Preparing For Post Secondary: Transition From Homeschooling To University
Whether you're attending post-secondary online or in person, the transition from homeschooled high school to university is always a big step. In this article, I will summarize how to make a simple transition from homeschooling to university and what you will need to apply. (Please note that admission requirements vary depending on your chosen university and program.)
No matter how many years you have been in a homeschooling program, you can easily transition from homeschooling to post-secondary; in fact, you may have the upper hand! Homeschooled students have been proven to test better in their academics because of their out-of-the-box critical thinking and innovating skills associated with independent learning.
I recommend that students start exploring their post-secondary options starting at the end of middle school, and spend their high school years refining the requirements needed to be admitted to the program or school of their dreams. If you know you want to go into medicine for example, make sure you've taken all of your Chemistry, Biology, and Physics 20 and 30's. The last thing you want to do is have to redo a course you missed. This is a waste of precious time that you could be applying towards your degree, or taking individual courses or gathering work experience before you start university.
As long as you are diligent in detailing your Home Education Plans and Parent Summaries for high school, maintaining good marks, and stay motivated; you will have met all of the requirements that you can to enter post-secondary. Homeschooling, sadly does not offer a diploma, credits, or an awarded mark (which is should be equally recognized). It is entirely up to the student's average grade and GPA to speak for them, but acceptance rates are a lot higher when you have good marks, in addition to doing extracurriculars (sports, arts, music, languages, volunteering, work experience). If you already have experience in what you're planning to study, not only do your chances of acceptance skyrocket, but you are better adapted at understanding your course material and graduating university with higher marks! The more activities that you are involved in, you will increase your likelihood of qualifying for partial student aid or a scholarship. Some scholarships provided by the government of Alberta can be found here, and here.
There are two ways of attending post-secondary: in person, or online. (During the pandemic, most universities have shifted to online learning where possible). If you choose to go to in-person university, you will be going back to the grind of 8 AM school five days a week; whereas online university offers a more flexible schedule (most of the time, you work at your own pace, and this means you have the option of graduating sooner, or taking longer so that you have time off to work or travel). Whichever option you choose, Canadian universities are usually pretty flexible when it comes to admissions for homeschooled students, but you must be able to pass the bar of decent grades to back it up. However, do your research beforehand because some programs have limited numbers of acceptable applicants, whereas other programs are so meticulous about application requirements (mainly STEM programs) that you must retain a high GPA and possibly have to have prerequisite courses before application. Another important thing to take into consideration is the application process; research far ahead of time how long before semester begins that you should be sending in your application.
Here's a generalization of what Canadian universities generally require for admissions:
Canadian University Admissions Requirements
Some resource pages for admissions requirements for Canadian universities can be found here:
NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology)
SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology)
University of British Columbia
Good luck students! 💖