College Admission for Homeschoolers

Can Homeschoolers Get Accepted into "Good" Colleges?

Can Homeschoolers Get Accepted into "Good" Colleges? Absolutely! See List of Colleges that have accepted Homeschoolers. Homeschooling has moved well beyond the stage of having to convince colleges that our students are capable of handling their programs. Harvard has been accepting homeschoolers for many years and has a full-time admissions officer dedicated solely to homeschool applications. The College Board, which administers the SAT tests, has many pages of information on their website dedicated to homeschooling. Homeschoolers have been accepted into all kinds of Colleges and Universities - religious, secular, military, etc.

Preparing for the SAT/ACT -
Doing well on these tests will be one of the biggest factors in the college admissions process, particularly for homeschoolers. Set academic goals that will help you do well on the SAT and prepare for it as well. Don’t let the SAT define your high school academics, but don’t underestimate its importance. By the way, studying Latin has been a real help to many homeschoolers in the English part of the SAT.

You can find books on preparing for the SAT at any bookstore - they contain practice tests and other tips and suggestions. Remember that the test has a time limit. Practicing timed tests would be a good idea.

The SAT includes timed tests in Grammar and Math and a Test of Standard Written English. Some colleges (such as University of Notre Dame) will require homeschoolers to take the SAT II (formerly called ACT tests) which tests in English, Math, Science, History and a Foreign Language. This is to give them a more objective record of your abilities in these subjects. You’ll have to find out the policy of the college you’re interested in.

Transcripts -
It’s a good idea to keep detailed records of your highschool education - grades, subjects and books studied, and samples of your work. Don’t panic if it’s not complete, however, because many (but not all) colleges are quite lenient on this point if you can write up a good summary of what you’ve studied and if you do fairly well on the SAT. (Also see Thomas Aquinas College's homeschooling information.

Letters of Reference -

Many colleges require letters of reference to determine intellectual ability, leadership qualities, etc. Many times parents will be considered somewhat biased in this area. Be creative in thinking about appropriate people for this task. If you’ve had some classroom experience outside the home during highschool, that teacher would be a possibility. People you’ve worked with in extracurricular activities and volunteer work are other possibilities.

Admissions Essays -

The Admissions Essays (where required) can be a great place to display, among other things, your abilities, interests and writing skills. Be humble enough to admit your weak areas, but don’t be afraid to let them know your strong points too. Be sincere.

Other Suggestions -

Collect information from colleges early on to get an idea of what you should be aiming for.

Apply to several colleges. Dr. Andrew Tadie, in an article from The Catholic Home Educator makes the following recommendation. "...apply to several schools I the fashion of triage: apply to two or three dream schools, two or three that are highly desirable, and two or three that are minimally acceptable. Make your choice after you know which institutions have approved admission and after you know the amount of financial aid they offer." (Lent 1997 issue)

It would be nice if regional homeschooling newsletters would print lists of colleges that have accepted homeschooled highschoolers from their group. (As is the norm with many high school newsletters.)

Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook

Book cover: 'Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook'
Cafi Cohen
Prima Publishing
Number of pages: 
321 pages
Grade / Age level: 

This book provides loads of information regarding homeschool admissions to college. Although not written specifically for Catholics, the author did solicit survey responses from Catholics (the webmaster was one of the respondents and has several quotes in the book under the pseudonym "Alexa") and there is a great deal of valuable information for any homeschoolers applying for college. It will be especially helpful for those beginning the admissions process with some trepidation and those wanting to attend colleges that are not especially known to be homeschool friendly.

Mrs. Cohen provides a great deal of advice (from herself as well as parents and homeschool graduates have successfully gone through the admissions process) on shopping for colleges, the diploma question, portfolios, transcripts, essays (an important aspect of admissions for homeschool applicants), letters of recommendation, testing, and a chapter on how homeschoolers are doing in college.

Although it is important to seek out information from a Catholic perspective as well (particularly with regards to choosing a good college), this book will be very useful to homeschoolers eagerly, but nervously seeking to apply to the college of their choice.

Review Date: 
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