Resources for Parents of College-Bound Students Challenges for the college-bound student



College prep: High school
& honors-level courses


College applications


At various stages in the application process, you will need certain codes:

  • CEEB codes. You may need these codes for submitting letters of recommendation (LORs) — i.e., teachers and professors writing LORs for your student may need the code for the institution where they teach (not where the child is applying) and often have difficulty finding it. "CEEB," by the way, stands for College Entrance Examination Board, and each code is a unique identifier for academic institutions like high schools, colleges, etc. — The link provided here is to a CEEB-lookup engine provided by Rutgers.
  • Test codes. To register for standardized tests, students must have the unique code that identifies their high school. Homeschooled students will need the appropriate code that represents homeschooling:
    • SAT or SAT II — 970000
    • ACT — 969-999
    • PSAT Codes. It appears that for homeschooled students, state codes for the PSAT are no longer necessary. — Please see the Fall 2022 edition of the Coordinator Manual for the PSAT, pages 59 & 67: Proctors are instructed to tell homeschooled students to leave blank the field for a school code.

Searching for scholarships

Be sure to
check your target
schools' websites
for scholarship
information, as well
as requirements
and deadlines
for applying

Here are some of the most popular search tools & sites for scholarships:

  • The College Board — Home of many standardized tests.
  • — A site whose mission is to provide "support for anyone striving to access higher education."
  • — A source for "student financial aid information, advice, and tools."
  • Global Scholarships — A scholarship search engine dedicated to providing students worldwide with access to scholarship opportunities.
  • — Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation.
  • FAFSA — Site of the "Free Application for Federal Student Aid" (FAFSA).
  • — Somewhat dated information to "help high school athletes realize their dreams of receiving a College Athletic Scholarship."

Important: Be sure to check your target schools' websites for scholarship information, as well as their requirements and deadlines for applying.

College planning

The College Board has created a site called "Big Future" with answers to a lot of basic questions — like choosing a college major and the steps involved in applying for financial aid.

Help with the Common App

You cannot reach anyone at the Common App by phone (they say the volume of calls would be "unsustainable"). Use this site when you have questions:
Common App | Help Center.

Other sites you may find helpful:

  • How to Navigate the Common App as a Homeschool Parent, by Lisa Davis. In this posting, Lisa focuses on the counselor section of the Common App and discusses things that homeschooling parents often find confusing.
  • College Essay Doctor — Ted Cleary. This site lists the actual personal essay prompts in the College App and offers suggestions for how to best answer them, i.e. frame them — the actual experiences or insights your student cites must be his or her own.

Calculating GPA

Here's a good site for calculating your student's GPA:
GPA Calculator.

Preparing High School Transcripts

This document contains essential information on components of a high school transcript including how to assign grades, how to assign credits, and calculate GPA:
HSLDA | Preparing High School Transcripts.

HSLDA has also made available a series of sample transcripts to study when preparing your student's transcript — as well as a blank form that's easy to use:
HSLDA | Sample Transcripts.

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Training for parents

Homeschooling the
College-Bound Student

Live & online
Instructor: Diane Speed

Your one-stop-shopping resource of informationThis program addresses the principal concerns parents have about homeschooling through high school — everything you need to know about the high school curriculum and credits, standardized tests, transcripts and record-keeping, applying to college, pursuing scholarships, and much, much more.

Terrific. Full of information. The materials were so thorough. I now have a plan of action. Also, this workshop is inclusive: No matter what type of homeschooler you are, you will understand better how to prepare your student for college and present him or her in the best light.

—A homeschooling mom

To ask a question about the program
or to register, contact Diane Speed:
Tel. 203.942.6155


Shakespeare Intensives

Romeo & Juliet

Ten online classes

Instructor: Roy Speed

These online sessions provide an in-depth study of this play as well as the historical, cultural, and literary background needed to bring the play to life. As one of our College-Bound Intensives, this course is designed to take students to an advanced level of reading comprehension and analysis, enabling them to:

  • tackle sophisticated material across the spectrum of the college curriculum;
  • dissect difficult passages included in standardized tests.

For my daughter, the most helpful part of taking this class was reading through parts of the play, line by line, with Roy's guidance every step of the way. Through this experience, she has begun to understand how to read Shakespeare and has been inspired by him to read many of Shakespeare's plays on her own.

Vicki B.


Online Writing

Logical Communication

Two semesters of online classes
Two classes per week

Instructor: Roy Speed

Traditional approaches to writing are often wrongheaded — students, for instance, are routinely asked to write essays before they've actually read any. Students in this course, by contrast, read closely and analyze dozens of essays by outstanding writers — and then begin to write their own. In addition to enhancing students' appreciation of the essay form, the aim here is twofold: 1) Students learn to write clear, correct English prose. 2) They learn to control in their writing the logical flow of their ideas.

Note: This course serves as a precursor to our course Essay Writing & Appreciation.

Prerequisites:  Students in this course should have a strong command of English fundamentals — i.e., grammar, usage, and punctuation.

Summer Shakespeare Intensive

Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Eight online classes

Instructor: Roy Speed

Twelfth NightThis new online series comprises eight sessions on one of Shakespeare's finest comedies. Twelfth Night satirizes unrequited love, mocks sanctimony and snobbery, and celebrates the simple pleasures of ordinary life. This course is primarily a course in close reading — students become acquainted with Shakespeare's vocabulary and verse, but equally important, they acquire the skills involved in deciphering a difficult text, e.g., annotation.


College prep for students

History & Literature of
the Middle Ages

Live & online

Instructor: Roy Speed

Le Morte d'Arthur: GuinevereThis is a year-long online course in close reading of medieval texts. The emphasis is England and English literature, but a great deal of what the students learn about this period will be applicable to other European societies and cultures.

The "Medieval Millennium" extended from roughly 500 to around 1500 ad, encompassing a huge swath of British history. English literature of the period spans everything from Anglo-Saxon poetry and the epic poem Beowulf to The Canterbury Tales and Malory's Morte Darthur. This course provides historical perspective, traces the development of the English language, and takes students on a deep dive into the most important literature of the period.

Prerequisites:  For most students, Roy Speed's Shakespeare courses will prove adequate preparation.


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