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Be prepared: unusual college requests

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Sometimes colleges request unusual things as part of the application process! One of the strange things that was requested of me was a graded English paper. It was a pretty easy request to fulfill - I simply printed off my child’s English paper, wrote a big A on it and submitted it. When the college asked me for a math paper in my child's own handwriting, I was glad I had kept all their tests!

One college wanted a lab report from a science lab. I didn’t give them the practical joke lab write up my child had written in almost unreadable yellow pencil, though! I chose the best lab report example we had and sent it in..

Colleges sometimes ask for original documents. Make sure you have enough samples set aside to give an original sample in each subject area to each of the colleges your child is applying to. Make this a record keeping goal to keep in mind every year of home-school high school. The chances of all 4-6 colleges asking for the same thing are pretty slim, but be prepared. Don’t panic if you’re already part way through high school and don’t have that many samples yet. Remember that when your child applies for college, they are still in the middle of senior year. If all six colleges ask for a graded math paper and you only have one on hand, it would only take you a week to get the other five together.

I’m going to share one little home-schooling trick with you. When I was teaching my children to write a one-page essay, we wrote many in various subjects. Sometimes they wrote essays about the delight directed learning they were working on. Some of them were for English class, some for history, and some for physical education. Sometimes I even had them write about a country whose language we were studying or something in that country, for our foreign language class. These essays written across the curriculum can then be used as work samples. They also make great practice for SAT and ACT tests, as well as college admission essays!

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