One of the biggest concerns about families who decide to homeschool their children is the issue of those children gaining admissions to accredited colleges and universities once they have completed their high school programs through a homeschooling curriculum. Being homeschooled means that students do not have regular report cards and grade records from an accredited high school, and thus they are at a clear disadvantage when they attempt to gain admissions to college. This is a fact. On the other hand, there is a path to college for these students, and families must plan for this in advance.
Can Homeschoolers Go to College?
The short answer is yes, they can. The long answer is that there will be very specific things that must be done while they are in their high school years in order to be eligible for admissions. Colleges in general require that a student attend an accredited high school – this means a public high school recognized by the department of education in a state or a private high school which has accreditation through the North Central Accrediting Association for secondary schools. Homeschooled children do not fit into either one of these categories. Families, therefore, must take the following steps to ensure admission under alternative criteria.
Homeschooled students do physically reside in a public school district. And that pubic school district does have certain obligations to all students who reside within their districts. So, it is within the rights of homeschooled students to request to participate in any standardized testing that occurs during high school years. On these occasions, the students present themselves to a high school within their district and take these tests along with all other students. The results of these tests are then available to the homeschooled students as a part of their school records.
Homeschooled students must take either the ACT or the SAT test, at the end of their junior years or beginning of their senior years. This test provides a standard assessment of their knowledge and skills in comparison to other high school students across the country.
The other thing that colleges look at are the activities and organizations in which students have been involved during their high school years. Parents of homeschooled students should ensure that those students have a strong “resume” of activities. They can participate in public school co-curricular activities if they choose, including clubs and organizations sponsored by the school. Volunteer activities within the community are also important.
Armed with this cumulative record of test scores, student applications for admissions to most colleges and universities will be honored. While their course grades do not come from a school per se, those test scores, if good, will be enough for an admissions committee to consider them.
What are the Best Colleges for Homeschoolers?
There is no one answer to this question. Homeschooled children have different needs and desires, just as regular school students do. Some wish to go to large public institutions; others prefer a smaller private school atmosphere.
There are many studies that have attempted to determine the success of homeschoolers in college. For the most part, those students who do enter college share the same rate of success as students from regular school.
So, do homeschoolers go to college? Absolutely. Are they successful? Absolutely.