Is it hard for homeschool students to get into college?

December 07, 2021 · 6 min read · By ASU Online
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to homeschool students and college admission. Learn more about earning a college degree as a homeschooled student.

If you’re a homeschool student considering the next phase of your education, plenty of important questions can arise. You might be wondering about how to accurately reflect your homeschool experience on an application, transitioning to life as a college student or simply if it’s hard to get into college as a homeschool student.

Per the Census Bureau, the rate of homeschooling in the U.S. reached 11.1% in early 2021. Many colleges and universities recognize that homeschool learners are effective, engaged students, same as those who have a traditional high school experience. As a result, homeschool students are often successful in their application for admission to colleges and universities. That’s true whether they’ve attended homeschool for part or all of their primary and secondary education. So, ultimately, whether a homeschool student gets into college comes down to their qualifications, same as it does for traditional high school students.

This guide addresses many of the unique considerations that come with moving from homeschooling at the K-12 level to studying at a university. We’ll look at:

  • Highlighting your strengths and accomplishments as a student.
  • Locating scholarships and other forms of aid for which you may be eligible.
  • Selecting a major that supports your professional future.
  • Why an online degree may be in your best interest.


Homeschool students and college admission

You should consider the following when applying to colleges:

  • Transcripts

Every university requires that students share their high school transcripts — information about the courses they took, where they took them, credits earned, GPA and similar details — as part of their college application.

You should review these specifics with an instructor or administrator, whether it’s a parent or someone else, to make sure everything has been accurately filled out. You want your transcript to fully reflect all academic achievements and include everything that demonstrates your aptitude for learning.

Keep in mind that there is no universal standard for a transcript, so it’s most important to include all requested information. Don’t worry about whether your transcript looks different than one issued by a local high school. Just make sure it’s complete and accurate.

  • Extracurricular activities

Make sure you track and accurately document the activities you’ve participated in when you complete your application.

Clubs, sports, performing and fine arts and other extracurricular activities show that you can apply the talents developed in your education, like teamwork and critical thinking, to different situations. Additionally, you can build new skills, establish networks and even develop an interest that can inform decisions about your college major and career.

A club leader or coach can be an effective option for providing a letter of recommendation, especially for homeschool students who may not have many academic instructors to ask.

  • Standardized test scores

Standardized testing can play an important role when it comes to homeschool students and college admission. The standardized test scores you earn may inform the decisions of college staff and influence your eligibility to attend top schools. Additionally, some majors may require an ACT or SAT score as part of the admission process.

There isn’t a secret formula when it comes to high performance on a standardized test. However, you may improve your results through focused study. Make sure you dedicate the time needed to build familiarity with tests' structures and the material covered.

All you need to know about submitting your undergraduate transcripts

Future undergraduate students can watch this webinar to learn how to submit their transcripts and get answers to questions about the application process.

Financial aid and scholarships for homeschoolers

Financial aid and scholarship opportunities can make it easier to attend college by reducing the amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket. As a homeschool student, you can apply for many of the same programs as learners from a traditional school.

Every student can use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if they’re eligible for this type of assistance. There are many more forms of aid to consider, including:

  • Grants, which usually don’t need to be repaid.
  • Loans, which do need to be repaid, but can be more accessible.
  • Scholarships, which may have conditions for the continuing provision of funds, but also usually don’t need to be repaid. Find out more about scholarships available to Arizona State University students.


Why homeschool students should consider earning an online degree

Some students who receive homeschooling are accustomed to dividing time between the classroom in their home, courses taken at a local school or community college and extracurricular activities. This experience can support success with the divided schedules that are common in online learning.

Additionally, students who have completed online education programs as part of their homeschooling experience already have a background in this type of learning. This past experience can make an easier transition to earning a college degree in the same way.

Other advantages that come with online learning include avoiding the need to move closer to campus to pursue a high-quality education. By staying in your current location and eliminating the need to commute to campus, you may find it easier to balance personal, academic and work commitments.

While every school is different, ASU Online is proud to offer all students an exceptional educational opportunity. If you complete your program online, you’ll:

  • Earn the same accredited degree as you would on campus. Your diploma is the same as ones earned by on-campus students and will not note that it’s an online degree. 
  • Have the ability to access a wide range of support services that take personal and academic needs into account.
  • Take courses led by the same experienced and recognized faculty who lead on-campus classes.


Selecting a college major as a homeschool student

ASU Online offers more than 130 undergraduate programs. Make sure to review the offerings of the schools you’re considering before you apply to them (and before you commit to any institution).

You should also consider the guidance that enrollment coaches can provide to learn more about potential areas of study and the many programs available. Instead of choosing a specific degree first, you could work with your enrollment coach to identify areas of study at ASU Online that align with your interests and professional goals, then narrow down the relevant options.

If you want to get enrolled and start taking classes but still haven’t decided on a major, one of our exploratory degree tracks may be best for you. You’ll choose from four exploratory tracks, each focused on a broad topic of interest and composed of a three-semester major map, culminating in the declaration of a major no later than after the completion of 45 credit hours.


Finding a college that’s right for you

When it comes to homeschool students and college admission, there are plenty of factors to take into account. This guidance can make the process a little easier, whether you’re just starting to think about entering the world of higher education or are far along in the process.

Taking a little time now to consider things like potential majors, putting your best foot forward in the application process and the value of an online degree can pay off down the line.

ASU Online offers a wide variety of student services to encourage personal and academic success, including counseling and life services, time management coaching, success coaching and technical support.


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