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As a parent or a freshly minted homeschooling student, you are wondering will the college or universities give me a chance? The admissions officers are the guardians of your path to higher education.
Homeschoolers who have completed their education and applied to colleges and universities are accepted for admissions like any other student. The application process is nearly the same for homeschooled students as their fellow public or private schooled students.
You have worked hard over the years to prepare for this moment, what is the process like? For a homeschooled student you are at an advantage, now what is it that makes it different?
You are going to find the right college or university that fits your special situation. And admissions officers are always looking for the right fit for their student body. Homeschooled students are unique and will stand out from the rest of the other applications. The acceptance rates are always a factor, but the number of homeschooled students is also on the rise. And the colleges are noticing this. They are more prepared for it than they were years ago. Even the top institutions like the Ivy League schools are accepting students that were homeschooled.
Homeschoolers have well rounded educations and are unique
Many homeschooled kids will have a very thorough education and it will include extracurricular activities as well. A well rounded background is one of the criteria for acceptance to the top schools. Most parents have dedicated their time and efforts to provide the best possible outcome for their children. Even traditionally educated students find it highly competitive to get to the top universities. And lastly you will most likely find that the universities have special sections of their online resources dedicated to home schooled students for applications, so it makes it very clear about how to succeed.
If you have your sights on going to a top school or not, rest assured that you will be able to get into a college somewhere. But to just make a point, Columbia University has a special webpage for home schooled students. See the good news right here.
Columbia Undergraduate Admissions
“In each case, admissions officers are weighing many components of a candidate’s background: academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, extracurricular distinction, special talents and abilities and many others.”
Are there differences for Homeschoolers when they apply to a University?
Your grades will be scrutinized more carefully for sure since you were taught and graded by your family. You will have to provide detailed information to support this as well as your transcripts. Every school will have their own particular requirements. Many schools also will require standardized test results. Like for Columbia University, you can see they accept ACT or SAT scores. Please note that not all schools may require this.
Some schools may or may not require a GED which is a special degree for students who dropped out of school only to return later. The majority of schools may simply accept your transcripts as proof of your graduation and this can also be verified per each school’s own requirements. It may also be a good idea to prepare information on the history of your reasoning to opt out of public or traditional schooling. This may highlight the and give further insight into your educational journey and you can use this to your advantage.
What if you are set on applying to an Ivy League School?
The good news is that there are home schooled students who have attended those prestigious programs. Please remember though the acceptance rates for these schools are very low and the competition is very high. You can see the acceptance rates of the top schools here for reference.
You will have to prepare very early like any other student and build up an outstanding record of achievement. We suggest special projects to really get the attention of admissions officers for one of the top schools. A project such as creating your own website or club for a special interest or cause is certainly something unique you can do. Any way to be truly unique is going to support your application. Evidence of personal development outside of the classroom is a bonus for sure.
You are Unique and Colleges are seeking Homeschoolers
You are a unique individual as a homeschooled student. You might as well highlight this to the admission team. One excellent way is to prepare some outstanding letter of recommendations from the people that are best able to represent their views of your character. Think of the people who you have worked with or come across in the community that knows about your educational pursuits and can attest to your integrity, performance and character. An excellent letter of recommendation can go a long way in supporting your record. How to ask someone to write a letter for you? Let an admissions officer’s suggestions from this US News article show you how.
Also if you are from one of the states that have very stringent regulations for homeschooling, this can also be a benefit to highlight on your application. The rigorous and thorough preparation of a homeschooler cannot be overlooked. Your chances of success to get into the college of your choice depends on the overall strength of your record and how you present yourself.
Colleges are welcoming homeschoolers even at Harvard. As the number of families who educate their children rises, there will be more awareness of this noticeable movement. There were over 1.7 million homeschooled students in the United States, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics
Colleges and universities are always seeking new ways to find the best students for their schools. This can only benefit our homeschooled children and we can also use this to our advantage. The data also shows that the overall quality of a homeschooled student can be higher than traditionally schooled kids. If this is the case then this is even more reason to be confident that your son or daughter will be able to get into the school of their choice.
So how does all this affect Homeschoolers?
After reviewing many websites even from my own children I believe that homeschoolers are just like any other students applying for college and university. The top schools will certainly be more challenging to get in. And if we want our children to attend these universities we have to prepare well in advance. It could be a stressful process for any parents the matter if they were educated by ourselves or through a public or private school.
The truth is most universities are looking for well rounded individuals with some positive outside of classroom personal development. As long as we highlight this in our children’s applications there should be no problem for our children to get into College or university they choose.
And one final part of the puzzle has all students apply for university. How are you going to pay for this education? Well that’s also good news for homeschoolers as well. Scholarships are available for you as well. Check out some of the links for financial aid information. There are a wide range scholarships available. There are programs for special talents and of course special needs.
So now you see that the stress of applying to a university for your homeschooling kid is not any challenging than the next kid. As a homeschooler you might even be better off than a non-homeschooled student. So make sure you start early, like a few year! And begin your preparation now. If you have any doubts about other aspects of college admissions please check out some of these other articles. You might be interested to learn about some tips for essay writing, letter of recommendation prep and other college prep info.
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