As of 2020-2021, there are around 3.7 million homeschooling students in the United States. This non-traditional form of education is becoming quite a popular option for many different reasons. However, one question that often comes up with parents (and kids) who are homeschooling or considering to homeschool is: How do homeschoolers get into college?
The college application process can be daunting no matter what type of school your child attends. In this article, we’ll give you some tips homeschoolers can use to ease the college application process, as well as some great tips for homeschoolers once they’re in college.
Looking For Colleges
When searching for ideal colleges, think about what you’d like to study. Make sure that you look for colleges that offer that majors in the area, and be sure to pick colleges that offer enough of the courses that you want to take.
If you’re not sure what exactly you want to study yet, don’t worry! Think about the types of subjects you enjoy most, your learning style and the type of environment you want to be in. You may want to attend a small Liberal Arts school in a small town, or a large public university in a major city. These are things to keep in mind when you’re narrowing down which schools you’ll apply to.
You need to decide whether you want a college that is within driving distance from where you’re located, or if you want to live on-campus in the dorms or if you want to move away, but live in an apartment/house off campus. You can even select a college that provides solely online classes to its students.
Additionally, you want to choose whether you’re going to a private college, or a state university. Both offer their own opportunities in terms of scholarships and financial aid that you’ll want to be sure to check out.
In order to be able to get into college, most high school students need to have to take some sort of standardized test. Two of the most common standardized tests t are the ACTs and the SATs, but colleges use other types of tests as well.
Before you apply to a college, make sure that you know all of the requirements in terms of standardized testing. You need to be sure to check the testing schedules of when these exams are offered, and when you can take one if you have been homeschooled.
To help you prepare, you can also take a few practice tests and look at some sample questions. There are study guides available both online or in print to prepare for both the SAT or ACT.
Another consideration for the college application process is how you will pay for your college education. Fortunately, there are many different options for financial aid. The first step of this process is filling out the forms for federal aid (FAFSA).
Many private companies and other community organizations sponsor scholarships. There are also grants that are given to college students. Grants and scholarships don’t need to be repaid, which is a big bonus!
When you’re applying for scholarships, we recommend that you apply for as many as you can. Start applying for them as early as you can as well. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, it will all add up in the end.
Besides grants and scholarships, there are also student loans with low interest rates that might be an option for you. When you’re applying for a loan, make sure that you properly research the different types of loans available to you and find one that offers the best terms.
When it comes to the college admissions process, you need to find out what each college on your list specifically requires for admission. There is usually an essay submission needed, and sometimes standardized testing scores are required.
When writing your college essay, you need to showcase yourself in the best possible way. Sell the points that make you unique, and that set you apart from other college applicants.
In your essay, be sure to share your goals in life, and how the college will benefit from having you as a student. Make sure to highlight your achievements, any volunteer work that you’ve done, any awards that you’ve earned, and any activities/athletics that you’ve participated in.
Being a homeschooler doesn’t mean that you don’t have impressive credentials, so present your accomplishments with your head held high!
Items that are usually suggested or requested by colleges often include:
- Reading list of every textbook/novel read during high school
- Detailed syllabus for every subject
- Amount of time you’ve spent on each course
- Reason(s) for homeschooling
- Description of your homeschooling setting
- Explanation of your evaluative methods and grading scale
- Transcripts from any college courses taken
- Letters of recommendation from a non-academic teacher such as a music teacher or art teacher or a letter from an internship or work supervisor
Tips For Homeschoolers That Are Transitioning To College
Once you’ve managed to get into the college you’ve wanted, it can feel a bit intimidating to actually enroll if you’re a homeschooler. Since homeschoolers are used to a smaller classroom environment, a big lecture hall with hundreds of students can feel overwhelming. For this reason, we’ve provided a few tips for a successful transition.
Get To Know Your Professors
One-on-one instruction won’t be standard when you’re in college, and you can feel easily lost in a crowd of students. On occasion, stay behind after class to greet your instructor, and visit your professors during their office hours to develop a more personal relationship with them.
By establishing a connection with the professors at your university, you will be able to ask for help when needed, or ask for a letter of reference for grad school in the future.
Get Involved In Campus Activities
It can feel pretty lonely when you’re transitioning from home to life on a college campus. Many people who are homeschooled are used to close family bonds, and it can be a challenge being away from loved ones.
It is always a smart idea to meet new people if you want to ease the loneliness you might experience. You can join a student organization, an athletic team, or build friendships in your dorm with like-minded people.
How Do Homeschoolers Get Into College? Just Like Other Students!
Plenty of homeschoolers get into the college of their dreams every year, and you can definitely do it, too.
The knowledge homeschoolers receive isn’t any different than the knowledge a traditional student has learned, which is why most colleges don’t view homeschoolers as any “less” than traditional students. We hope that this guide will help you with the process of getting into college, and we wish you the best of luck to get into the college of your dreams!