Scholarships & homeschool transcripts

Home school scholarships & homeschool transcriptsToday we added a page to our site addressing the importance of homeschool transcripts–not just for college admissions, but also how they play a part in the scholarship game. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much effort and time should be spent on transcripts and the supporting course descriptions and portfolios. Check out our new “Transcripts” page here.

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Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

Sonlight: $92,000 in homeschool scholarships

Congratulations to the Sonlight Homeschool Scholarship winners for 2011! Sonlight will award a total of $92,000 to 13 graduating homeschool students over the next four years. Lauren Dahl, from Romania won the $20,000 scholarship. Winners of the $10,000 scholarship are  Christopher Avrit of Antioch, TN and Southeast Asia; Allison Dahl of Romania; Carol Losey of Central Asia; and Audrey Ward of Hendersonville, NC. Winners of the $4,000 scholarship are Kira Clark of North Bend, WA; Maria Cupery of Grand Rapids, MI and Turkey; Christian Daniel of Lawrenceville, GA; Caleb Little of Columbia, SC; Johanna Raquet of Beavercreek, OH; Trevor Phillips of Cary, NC; Joshua Whitman of Wichita, KS; and Natasha Parsons of Pine, CO.

Some of the colleges these students plan to attend are Cornerstone University, Lipscomb University, Colorado Christian University, Patrick Henry College, Calvin College, Auburn University, Covenant College, Clemson University, Cedarville University, LeTourneau University, and the University of Northern Colorado.

For information about Sonlight scholarships, visit our List of Homeschool Scholarships page.

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Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

‘Constituting America’ college scholarship

Scholarships for homeschoolers - ConstitutionConstituting America’s We the People 9.17 Contest for 2011 is now accepting entries from college students. Create a short film, song, public service announcement or PSA video for a chance to win a scholarship and other great prizes. High school students are also eligible. We consider this a great opportunity for homeschooled students. Deadline is June 14.

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Friday, May 27th, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

Scholarship search engines for homeschoolers?

When we first became aware of scholarship search engines, we had reservations about using them. They required a lot of personal information, and we doubted they would offer much help for a homeschooled student. We had read numerous negative comments, complaining that they were a waste of time. However, being quite desperate for college funds, we signed up with FastWeb. There was no reason for choosing that particular college scholarship search engine, other than the fact it was the first one we heard about.

What we learned about FastWeb was that if used correctly, it can bring numerous scholarships even to the doors of homeschoolers. It was through FastWeb that we learned about some of the scholarships that our son ended up winning, such as the Elks Most Valuable Student Award for $1,000, the Hall/McElwain Scholarship for $1000 and the Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship for $4,000.

College Expenses Piling upThe key is to not waste  time in applying for scholarships where you don’t excel in at least one of the required areas. For example, if you’ve contributed hundreds of hours in volunteer service, focus on the scholarships that emphasize community involvement. If you have good grades and SAT/ACT scores, but not great ones, it’s probably a waste of time applying for scholarships that appear to concentrate primarily on academics. If you’re relatively good at writing essays, look for essay contests that feature a subject you are interested in.

FastWeb selects scholarships based on the profile you provide. They do a decent job of tailoring them to your specific needs and interests, but it helps to delete those that aren’t realistic for your situation. Otherwise, the process can seem overwhelming. While going through the list, you can mark as a “favorite” those that you think you may be uniquely qualified for. You may also want to delete the listings deemed “promotions” as most are just drawings intended to get you to sign up with more search sites. We initially signed up for a couple of these, and then realized there was very little new information gained by registering with numerous sites. We found it best to choose one, and stick with it. After narrowing your selection to a manageable number, organize by date so that you don’t miss upcoming deadlines.

Our consensus is that scholarship search engines work great, as long as you’re willing to take the time to evaluate which of their scholarship selections are genuinely suited for you.

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Monday, April 18th, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

Update on homeschool grad injured in accident

Ben Suprunowski Homeschool 2010 Long Beach PeninsulaMany of you have followed the story of Ben Suprunowski, the homeschool graduate seriously injured while on Christmas break from Eternity Bible College. Ben’s picture, along with the rest of the 2010 homeschool graduates on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, was the first post on the Share your Experience page of this site. Ben’s journey to recovery has been an amazing one, and a new video has just been posted. You can view it here. To continue following updates from Ben, visit his blog at

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Sunday, March 20th, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

CIU invites homeschoolers to March 4 preview

CIU: Friendly college for homeschoolersToday is the last day to register if you want to stay in the dorms for the March 4 college preview day at Columbia International University (CIU) in South Carolina. The event is free; all you have to pay for is transportation to and from the college. Meals Thursday night through Friday lunch are provided free of charge for prospective students and their guests. CIU will arrange for transportation to and from the airport for those flying in. Walk-in registration will be available 5-6pm March 3 and 7:30-8am March 4.

