Conversation with Columbia University SoCE re: homeschooled high school students
I spoke to an admissions advisor at the School of Continuing Education at Columbia University yesterday. I noticed that Laurie Spigel's Homeschooling NYC website mentions programs at Columbia for high school students. Also, if a high school student wants to take a class at his high school but it is not offered, but the class is offered at Columbia, the university will accomodate. For homeschoolers, the availability of classes at Columbia would mean "everything."
I decided to take Columbia up on that challenge. I prefer the front-door way of doing things as opposed to the back-door, so I was open and honest.
Me: How can a homeschooled high school student register for classes at Columbia?
Columbia dude: He can't. We've found that homeschoolers still in high school are unfortunately a bad fit here. Unlikely he'll get in.
Me: Why is that?
CD: The evaluations we get are poor, usually no grades or incomplete information, no standardized testing. We have no idea what these kids are doing. And usually it is difficult to do well as a high school student taking a college-level class at an Ivy League University.
Me: I see. Harvard University's Extension School has homeschooled students, however, and actively recruits them. Might Columbia consider doing the same?
CD: Um, no. No. I doubt the admissions director will allow high school homeschooled students here. They just, um, no.
Okay. I would like to know: who are the students or parents who are f*pking things up for the rest of us with their shoddy applications and no evaluations? True, Columbia may not just want to "deal" with a new demographic of student. But I've been to the SoCE and I've seen what the student population is like. They get students from all over the world, with all sorts of transcripts and situations. Why should homeschool students make it more difficult for the admissions offices?