More than a decade ago, homeschooled students applying to college stood out because of the low number of students participating in homeschool learning. But as the number of homeschoolers grew, so has the volume of homeschoolers submitting applications for admission to colleges and universities. More than ever, college admission has become a game of numbers – GPAs, test scores, rankings, and admission rates. With a little bit of information about how college admission works, homeschool students can still make a strong impression and improve their chances of enrolling in a top university.
The simple answer is yes. Colleges and Universities do not discriminate against homeschooled students. Moreover, some Ivy League universities aggressively recruit students participating in this alternative learning approach. Some studies suggest that homeschool students typically outperform students in public school on pre-college exams and standardized tests. A customized education can better prepare homeschool students to succeed at the next level. In fact, most colleges do not require a high school diploma. The two most important components for homeschool students applying to colleges are transcripts and application essays.
The application process for traditional students and homeschool may seem a bit different, but Universities may require the successful completion of intro-level courses at a local college before attending a university. This ensures the student is ready and prepared for college while also having experience of being in a classroom. Taking class at a community college also helps the student academically by finalizing projects, taking exams, or writing research papers in a classroom setting. This gives the university some insight into how students will perform in more advanced classes.
Traditional high school makes the college application process less complicated. The school’s team of teachers, advisors, and counselors all work collectively to put together the student’s transcript for colleges. The application process for the average homeschool student can be confusing and intimidating. Fortunately, college admissions are handled almost the same way as traditionally schooled students. Some colleges are even seeking out homeschoolers because they tend to be great college students.
Admissions officers focus on the background of the student and evaluate the opportunities they have had. There are a few differences, however, regarding the application process for home school students. If you are homeschooled, colleges will typically put more weight on your standardized testing scores (i.e., ACT or SAT). In rare cases, some colleges may require you to take both if you don’t participate in traditional schooling.
Transcripts are trickier because your teacher or parent is responsible for creating the document and sending it over to colleges. Although the pressure to succeed can increase stress levels, there is no right way to create a transcript even for traditional schools. Physically having your diploma is also something that most colleges don’t worry about. When you graduate high school, whether it be traditional or at home, all colleges want to see is that you met the state law requirement. As a homeschool student, receiving your diploma is solely up to your teacher or parent and their standards. Colleges typically look for letters of recommendation from a coach, mentor, or teacher.
Being homeschooled does not reduce students’ chances of acceptance into a university compared to a public-school student. When applying to colleges, the student must look at the requirements for each of the applications. If something is unclear, don’t be afraid to contact the college so they can provide you with the appropriate information and answers.
Homeschoolers are entitled to financial aid and scholarships when applying to colleges or universities. The complexity of college admissions should not deter homeschool students from achieving their goals. Every student, whether enrolled in public school or homeschool, deserves a higher education if desired. For more news, tips, and trends related to higher education, subscribe to the TestPrepScore blog.