How can homeschool freshmen (and sophomores) get a jump on a powerful high school transcript?
Vicki and I attended a seminar, given by Tufts University, about the criteria the admissions office evaluates in recommending someone for admission. Tufts’ admission process is considered selective. They admit about 21% of the students who apply, with mean SAT scores (according to their website) of 670-760 (critical reading), 680-760 (math), and 680-760 (writing). Despite these impressive scores, the admission selection is not only based on test scores. They also look at the high school transcript, talent, and voice. Some of the criteria are not in your control and some have to wait until you are older, but there are some things that you can get started on now.
What about talent? This is where your extracurricular activities come in. The school
looks for several things. One is whether a student is well-rounded or specialized. Neither is better than the other. What they want in either is to see activities that are sustained over all four years or that you have a variety of activities in which you are immersed, rather than dabbling in activities a few hours here and a few hours there. One major mistake is to neglect extracurricular activities in your underclassman years and suddenly becoming involved as an upperclassman. They are well aware that many students that wait to become involved as upperclassmen are playing “the admissions game” and trying to impress the college admissions officers. While it is good to show some leadership, they also are aware that there need to be good team members as well as leaders.
Community service is also a necessary.