widely-varied policies can drive applicants CRAZY!! I would love to tell you that you can ALWAYS get scholarships with CLEP or Community College - but that's not true. I would love to tell you that you will NEVER get scholarships, if that were true, just to help you with your planning - but that's not true either!If you know a college has one policy, it's tempting to think ALL colleges have that policy. If only that were the case! To be honest, some colleges accept AP (some don't.) Some accept CLEP (some don't.) Some accept Community College (some don't.) And you really can't give an answer for all colleges. I'm sure that the speaker honestly believed that their experience would apply to all colleges - but it doesn't.The university that my children go to had a unique policy. They would allow 1 year by credit (CLEP or AP) and 1-2 years of community college. They would not allow more than two years of a combined experience, and you had to attend that university for a full 2 years in order to receive a degree from them. In our situation, then, our CLEP and Community College credits all acted as outside documentation that our homeschool had been effective. They provided "data points" showing that my homeschool 4.0 was in fact accurate. It strengthened our overall college admission package, making us a better business investment for their scholarship money.Your best plan is to check with your Number One college, and find out their policy. If you don't have a first choice policy yet (unlikely for younger kids, I know!) then you may want to carefully read the policy on the four colleges where your child is most likely to apply.I wish I could really clarify the issue for you. The truth is that you'll just have to check with each individual university to see what policy they have.