Top Gun Transcripts
Students who plan to apply to colleges and universities, should begin planning their transcripts in ninth grade or earlier. Making certain that by graduation the transcript document reflects what you want it to is part of the college preparatory process.
Students and parents should think in certain key categories, the first one being strength of curriculum.
The well prepared young person will have worked harder and have gone beyond the average student. State requirements must be exceeded. Examples include four years of a foreign language, the heavy science courses, biology, chemistry, physics and math through calculus. Covenant Home already requires and offers these courses. After many of the CHC eleventh grade courses have been completed, we suggest taking AP exams to eliminate college courses.
The second area is academic achievement - grades! This, after all, is the salary of the student. For homeschoolers the SAT and ACT test scores may take on added importance because they provide backup for the regular report cards.
College admissions people are looking for grades, but also for a lot more. This might be summed up by the term intellectual curiosity, a distinction that takes the student beyond what is required, further than simply completing assignments. It indicates a true desire and drive to learn.
How are administrators able to tell about these things? What catches their professional eye or sounds the harmonious note in their ear? Here, recommendations are important. Because the evaluations of parents will carry an assumption of bias, when possible, an objective source should be sought. Written testimony from coaches, pastors, artists and others help to confirm character traits.
When the college application asks for a personal essay another opportunity is offered. This requirement is important. Here the student presents himself - this is who I am, this is what makes me tick. Strong verbal ability, grammar and all the emphasis on composition bear their good fruit at this point.
Personal qualities make up the fifth category. What community service have you performed? In what clubs have you been involved? More importantly to serious Christians, how do you serve at church? To what significant organizations do you belong? Are you a leader in some meaningful category? Which substantial activities have you sustained outside the classroom? A job counts. Think of other things, and keep a list.
The final classification comes from the test scores, the SAT, ACT. Universities want to see a 1300 composite score on your SAT, though this may be somewhat negotiable. This is especially true if some of the other categories are strong.
Covenant Home graduates have an impressive history of getting into the schools that they want. Follow the requirements, work hard, and you should do well.
Parents should help. It's not easy to be sure at the age of seventeen. It is certain, though, what factors the educational community looks for in our character and in our personal ledger.
Perhaps a college close to home and church is better. Or, perhaps one of the new ventures by serious believers, such as New St. Andrews College in Idaho, Christ College in Virginia, Patrick Henry College also in Virginia, or a similar effort nearby. A good alternative to consider as well, Grove City College in a town in Pennsylvania by the same name.
One good way to prepare to hazard the halls of higher learning is to subscribe to the excellent publication CAMPUS Magazine OnLine, published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 3901 Centerville Rd., Wilmington, DE 19807-0431. The writers are all current students at many of the "top" universities, young people who are capable of the moral, economic and social combat that is part of the routine.
Rev. Dale K. Dykema