Good to Know

Even though we thought we had read enough about the scholarship application process before beginning the search, there were a number of things that came as a surprise. Most often, it was not a good surprise! There were many things we wish we had known in advance. Here, we’ll share some things we learned too late, and some things we happened to stumble upon just in time. If you have experienced something that you think should be added in order to help other homeschool families, email us.

Test Scores. When it comes to SAT and ACT scores, it’s only the Reading and Math that count for many scholarships–especially those given out by colleges. That can come as a cruel surprise to the student who scored extremely well on the writing portion, but only average in reading and math. One program that worked well in our preparation for the Math section of the SAT was VideoText.

Take both tests. Many colleges offer guaranteed scholarships based on the student’s GPA and SAT or ACT scores. It often pays to take both tests, as one may raise you to the next level, while the other one hasn’t.

Local Scholarships. For local scholarships offered through public schools, don’t be afraid to ask whether homeschooled students can apply. While it’s true that some scholarships are designated specifically for graduates of a particular high school, there are often others that are open to anyone.

High School Juniors Only. Some scholarships have to be applied for while the student is a high school junior. It can be disappointing to discover those when you’re already a senior. Start looking early!

High School Seniors Only. While it’s often a good idea to wait a year before attending college (often referred to as a gap year), students should realize that many scholarships can be applied for only while they are a high school senior, and must be used the following year. Working for a year after high school, in some cases, may not equal more tuition money since the student may end up forfeiting some scholarships.