Orlowski enlisted the help of admissions counselor and author Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz, who previously worked in the office of the dean of students at Stanford University, to help craft his home-schooling experience into a high school transcript.
[Ask these questions at freshman orientation.]
Home-schooled students often choose academic and social pursuits because they find them important and meaningful, and college admissions officers are drawn to that authenticity, Shaevitz says.
"They have to take account of time… that other students have structured," she says. "The possibilities of showing all the kinds of things that colleges are looking for -- curiosity, confidence, resourcefulness, ability to deal with challenges -- you name it. That's a part of being a home-schooled student."
Rather than a hindrance, home-schooling was an asset, Orlowski says, one that landed him acceptance into 10 top-tier schools, including Princeton University, Vanderbilt University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Orlowski will attend MIT in the fall and plans a double major in math and physics. His advice to other home-schooled teens:
"The flexibility that home-schooling gives you, you can leverage that into getting all sorts of opportunities," he says. "Seize the day by using home-schooling as a springboard to college admissions."
Stay up to date with the U.S. News High School Notes blog.