Transitioning From Homeschool To College

If you’ve been working as an online or homeschooled student throughout your high school career, you might have some questions about how to approach the transition to college. Every individual is different, but you’re sure to find something to help your move from high school to college go a little bit smoothly in the tips below.

Visit College Campuses

One important step to take before you transition to college is to visit plenty of college campuses. Visit community colleges near you, two-year trade schools, four-year state colleges, and private colleges. You want to see what is available – and there is more out there than four-year state colleges. You might even want to schedule a time to talk with college counselors of online colleges, depending on what you plan to study. The entire point of visiting a variety of colleges is to see which type of campus suits you best.

Before you go, learn as much about the college as you can from their website. Once there, evaluate the environment of the campus. Visit the admissions office and attend informational sessions for visitors, ask questions while you’re on student-led tours, and check out the dorms. You might be surprised at the variety of dorm sizes available depending on each school you visit. Plan to sit in on a class or two and visit the library. If you know what you want to study, then see if you can talk to any professors from that career path. 

After the visit, write down your impressions. Once you visit a few campuses, you might not remember everything you want to compare, or some thoughts and feelings might get overshadowed by others. It’s important to be objective about your choice, and keeping a record of your impressions will help you do that.

Take A College Course

During high school, you can take college courses as a part time student. Especially with a flexible online or homeschool schedule, this is a great opportunity for high school students to find out what college level work is like while earning college credits along the way. You get to see what college instruction is like, what it’s like to walk around on a college campus, find out what the food is like in the student union, and engage in academic and social discussions with college students. For online and homeschool students, having the chance to get a sneak peek at what college life is like while still under the guidance and protection of caring adults is a smart way to create a bridge between high school and college independence.

Test Out Of Courses

A lot of college bound students don’t know that they can actually test out of introductory college courses by taking special tests during high school through the College Board. The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) gives you college credit by letting you test out of topics you already know. In fact, CLEP offers 34 different tests that can get you out of introductory level college course material. CLEP provides testing in history and social sciences, composition and literature, science and math, business, and world languages. This opportunity is especially helpful to demonstrate your level of academic success to potential colleges or universities.

Get Involved

Once you’re on campus, one thing that will help you transition to college life will be to get involved. Even if all you do is join a fitness class or sit in on student meetings in clubs you’re interested in, starting small is still involvement! Maybe you already know what types of activities you want to jump into. In that case, make connections with the student leaders of those organizations or activities when you come for your initial visits. Once you’re on campus, you’ll already have a contact, so you won’t feel out of place at all. You’ll be able to jump right in. 

Connect with Other Homeschoolers

If you’re feeling worried about college life, then see if there is a way to connect with other former homeschoolers or online students who are now on campus or studying at your chosen school. If that’s not possible, there are also lots of homeschool forums online where you can share and connect with other students who could be having the same experiences as you. Connecting with others allows you to feel like you’re not alone, but they might have an interesting perspective for you to consider, too.

Take Advantage of Student Services

Often called the Office of Student Affairs or a similar title, this office provides students with a variety of services. The staff in this office are a wonderful resource for students transitioning to college life. They often include services such as academic support, advising, admissions, alcohol and drug education programs, career services, faith-based campus ministries, community service programs, counseling, health centers, and various other supports to help students live a prosperous life while on campus. These professionals can be a real life-line when you’re feeling at sea or if you aren’t sure where to find the help you need in a variety of situations.

You’re Ready!

One thing that might help you feel more comfortable as you face this transition is that both statistics and anecdotal evidence has proven over and over again for many decades that homeschooled and other nontraditional high school students (like online students) do a great job both academically and socially once they arrive at their chosen college or university. Whether they’re living at home and attending class or living in dorms, they thrive once at college because of the level of independence required of homeschooled or online students. In other words, you’re going to do great, so take advantage of these tips to help your transition move smoothly, and enjoy the next chapter of your life’s adventure!

About Northgate Academy

If you’re not already a Northgate Academy family but are interested in using our faith-based online high school program as an accredited choice for your Christian student or as a resource for homeschool coursework, you can check out our programs online. Although we welcome and support our part-time students as well, every full time student at NGA is assigned an Academic Success Coach, can email their instructors with questions, can reach out to staff through online chat and text, and has access to one-on-one tutoring through Train The Brain.

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a text at 763-412-4701 or call us at 800-339-7132. Our academic support team will be happy to answer your questions or help guide you to the best program for you or your child.

Northgate Academy Welcomes Everyone

We have a unique community of online learners from all over the world. We have students that chose to attend high school online due to social problems, large classroom size, conflicting beliefs concerning the educational process, and bullying. Maybe you just don’t share the values taught at the public schools. We have athletes, performers, military and ex-pats students; as well as international students that have chosen to earn an American, accredited high school diploma online. Students love the ability to attend a Christian school online according to their schedule and pace.

If you are ready to get started, why not Enroll Now?