by Alicia Bodine and Robin Richardson
As a result of the increased popularity of homeschooling, many colleges and universities are now creating specific admission policies to outline what requirements exist for homeschooled applicants. In order to adequately prepare for college, homeschoolers must be aware of these policies.
Ivy league schools differ in the way they handle applications from homeschoolers. Harvard, for example, doesn’t even require a high school diploma, and therefore, has no additional requirements for homeschoolers. Princeton on the other hand, requires homeschoolers to submit three separate adult references to gain further insight into the student’s passion for learning, involvement in extracurricular activities, and willingness to challenge himself academically. They also expect homeschoolers to take SAT and ACT tests.
Again, policies toward admitting homeschoolers varies from school to school. Georgia Tech doesn’t have any specific requirements for homeschoolers, but Stanford has quite a few. First, Stanford expects homeschooled students to discuss the decision to homeschool and its benefits on their application form. Second, SAT and ACT test results are weighed more heavily than the scores from non-homeschooled applicants. Finally, three letters of recommendation are required. Students can submit one from a parent in place of all three when homeschooled, however, the school prefers letters from three separate adults.
Many elite public universities require homeschoolers to provide evidence that backs up any transcripts they send in. This might include grades from any virtual schools, community college credits, and SAT scores. Just like with elite engineering schools, SAT and ACT scores are scrutinized more heavily among homeschooled applicants. Schools like the University of California will also accept high school proficiency examinations or GEDs in place of a diploma.
In addition to the core SAT scores, liberal arts schools require homeschoolers to submit three SAT subject tests. No minimum score is listed for admission, but the schools use this information to back-up any submitted transcripts. A few liberal arts schools have their own form for homeschoolers to fill out in addition to their admissions application. For example, Wesleyan University requires homeschoolers to submit a “Home School Supplement to the Common Application.”
State colleges require more detailed transcripts from homeschoolers. They prefer that the transcripts include a list of the courses, descriptions of each course, list of textbooks and teacher materials used to teach the courses, and how the student was evaluated and assigned a grade. SAT and ACT scores are not required by state colleges, but they could help demonstrate that your high school student is knowledgeable in important subjects like English and mathematics.
Community colleges generally only have three requirements: students must meet the minimum age requirement, posses a high school diploma, or have passed the GED. There are no usually no special requirements for homeschoolers except in the case of specific academic programs such as nursing, allied health, computer technology, or law enforcement. Admittance into specific programs within a community college may require minimum high school GPA averages or specific high school credit requirements.
Homeschool students who wish to complete college courses while finishing up high school can enroll in a dual enrollment program. Many community colleges offer this option, as well as schools like Liberty University and Victory University which provide high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn college credits, and even an associates degree. Students interested in this option must have a GPA of 2.7 or higher and provide the school with a current transcript in order to be considered for admission.
Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for nine years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Education.com, Time4Learning, Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Yahoo! Voices and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the Healthy Foods editor for BellaOnline. When Bodine isn’t writing, she’s busy homeschooling her oldest and caring for her youngest, who suffers from a rare neuro-genetic disorder