High School Portfolio
It is becoming more competitive for students to enter into college and receive the high-dollar scholarships. College admission personnel are looking for more than impressive grades on a transcript. They want to know more about the student. A high school portfolio is one tool to help your child stand out in the crowd.
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A high school portfolio is basically a folder containing all the information about the student you have collected over the years. A portfolio depicts the student as a person and not a grade point average nor a SAT score. The documents contain information reflecting a student’s high school accomplishments. It may contain the following:
- Table of Contents (makes it user friendly for the college admission personnel)
- Cover Letter
- Student Profile
- Academics with Transcript
- Extracurricular Involvement
- Letters of Recommendation
Note: You will want to check with the colleges your child has interest in attending. The more competitive colleges may want a portfolio while others will not. In fact, some colleges prefer applicants to compile the information and create an outstanding transcript. Learn about my homeschool transcript service for help in creating one that college admission counselors will love.
~ Cover Letter ~
The cover letter is an introduction of the student to the reader, and is where the college admissions officer will see your student as a person. You will also want to create a header containing contact information such as the student’s name, address, email address, and phone numbers. You might even want to include a quality photo of the student.
The cover letter will not be written until it is time to apply to colleges. Until then, the student may collect the needed information as he or she goes throughout high school. The information to include is:
- Description of self (what makes him or her unique)
- Career Aspirations
- Reasons why he or she wants to go to that particular college (be specific)
Sample cover letter – http://www.nytdstayconnected.com/images/pdfs/samplecoverletter.pdf
~ Student Profile ~
College admission personnel view a large number of admission applications each year. Your child has to make a quick impression. A student profile is like a résumé. This one-page provides a quick glimpse of the student’s accomplishments and will invite the admission officer to look further into the student’s records.
There are a variety of formats for creating a student profile. Whichever you use, you will want to include subheadings with accomplishments and dates listed below. Here is an example:
- Homeschool – (actual or anticipated graduation date)
- Dual credit courses at (college name, city, state)
- Member of the Eta Sigma Alpha National Home School Honor Society
- Recipient of the _______________ award
- 10-year 4-H member
- Church choir member
- Vice President of the ________ Club 2013
- Center fielder for the ________________ baseball team 2009-2013
- _________________ School of Dance 2012
- Mission trip to _________________ 2010-2012
- Red Cross Blood Drive volunteer 2010-2011
Work Experience / Internships
- Employed at ____________ as a ___________________ (dates)
This portion of the high school portfolio will give the college admission personnel an indication as to how well the student will do at that particular college. Begin collecting this information in the 9th grade. Feel free to add any significant accomplishments that occurred in the earlier grades. The information to include are:
- Transcript including other schools attended, classes taken, and grades
- Course descriptions with a list of academic materials used for each course
- Reading list (both for academics and pleasure)
- Samples of completed assignments and tests from each course reflecting the student’s progress (essays, research projects, lab reports, programs from recitals . . . )
- Photos of larger projects
- Academic achievements (awards, certificates . . .)
- Academic camps attended (math camp, space camp . . . )
- Honor society
- PSAT, SAT, PLAN, and ACT scores
Use each of these sections to add details and verification of participation.
~ Letters of recommendations ~
Letters of recommendations provide confirmation of the student’s character. The student will want to ask a pastor, coach, and his or her employer for recommendations.
It is quite common for high school students to change their minds on where they want to attend college. It is best to have everything you may need readily available in case a college admission counselor requests it.
The 5 colleges my son applied to only wanted a transcript. The admission counselors loved his transcript. It helped him in not only receiving an acceptance letter from all 5 colleges but also in acquiring $212,000 in total scholarship money. Learn about my homeschool transcript service for help in creating one that college admission counselors will love.
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