A Guide to College Admissions for Homeschool Students
Ultimately, the biggest concern for homeschoolers and their parents is college admissions.
If you’re worried, then you’re not alone. It’s natural to feel that homeschooled students are at a disadvantage because they’ve had a more flexible learning process.
While it’s true that college admissions for homeschool can be challenging, with enough and timely planning, it’s becoming easier.
What’s more, homeschooled students are evaluated based on the merits of their applications, as all other students come from public and private high schools.
Let me show you how to go through the whole process and get your homeschooler admitted to college.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Do Colleges Accept Homeschool Diplomas?
- How Do Homeschoolers Get into College?
- 7 College Admission Homeschool FAQs
Do Colleges Accept Homeschool Diplomas?
Let’s start with this burning question.
Homeschoolers don’t get a diploma from the local public school. If they attended an online homeschool or umbrella homeschool, these institutions would issue diplomas. If not, parents can purchase a blank diploma, for example through HSLDA, and issue a diploma to their child.
Colleges accept this diploma, but it’s your responsibility to ensure your kid meets your state’s graduation requirements. That’s why a high school transcript that shows your child’s detailed high school journey is so important.
Read How to Homeschool High School: Curriculum Options, Transcripts, and Tips, if you need help creating your child’s transcript.
When filling in an application for college admissions, your child needs to pay attention to the following questions:
- “Are you a high school graduate?” — mark “yes”
- “Do you have a high school diploma?” — mark “yes”
- “Name of high school” — write “homeschool” or the name you use for your homeschool if you have one.
How Do Homeschoolers Get into College?
Homeschoolers get into college in a way that is not drastically different from students who attend traditional schools.
Your child should take the first steps during their freshman year, although it sounds too early. Most work is done toward college admissions during the junior and senior years of high school.
Determine Your Interests
This should be done at the very beginning as well.
Students that start high school usually know what they like or don’t like. Your child’s preferences are an early indicator for choosing electives and extracurricular activities.
To determine your child’s educational track and align it with your child’s interests, you must check your state’s graduation requirements and specific requirements of the college and career of your choice. This can give you hints on which courses should be taken at a higher level and what electives and extracurricular activities your kid prefers.
Winter time is a great time to narrow your kid’s college choices and check the last requirements they must meet. You still have time to do extra courses.
Remember, extracurricular activities are very important, especially for Ivy League colleges!
You might like: How To Homeschool High School Electives
Work on Your Transcript
A high school transcript is a must for college admissions.
It’s a written record of your child’s academic journey and provides information about the subject taken, the number of credits, GPA, and schools attended.
Don’t leave this until the last moment. It can get stressful, as you will have to remember four years of education in detail.
The secret lies in adding to the transcript at the end of each year.
You can easily do it yourself and you can even buy an online transcript tool to help you create and store the information.
You might like: How To Homeschool High School: Curriculum Options, Transcripts, and Tips
Earn College Credits in High School
Did you know your kid can earn college credits while still in high school?
“What for?” you may ask. Your kid can graduate earlier, and “earlier” means paying less. There are three ways your kid can advance their college credits:
You can do one or combine the three of them. It’s a great way to get ahead of the game; as I said earlier, it saves your budget!
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Take an SAT or ACT test
SAT/ACT tests show your college that you’re ready to register.
Here is a comparison between these two, and you can take one or the other, or both. If you rank in the “state scholarship” range, it’s financially beneficial.
To prepare for SAT/ACT tests, you can take the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test), also known as the NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). It gives you information about your possible score and helps you assess your chances of qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship.
Apply to a College of your Choice
In your senior year, kids also have to get recommendation letters (not from parents) and complete transcripts with all the tests, AP classes, dual enrollment, or any other essential things they finished in this period.
They must also work on their college essay if the school of their choice requires one.
To apply to college, you can use the Common App if the college accepts it or apply through the college website. Check all the requirements and deadlines long before starting the application process!
College Admission Homeschool FAQs
Here are some answers to the most common questions about college admissions for homeschoolers.
1. How Do Colleges Feel About Homeschooling?
Most colleges love good homeschoolers. Why? Because good homeschoolers, apart from having good grades, bring in independence and responsibility.
Your kid is already used to working with greater flexibility and making their own choices.
Research reveals that homeschoolers achieve higher academic success and feel better about their college experience than students graduating from traditional high schools.
You might like: 6 Homeschooling Methods You Need to Know About
2. What Percentage of Homeschooled Students Go to College?
According to last year’s data, 67% of homeschoolers who graduated from high school get into college, compared to the 57.5% graduation rate of traditionally schooled students.
Out of this percentage, 69% of homeschooled students succeed in college proving that they usually perform much better than students from traditional institutions.
3. What Are The Top Homeschool Friendly Universities?
Most colleges are generally open to homeschool students, even Ivy League schools.
If you want to check how friendly the college of your choice is to homeschoolers, you may check on their admission site. Alternatively, send an email to the admissions department.
Or you can also see an official ranking here.
You might like: 7 Simple Study Methods for Middle and High School Students
4. What’s The Homeschool Code For College Applications?
All students applying for college need the CEEB (College Entrance Examination Board). This code is a unique identification number assigned to high schools and colleges by the College Board.
The CEEB Code lets you submit forms and documents for the Common Application. The CEEB code for college applications for Homeschool Students is 970000.
5. Do Homeschoolers Get A Diploma Or GED?
Yes, as I explained earlier, the homeschool diploma issued by the parents is as valid as any high school diploma, as long as it includes all the required information.
GED (General Educational Development) is a test that shows students are proficient in high school level academics.
Homeschoolers usually don’t need a GED, but I encourage you to check your state’s requirements.
6. Can Homeschoolers Get Scholarships?
Yes, homeschoolers have the same opportunities to get scholarships as traditionally schooled students.
Your kid can apply to FAFSA (The Free Application For Federal Student Aid). Also, they can keep improving their SAT/ACT scores to get merit-based scholarships. I recommend you look at these scholarships exclusive to homeschoolers, and colleges also offer scholarships.
You’re not limited to one scholarship! Apply to as many as you are eligible for.
Read here more about available scholarship options.
7. How Do You Send A Homeschool Transcript To College?
Nowadays, the Internet makes many things easier.
You’ll send your college application online, so you must upload your transcript and other documents through their portals.
You can use the Common App, and some colleges may ask you to do it through Parchment.
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Get Ready for College!
As you can see, homeschoolers have nothing to worry about regarding college admissions and applications.
All your kid needs is to plan in advance, follow the steps, and tick all the state and college requirements. Most importantly, tell your kid to enjoy high school! It’s a wonderful period!
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