How do Homeschoolers Apply for College?

Instructor: Lindsey Mitchell

Lindsey has achieved a bachelor's degree in Global Policy and Communication, with minors in biology and French. She currently teaches English in France.

This article provides homeschoolers with information on common requirements for the college application process and factors they will likely want to take into consideration.

Applying for College: A Guide for Homeschoolers

While there are some commonalities between the application processes for traditional high school students and homeschoolers, there are also a number of differences that homeschoolers will likely want to be aware of. The list below highlights some of the key parts of the process.

Fulfill State Homeschool Requirements

Individual states generally set their own regulations governing homeschool programs. It is important that students make sure their homeschool program and curriculum meet the standards set by the state that they live in.

For example, in states like New York, parents of homeschoolers must provide the state with proof that their student is meeting subject requirements in areas like math, lab science, English and social studies via an Individualized Home Instruction Plan, in addition to filing quarterly reports and annual assessments. Meeting these and other requirements could help ensure students have taken the right courses to meet a college or university's curricular requirements while also making it easier to provide the proper documentation to admissions departments.

Submit Academic Documentation

Some colleges and universities require that homeschool students submit a transcript - just as they do for traditional high school applicants - that details the courses they took in their homeschool program and the grades they earned. Colleges may also require that students submit course descriptions.

Students and parents who are interested in designing their own homeschool curriculum with the help of online resources may want to check out the homeschool classes provided by Those who pursue this option would be able to easily provide course descriptions to the schools they apply to, and could demonstrate students' performance through quiz and exam scores.

Those who completed a more official homeschool program, like through an online school, can request copies of transcripts directly from their school.

Provide Letters of Recommendation

Other common components of the application process include submitting letters of recommendation. Typically, schools prefer that teachers or professors provide these letters, which may be more difficult for homeschoolers. However, homeschool students can prepare for this necessity by taking dual-enrolment courses at a local college as juniors and seniors or taking courses through an organized homeschool co-op, as they would be able to develop relationships with teachers outside of their family members. Students will also need to provide a personal statement that details their academic interests and motivations for applying to college.

Take Standardized Tests

Homeschooled students may need to take the GED before applying to college. Even more frequently, they are required to take either the SAT or the ACT as part of the admissions process. Results from this exam are important, as they provide colleges and universities with a way of comparing homeschool applicants directly with applicants from traditional high schools. Many traditional high schools provide students with the opportunity to take ACT and SAT preparation courses. Homeschoolers can prepare for these exams by completing online prep courses, like those provided by

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