College Admissions Advice for Homeschooled Students

Homeschooled students might require a bit more of advice than the average publicly schooled individual. For that reason, we've listed here a few pointers for homeschoolers looking toward applying for college.

Admissions Advice for Homeschoolers

Many students and parents who opt for homeschooling do so in part to escape the stresses that come with public school life. However, that stress sometimes comes back to haunt them when it's college application time. Fortunately, the notion that it's more difficult for homeschooled kids to get into college isn't really true; the application process just requires a few tweaks.

Standardized Tests Are Your Friend

One of the most traditional methods of securing college enrollment is completely open to homeschooled students: standardized tests! Standardized test scores are essential elements to any college application. Students might opt to take the ACT, the SAT or both, so they can submit their best results. The College Board, administrators of the SAT, recommend taking their test twice - the spring of what would be your junior year, and the fall of your senior year - and using the best score of the two.

Of special relevance for homeschooled students, though, are the SAT subject tests. These are optional curriculum-focused examinations offered in myriad areas, such as mathematics, English and science. Homeschool.com recommends taking at least three. Test scores here can stand in for high school courses to show aptitude in a particular academic area. If you have an intended major or program of study, try to pick at least one subject test relevant to that discipline.

Get Unbiased Letters of Recommendation

Another important part of most college applications is letters of recommendation. Traditionally, students get these from teachers whose courses they excel in or from coaches at their school. However, that need not be the case: colleges are just as happy to accept letters from employers or from community or religious figures. Try to stay away from asking your parents to write one, though.

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Research Colleges That Interest You

Although every college-bound student should investigate schools that interest them, this can be especially important for homeschooled pupils. Some colleges have specific admissions requirements for homeschooled students. Those can be accessed through schools' admissions department websites or by meeting in person with school officials.

In fact, in-person meetings, whether through campus visits or college fairs, are a helpful avenue for homeschoolers to explore. Not only do they allow prospective students to learn about their future academic careers firsthand, but they help combat the unfortunate stereotype that most homeschooled kids are socially challenged.

Keep Organized

When college application time comes around, many high schools won't let you forget it. They'll be on you with notes, PA announcements and counselor visits around the clock. Homeschooled students don't really have this advantage/annoyance. Therefore, they should keep a schedule of deadlines and be extra-vigilant to file important documents and take necessary tests on time.

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Beef Up Your Transcript

What this means is kind of amorphous, but there are lots of ways to make a homeschooling transcript just as attractive as one from a traditional high school. For instance:

  • Use your personal essay to compellingly document your educational growth through your homeschooling experience.
  • Relate your passions, hobbies and activities. These go a long way toward presenting you as a well-rounded individual.
  • List any awards or honors won in competitions.
  • Note any previous classroom experience you have, such as college courses taken in conjunction with your homeschool curriculum.

Basically, do whatever you can to present as a unique, driven and education-hungry individual (while still telling the truth, of course).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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