8 Reasons Why Colleges Like Homeschooling Students
The fact is, colleges like homeschooling students.
But perhaps you’ve heard otherwise and now you’re freaking out about your child’s future prospects.
No need to worry! Colleges admit thousands of homeschooled students every year and have decades of positive statistics related to their performance—which is excellent and comparatively better than that of public school students.
Keep reading to learn about how colleges look at homeschooling and the eight reasons why colleges like homeschooling.
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How Do Colleges Look at Homeschooling?
With impressive growth in the popularity of homeschooling, reaching up to 3.7 million students in 2020-2021 in the U.S. alone, colleges have had to acknowledge that the education model in the country is evolving and with that, their pool of potential students.
Every year, homeschool students are “admitted to hundreds of colleges” and they treat the application of a homeschooler in the exact same way as that of a traditional student.
In fact, homeschool students have been admitted into some of the top universities in the country, including Ivy League colleges.
And even more compelling is the staggering fact that Stanford accepted 27% of homeschool applicants, and only 5% of the traditional students who applied for enrollment.
Despite how impressive these statistics are, it’s essential for homeschool students who want to study at a specific top-rated college to be prepared. They must work carefully to develop a strong academic profile while enriching it with outstanding extracurricular achievements.
8 Reasons Why Colleges Like Homeschooling
If you’re thirsty for more evidence, here are 8 reasons why colleges like homeschooling students and why more and more universities across the U.S. are changing their perspective toward prospective students who were homeschooled.
1. Higher ACTs and GPAs
A study of the academic outcomes of homeschooled students found that homeschoolers “possess higher ACT scores and grade point averages (GPAs)” than traditional students. As you may know, ACT stands for American College Testing and it’s a test that assesses your college readiness.
That same study discovered that homeschoolers earn “higher first-year and fourth-year GPAs,” when controlling for demographics and other factors.
In other words, homeschooled students tend to perform better academically than their traditional-school peers.
2. AP Credits
A homeschooled student seeking to develop a strong academic profile should pay extra attention to AP classes.
AP, meaning Advance Placement Program and run by the College Board, are rigorous and demanding courses designed for high school students, which are accepted by many universities and valid as college credits.
Of course, AP credits can be obtained by traditional-school students too, but as a homeschooler your child has all the freedom to do it and choose the specific credits he or she wants to get.
The more, the better.
This gives the universities even more reason to consider your child’s application as competitive and a good investment.
3. Higher Graduation Rates
Research has shown that homeschooled students have higher graduation rates when compared to traditional-school students.
When talking about fall-to-fall retention at college, homeschooled students had a retention rate of 88.6%, while traditional-school students obtained 87.6%. A minimal difference, but still significant.
A remarkable statistical difference exists when it comes to graduation rates: homeschooled students achieved a 66.7% graduation rate, while traditional students obtained a 57.5%. A difference of almost 10%, which is quite impressive.
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4. Experience in Volunteering
As I’ve mentioned, your student should strive to develop their academic profile, but it’s also essential for them to enrich their experience with extracurricular achievements. This is where volunteering comes in.
Many homeschool students use the freedom that homeschooling provides them to volunteer in charities and other non-profit organizations. These types of activities are highly regarded by colleges, as they’re proof of a well-rounded development that doesn’t only focus on academic achievements.
5. Higher Scores on Standardized Tests
We talked before about better ACT scores, but that came from a specific study focused on that test. Not surprisingly, homeschooling students not only do better on ACTs, they also tend to test better at most other standardized tests such as SAT and PSAT.
For instance, homeschooled students “tend to perform above the national average on SAT (in fact, 72 points higher),” and also perform at the 77th percentile on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
These standardized test results are a reflection of the higher academic standard reached by homeschooled students when compared to public-school students.
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Most universities highly appreciate “a diverse population in race, culture, income, academic interests, and extracurricular interests.” Homeschooled students have the advantage of not coming from the standardized student factory of the public schools system.
As a homeschooled student, your child has the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the rest, developing unique talents, engaging in a variety of extracurricular activities, and choosing uncommon academic programs.
7. Impressive Reading Lists
Due to its own nature, homeschooling tends to rely a lot on building and developing knowledge through reading. This results in homeschooled students compiling impressive reading lists that public-school students can only dream about.
Knowing that universities take a look at this, it may be wise for you and your child to build up that reading list and enrich it with a diversity of topics that reflect your child’s interests and goals.
You might like: Our Favorite Spanish Reading Lists for Language Students
8. Lower Levels of Depression
A study on the impact of homeschooling on the adjustment of college students discovered that there weren’t any significant differences in self-esteem between public school students and homeschooled students.
However, that same study found out that students with homeschooling in their educational background experience “significantly lower levels of depression.”
This is important, as college life isn’t easy and many students have to deal with difficult times during their university years. We’ve already seen how graduation rates are higher for homeschooled students than their public school peers, and this other factor seems to confirm that somehow homeschooled students develop more resilience than traditional students.
Develop Your Child’s Academic and Extracurricular Profiles
By now, you may have been convinced that colleges like homeschooling students and that your child has a great opportunity to be admitted to their college of choice. Now it’s up to you and your child to work towards developing a strong academic profile and lining up those well-rounded extracurricular activities.
Developing these profiles is a process that takes years and should be carefully planned way in advance, so make sure you start now before it’s too late!
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