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Old 12-13-2012, 09:50 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by sureshs View Post
Math can be managed. It is the science courses with labs (regular and AP) which are very difficult/impossible to duplicate at home. For the regular courses, I guess the labs can be done with one of the home-schooling science kits. But for an AP science course, teacher's guidance in the lab becomes very important and the lab itself is subject to College Board guidelines for it to be accredited.

My son is doing AP Biology this year and the content and labs are way, way above what I studied a generation ago. I have no clue what is going on.
Not really. Science classes today are becoming more and more of a joke. The amount of "real" science done in classes nowadays might shock some people. Many times in class we had virtual "labs" that amounted to little more than pressing buttons on a screen and watching the computer do the processing. I went to a school that had the IB program instead of AP but my friends in the neighboring school (same district) reported similar experiences.

Clearly there are still moments that cannot be replicated at home, but the gap is closing every day.

Originally Posted by chalkflewup View Post
Let's talk real world. Only a fraction of the entire student population possesses the academic credentials necessary to get into an Ivy League school anyway. Nevertheless, I know of an Ivy League school that just signed and accepted a home schooled student. And, there are home schooled kids playing tennis at West Point - today.

An institute of higher learning will not turn an eagle away if the test scores are there and if the applicant has outstanding leadership qualities (a big forehand helps too).
Many kids devote pretty much their entire time to tennis though. How are you going to be involved in activities like DECA , JSA, etc.? How are they going to pursue leadership positions not through a school that do not lead to a serious time commitment? I'm not talking about just 1 position here. You see kids with excellent academic credentials and leaderships in multiple clubs, organizations, and sports teams get rejected from the top universities in the nation.

You have to understand that if you're applying to any of the elite colleges in the nation, for every person that is accepted, numerous others with the same or similar academic qualifications are rejected. It is a crapshoot at that level.

Think about this. If the admissions officer has to choose between 2 tennis players with similar academic abilities but one is homeschooled, who do you think they will probably choose? The kid who demonstrates that not only is he involved with the community, but also demonstrates that he is a leader. I'm not saying it can't be done in a homeschool situation, just much much harder.

Originally Posted by TCF View Post
A few questions for that coach:

1. Do they also "buy" the SAT scores and other standardized test scores?

2. Do they fake the internships with companies?

3. Do they get a stunt double to come to the personal interviews for them?

4. And lastly.....has he talked to the Harvard's admissions department, as they say the opposite of what he said?

"Grace S. Cheng, a Harvard Admissions Officer who oversees homeschool applications, estimates that her office now receives between 75 and 150 homeschooled applicants each year—a increase from the 1989 estimates of 5 to 10 homeschooled applicants per year.

Cheng says homeschoolers are neither at an advantage nor disadvantage when applying. “Yes, homeschoolers are usually ranked one out of one,” she says with a laugh. “But we have so many valedictorians in the pool that it’s not [quite] delineated out for us. We treat homeschool applicants no differently from other applicants. There are no separate application requirements.”

Harvard works to fill its classes with students from a variety of different backgrounds, and it appears these homeschoolers are no exception."
1. You seem to minimize the significance of a GPA. Standardized tests are a great way of gauging a student's intelligence and problem solving abilities, but they do not reveal things a GPA does. GPA's require more than just filling in bubbles for a few hours. A student's GPA reveals if they can consistently produce high quality work and that they have the ability to make deadlines and finish assignments. Take 2 students with identical credentials, 3.95 GPA and 2250 SAT. One of them is homeschooled, however. Given the nature of homeschooling, it is probably the safer bet to go with the student that went to a regular school. The homeschooler would need to provide additional information to support their ability to perform at a high level.

I know this is anecdotal evidence, but I know a number of people with GPA's in the low 3 range that did fantastic on standardized tests. How many people do I know with stellar GPA's but very average standardized test scores? None.

2. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure very few kids have the experience and qualifications to land a legitimate internship that actually means something before their senior year begins. Honestly, who wants to hire a high school sophomore or junior in the summer when there are tons of highly qualified college sophomores and juniors also looking for internships? Unless you are a genius already or have great connections, it's not happening.

3. Most colleges do not require personal interviews. Even if they do, many of them are alumni interviews, not actual meetings with someone on the admissions board.

4. "Mr. Brenzel of Yale: We see only a few homeschooled applicants, and we do occasionally admit a homeschooled student. Evaluation is usually difficult, however. It helps if the applicant has taken some college level courses, and we can get evaluations from those teachers. We are not keen on homeschooled students where the only evaluations come from parents and the only other information available consists of test scores."
You mentioned Harvard, but its rival Yale seems to have a different take.
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