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:
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.