Share Your Experience

E-Mail UsAre you a homeschool student or parent who has experience in applying for college scholarships? Email us with your story or advice you have for others, and we’ll post it here.

“We need to utilize this website and support it. Most homeschoolers have to rely on scholarships from their chosen college and aren’t even considered for the majority of local or regional scholarships offered by businesses and families.  I experienced this problem last year when my son was nearing graduation.  I was told by the organizer of our local public school scholarship coordinator (who provides applications for every available scholarship and basically submits everything for public school students ) that ‘homeschoolers should start their own scholarship drive’.  I reminded him that he was paid by our tax dollars and asked if he even presented the question to businesses of the possibility of the scholarship being awarded to a homeschooler.  Of course, the question had never been asked. I also asked this organizer if he thought businesses would want homeschoolers excluded and he said he had no idea. Obviously he didn’t want to know. I partially understand b/c he is paid by the public school system but again, funded by taxpayers.  Yes, we choose to homeschool but are these businesses actively choosing to exclude local/regional homeschoolers? It seems they aren’t even given the chance to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to homeschoolers.  My son had one of the highest SAT scores in our county and had graduated with honors from our local community college the week after his high school graduation but still, none of the local scholarships were available to him. Thankfully, he was awarded a full academic scholarship and another sizeable one to local colleges…through the college itself. ” ~ T.P. (Canton, NC)

“As a senior in high school, I applied for a Scholastic Arts & Writing Award (http://www.artandwriting.org/awards/HowTo#process) and made it past the regional level, but didn’t get a scholarship. Next I applied for the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship. I was awarded that scholarship, recurring for 4 years at $1500 a year. I believe last year was the first year homeschoolers were eligible for the Byrd scholarship, so I was excited about that. Once I got to UW and declared my major, I was able to apply for 14 scholarships in the English and Creative Writing departments. I received the $1500 Roger Sale Scholarship from the English department and co-won both the Joan Graystone and Arthur Oberg Writing Awards from the Creative Writing department for $1000. I applied for the Zesbaugh education research scholarship, and am in the process of applying for the Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship. Now that I’m in college, having been homeschooled doesn’t affect my eligibility for scholarships or my applications, so if you’ve run into problems with your homeschool transcript or letters of recommendations, it should get easier once you’re a college student.” ~N.G.

“I spent much of my senior year filling out scholarship applications and writing essays. It was worth it, everything considered, but it was discouraging. I won only a small percentage of the ones I applied for. Most of the time I made it to the semi-final level, which of course required more work and more essays. Coca-Cola was the worst, in terms of what had to be done for the semi-final level. Coke welcomed homeschoolers to apply, but many of their pages asked only for school positions and activities. I had to leave all of those blank, of course. I ended up with an Elks Club scholarship, two from local banks, and one from a local educational foundation. Three of them can’t be used until my sophomore year, when I’ve proven myself!  In  total, I ended up with $5,500 for my efforts, most from local businesses. Had it not been for them, I’d have to say the effort wasn’t worth it. On the other hand, I did get much better at writing essays!” ~D.W.

“Meet the Long Beach Peninsula’s Homeschool Class of 2010! Every graduate plans to attend college, with majors planned in Electrical Engineering, Intercultural Studies (Missions), Journalism, Dance, Fire Science and Biology. The students received permission to apply for local scholarships through the public high school, and walked away with many, including grants from an arts association, a charity, a local education foundation, the fire department and local banks.” ~J.C.

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