Starting the College Search

This week on The Homeschool Highschool Podcast Episode 53: Starting the College Search.

How to start the college search

Starting the College Search

Junior year and early senior year are important times for homeschool high schoolers to be serious about the college search. Even before then, the family can have discussions about wishes, requirements and expectations.

How do you clarify those wishes, requirements and expectations from the parent? How do you make sure your teen knows what they truly want and need from their college experience?

Of course, Step One is choosing a college major.

Every college has different specialities. Once a major is chosen, some colleges will be eliminated. Download this helpful freebie from Vicki Tillman Coaching to get started on college majors.

Step Two is discussion of finances:

Sometimes families feel awkward about discussing the realities of how to pay for college. The current structure of student loans works against students’ quick payback of loans. Thus, college graduates often find they are paying off their student loans for years. That does not mean it is wrong to get loans, we simply recommend you talk about college finances together.

Step Three is doing some internet searches and virtual visits

You can get so much helpful information by doing virtual visits and searches around college websites. Schedule some time to do this together. College Board’s Big Future tool is free.

Step Four is visit in person! Don’t skip this step

Here’s a post with lots of information about how to get the most out of college tours, based on the suggestions from our homeschool friends locally and in our 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group (you should join us there, if you haven’t yet).

Step Five is to remember that when looking at colleges, it can help to look at their financial aid and scholarship programs.

Some students will be eligible and others won’t, but it can be a part of your data-gathering and decision-making process. College websites often have some information about financial aid, grant, work study and scholarships. You might have to do some digging or look at their student handbook.

One helpful resource is our friend Betsy’s book, Homeschooling with College in Mind– it has a chapter on finding college scholarships.

Step Five is listen to this Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode about college searches with our friend, Ann Karako.

Ann helps you and your teens relax about the college search. Sometimes we feel so much pressure about finding the perfect, high-powered college for our homeschool high schoolers. Then, we forget to calming think and pray about what is best them. Ann, you might know, runs the amazing Facebook group It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School and her wonderful website, Annie and Everything.

Remember, finding the right college fit for your homeschoolers is not about proving your worth, or theirs. You don’t have to keep up with the “homeschool Joneses”, simply do what is best for your teens.

For more tips on how to handle the college search process, check out this post.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a helpful discussion about starting the college search.

Read about how Lauren Patrick prepared herself for applying to a competitive college.


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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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