CIU, a nondenominational Bible college, is known to be one of the most homeschool-friendly schools, with about a fourth of freshman students coming from a homeschool background. Numerous scholarships are available. For more information about the March 4 Preview Day, including a schedule of events, visit

Columbia International University will also be hosting the Homeschool Speech and Debate tournament, set for March 16-19.

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Friday, February 18th, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

A non-scholarship–$2000 in textbook savings

Discounted College Textbooks

A slightly used version of this $97 textbook was found for $1 online.

Yesterday’s offer from reminded us that we should probably address one way students can help preserve their tuition funds. We’ve just finished ordering and receiving the textbooks needed for the spring semester. Had we purchased them new, through the school bookstore, they would have cost $340.32, plus tax. We shopped around on the internet, and ended up spending a total of $74.05–a savings of  $266.27. If we multiply that across 8 semesters, it comes to $2,130.16!

How did we do it? Through a variety of ways. Five of the eleven books we ordered were used. All but one turned out to be in pristine condition. The other was worn, but not too badly. To find the used books, we relied on resources such as eBay, Amazon third-party sellers, and Our biggest savings was on a $97 book that we found for $1 plus $2.95 shipping.

The other six books were new. Five of the new ones came from and one through an auction on eBay. Those from were not taxed and had no shipping charges. Did you know that students can get a free “Prime” account from Amazon for a year which includes free two-day shipping? Check it out!

We actually spent less than our $74.05 total, as we had accumulated four $5 gift certificates from You can get them for free! You earn them simply by doing searches through Theoretically, you could earn enough throughout the year to pay for most of your books.

Another advantage of buying used or discounted books is that when you are finished with them, you can likely sell them for as much or more than you paid for them.

It’s great to be able to support college bookstores, but if it means the difference between being able to stay in school or having to drop out, the choice becomes rather easy.

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Thursday, January 20th, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

Textbook savings:$20 Amazon gift card for $10

For today only, Living Social is offering $20 gift cards for just $10. If you buy your college textbooks online, this could save you some money!

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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

Kimball Memorial Homeschool Scholarship

Klipsan Beach Life Saving StationToday the Klipsan Beach Life Saving Station posted on their site the requirements for the new 2011 Kimball Memorial Scholarship, designed exclusively for homeschooled students. One student will receive $300, and those receiving an honorable mention will have the opportunity to post their essay or other creative work on the Web site, plus be entered into a drawing for a week’s vacation at the Klipsan Beach Life Saving Station. High School seniors and currently enrolled college students are eligible to apply.  The deadline is May 10, 2011. For more information visit

To find out about other homeschool scholarships, visit our Homeschool Scholarships page.

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Saturday, January 15th, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

Competitive vs. Guaranteed Scholarships

For students in the early years of high school, it’s especially beneficial to recognize that there are two types of scholarships–competitive and guaranteed. Competitive scholarships are those limited to a small number of recipients, requiring you to compete against other students in order to win. You can’t plan your financial future based on these, as anything can happen in the selection process.

Scholarships for AWANA Citation AwardOn the other hand, guaranteed scholarships do allow for some planning. These are scholarships that, provided you meet the criteria, you receive the scholarship. A good example of guaranteed scholarships is the majority of AWANA scholarships. Most colleges do not limit the number of recipients–if you hold the Citation award, for instance, you automatically get the scholarship. Another example is that of school scholarships–often called the Dean’s Scholarship, President’s Scholarship, etc. These depend on your GPA and SAT or ACT test scores. You automatically receive the scholarship that your grades and test scores dictate, although some schools have a limit as to how many are available.

Homeschool scholarships are a mixed bag. Some colleges automatically grant them to all who qualify; some have limits and require competition. Most will specify the requirements on their Web sites.

A word of caution: “guaranteed” doesn’t mean that a college guarantees they will still be offering the scholarship when you get ready to attend. Still, these scholarships are something to aim for, and you will likely be rewarded. Students willing to plan into the future may want to look for stackable guaranteed scholarships. For instance, if you find a college that offers a guaranteed homeschool scholarship, an AWANA scholarship and a Dean’s scholarship, and allows them to be stacked, you may be well on your way to paying for college if you plan your activities around the requirements.

Other guaranteed scholarships to look for include alumni grants (if you had a parent attend the college), denominational grants (for members of a particular religious denomination) and geographic scholarships.

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Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 Homeschool No Comments

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