Can homeschool students be accepted into “good” colleges?
Just as college is not right for every high school student, it is not right for every homeschooled student. However, many homeschooled students do go on to postsecondary education, and find great success there, whether by starting at community colleges, or heading straight into 4 year universities. And many carry on into pursuing graduate degrees!
Why Parents Choose to Homeschool their Children
More and more parents are choosing to homeschool their students for many reasons. Many feel dissatisfied with conventional school teaching, policies and regulations. Schools offer essentially one way to be successful- kids go to class, do their homework, do well on tests, and get good grades. Homeschooling may offer many ways of success: kids can be successful by starting businesses, planting gardens, building and creating meaningful things (like tiny houses or cars), getting jobs, creating art, or working on their mental health, to mention only a few possibilities. Homeschooling offers parents the freedom to have more control of what their children learn, and nowadays, parents have access to a vast array of resources and materials to form a competitive homeschool program.
Types of Colleges
Community college is easy for homeschooled students to attend, and many begin attending community colleges as high school students. In fact, some students graduate from their homeschool programs already well on their way towards completing their AA degree. Read about this Pacific Sands Academy student who graduated from high school while also earning her Associates Degree from her local community college. Alternatively, students who take courses at community colleges can very often transfer to universities. This is an excellent choice both academically and financially.
Attending a 4 year university is a choice that many students want to pursue, and it is certainly possible for homeschoolers. Most universities will ask homeschool students to demonstrate their academic performance, skills and knowledge through specific ways, such as:
High School transcript -This is an official educational document that shows the subjects and classes the student has completed. It includes their grades and overall GPA. Although schools provide this automatically to students upon graduation, parents who homeschool their children can find many resources online that offer free high school transcript templates and services. Pacific Sands Academy offers this service to their students.
- Courses in local community college – Homeschool students can attend classes at their local college. Homeschoolers are allowed to dual-enroll and receive college credits that they can apply to 4-year universities if they so choose to fulfill certain college requirements
- Samples of projects completed – To show colleges that students can perform at a higher academic level beyond high school, submission of research papers, essays and even letters of recommendation from non-relatives who are familiar to them, helps immensely
- Standardized tests such as the SAT – A high score from a standardized test such as the SAT, is often required for admittance to universities. Homeschoolers can complete the SAT, just as any other high school kid, by registering online. With practice and sufficient study, homeschoolers can gain a high enough score to prove their educational abilities to the university of their choice.
- Extra Curricular Activities- What things outside of school have students accomplished? Theater? Sports? Community service? Jobs? Travel? All of this “counts” towards college acceptance. And homeschoolers often have more time to complete these activities. These can be demonstrated through their college entrance essays, online portfolios, or resumes.
Colleges Want Homeschool Students
Admissions officers at four year universities are often impressed by the academic accomplishments of non-traditionally educated students. They look for students who are interested and engaged in the world around them, who offer more than simply a high achieving transcript. Homeschooling usually means more time for internships, extracurricular activities and working part time jobs, all of which are seen quite favorably by colleges and universities.
Famous Homeschoolers Who Went to College
Margaret Atwood – this famous Canadian poet and author, did not attend regular school until the age of 12. She went on to attend the University of Toronto majoring in English Literature.
Condoleeza Rice – this former United States Secretary of State was homeschooled by her mother during her formative childhood years. She went on to graduate from the University of Notre Dame and University of Denver.
Serennah Harding – the youngest female American doctor who graduated from Philadelphia College of Medicine. She was homeschooled until the age of 12.
Homeschoolers Can Go To College
In conclusion, students who have been homeschooled have the potential to be admitted into most any college, whether by transferring from community college, or going straight into a four year university. As long as parents prepare, do research and are passionate about their child’s academic goals, they can prosper far beyond the high school level. Remember, colleges look for passionate bright students, and homeschoolers often exemplify passionate learners with their interest led curriculum. With the abundance of resources and flexible online courses for homeschoolers, there is no reason not to expect entrance into college.
I sincerely hope you found this helpful, and hope you find or create the program that best matches your needs. If you would like to find out more about our program, Pacific Sands Academy, please click here, and set up a free consultation to see if we are that program for you.