College Admissions for Homeschooled Students

Lana Tanich
Lana Tanich

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Parents often choose to homeschool to add flexibility to learning. But, adding flexibility can make it more difficult to apply to college. Colleges and universities try to determine if you will succeed in a college environment. When you apply to college, you are asked to submit grade transcripts, test results, and course work information which traditional students can provide more easily. Because homeschooled students have various coursework, testing methods, and measures of course completion, it is more difficult to compare them to students who attend high school. Let’s lay this all out.

Plan High School Learning

Approximately 4% of U.S. students K-12 are homeschooled students. You may enjoy learning at home because you can learn some subjects at a faster pace while examining other subjects in greater depth. If you know you want to apply to the best colleges, you need to plan ahead of time what coursework you will need to take.


Depending on the curriculum you and your parents choose,
you may want to add in other learning opportunities such as online classes, local community college courses, or help from a tutor. You need to show you completed coursework equal to a senior in high school in 5 core subjects: Science, Math, English, History, and Foreign Language.

Develop Rigor and Challenging Course Work

Quality colleges want to see that you took a challenging and rigorous approach to learning. As you learn at home, or in other small settings, add difficulty to the learning process. For example, write longer essays, solve more math problems, or complete complex science experiments.

As you learn, you are developing solid thinking such as asking great questions, inventing solutions, and looking for solid evidence. Application boards can’t see what you’ve done at home, but they can see the results in your college essay, your SAT or ACT test results, and any national level contests.

Show Your Ability To Do Well

Interestingly, homeschool students show greater independence than traditional students. But, the independence makes it important to document and describe how you have prepared for college. Standardized tests are weighed more heavily in the application process.

Take the ACT or SAT. It is also a great idea to take SAT subject tests or AP tests. Your college essay can demonstrate your ability to write and think. And if you interview with a school, you can explain some of the things you did to challenge yourself.

Another area you can do well in is extracurricular activities. A flexible schedule provides an opportunity to play a sport, develop a talent, or serve in the community. When you contact Empowerly, we can help you put together your application to gain admittance to the college of your choice.

Questions? Let us know!