Homeschooling is a wonderful way to give children a unique education that is tailored to their own strengths and interests. One concern that parents who homeschool sometimes have, however, is whether their child will be prepared for college.
Many homeschooled kids successfully attend college, trade schools, or to enter the work world. So there are lots of options!
The Shortcut to College
The easiest way to attend college after homeschool is to go to a community college first. This eliminates all the below requirements and has almost no downside.
One thing to keep in mind is that if your child takes this option, he will transfer to the next college rather than enter as a freshman. Some scholarships are reserved for incoming freshman and he won’t qualify for those anymore. But other than that, this is a great option.
Classes are cheaper so it’s a good way for your child can get his general education classes out of the way. And there aren’t any standardized tests or transcripts needed for admission. He will have to take a couple of math and English/writing tests to see if will require any remedial classes and that’s it. Easy peasy.
This is also a great option for kids who want to go on to eventually attend a 4-year college or university but might need to mature a bit before they’re ready. And some kids choose to dual-enroll in community college classes while they’re in high school so that they graduate from their high school with college credits!
Directly from Homeschooling to a University
There are also plenty of homeschoolers to choose to attend a 4-year school immediately after high school. If that’s your preference, the first step is to look at the admission requirements of the school your child wants to attend.
They all vary somewhat depending on the state or region where the institution is located. This will give you the most accurate picture of what your child will need to be accepted.
The best time to do this is before high school, so that you can tailor his coursework accordingly. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your child has to take the same line-up of classes as a typical high schooler.
There are lots of ways to incorporate delight directed learning into your child’s studies without lessening his chances of attending university. In fact, many schools appreciate the unique education of homeschoolers and are happy to accept them.
If your child doesn’t know which school he wants to attend, there are some general guidelines you can keep in mind.
Here are 6 Homeschool Requirements for College Admission:
1 – Transcripts
Homeschooling parents are responsible for creating a transcript of their child’s academic records. This sounds intimidating, but it’s not that difficult.
The transcript should include the courses taken, grades earned, and the length of time spent on each course. Some colleges may require you to get the transcript signed and notarized by a third-party, such as a homeschooling association or a certified teacher.
I have a High School Transcript Template in my Subscriber Resources area if you are interested in seeing how our family has created transcripts. It’s also in Microsoft Word format, so you can edit it to suit your own needs.
2 – Standardized Tests
Standardized tests are an important component of college admission requirements. Homeschooled students may take the same tests as students who attend traditional schools, such as the SAT or ACT. Alternatively, they may take other tests, such as the GED or the HiSET.
I don’t recommend homeschoolers get their GED, however, because that gives the false impression that a homeschool education isn’t an adequate learning method on its own.
3 – Coursework
Homeschooled students should aim to take courses that are like those taken by students who attend traditional schools. Colleges typically look for students who have taken courses in English, math, science, social studies, and foreign languages.
It’s also important to note that some colleges may require that homeschooled students take specific courses, such as a laboratory science.
The good news is that homeschoolers have a lot of flexibility in this area. If your child isn’t very science-minded, consider having him learn about one aspect of science that does interest him, such as astronomy versus the typical Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics path.
You can also swap out math classes that will be more beneficial for your student, such as Applied Math or Personal Finance.
4 – Letters of Recommendation
Homeschooled students may need to provide letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to their academic abilities, such as a homeschooling association leader or a teacher who taught them in a particular subject.
Youth leaders, pastors, and employers are good resources for this as well.
5 – Extracurricular Activities
Colleges look for students who have been involved in extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs, or volunteer work. Homeschooled students should aim to take part in activities that interest them and that show their skills and talents.
This is another excellent area way to add some hands on learning to your child’s studies.
6 – Personal Statement
Many colleges require that applicants submit a personal statement or essay that describes their goals and aspirations. Homeschooled students should use this opportunity to showcase their strengths and highlight their achievements. This writing assignment can be incorporated into your child’s studies as well.
As you can see, the hurdles for homeschoolers to attend college aren’t very different from for students who attend traditional schools and there are different ways to jump over them depending on your child’s situation.
Keeping the above guidelines in mind will help your homeschooled students show off their academic abilities and increase their chances of being accepted into their desired college or university.