Saturday, March 5, 2011

How I got into University

The new student center
For most people getting into University is pretty straightforward. Homeschoolers, however, find it a little bit more difficult since most of us don’t have marks and we might not have worked through specific courses. Throughout my highschool years I had a specific Science (Apologia) and Math (Singapore) curriculum but everything else was pieced together from various sources. This makes it difficult to convince a University that I had completed highschool.
This is how I ended up in University half a year early. It’s not the traditional way of doing things, but I know more and more homeschoolers who are trying this method and it certainly worked well for me.
UPEI has one of the only vet colleges in Canada
Last fall (September-November 2010) I took one course from UPEI. Getting into one course is relatively easy. I simply met with the Dean of Arts, bringing along a couple samples of my writing. He was a very agreeable man and let me into UPEI as a part time student without even looking at my writing samples! The course I decided to take was a simple Introduction to Literature course taught by a wonderful professor.
During this course I read two books of Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. My professor was teaching a third year course on Milton the next semester, and she kindly allowed me to take it despite my age. Since I had been admitted into one course and I had no real plans for homeschooling in the next term, I decided that I might as well try to go to UPEI full time. I don’t actually want to go to UPEI for my full University career, but being a full time student will make it much easier to transfer somewhere else.
Cass Building, where my Dad works
My dad (who is a math professor at UPEI) talked to the registrar several times. I made up a small (four page) portfolio showing the courses I had done in highschool, as well as all the extracurricular activities I am involved in (drama, writing, dance, volunteer work…etc…). The registrar took their time reading this, so when courses started I wasn’t actually enrolled as a student yet. I went to class anyways, just hoping that they’d let me in. Two weeks into the term, on the deadline for registration, the registrar finally got back to me. I was in!
Now I’m in my seventh week (the home stretch!) of full time University, and I love it. I’m taking two English courses and two History. English is my favourite, but I’m thinking of doing a History minor. My midterms are done, which is great, and I didn't do too badly.
The Main Building at UPEI
For all homeschoolers who want to get into University and don’t want to spend forever compiling a transcript and doing SATs, I’d suggest taking a course as a part time student and then getting your status switched to full time. Doing a course is a great way to prove that you’re capable, and you earn a credit at the same time. I admit that I had an easier time getting in since my dad teaches at UPEI, but I believe anyone can do it. I know of at least three other homeschoolers who’ve done the same thing at UPEI in recent years. A University’s registration rules may seem strict but what they really want are students who are capable and willing to work. Any homeschooler who is coming up to graduation and wants to get into University should consider taking a course part time in their grade 12 year.


  1. Very interesting. :)

  2. That school looks really neat considering what the main building looks like!