Going from Homeschool to College: Can I Do It?
by Mark-Elliot Finley, Exodus Contributor
Homeschooling is a wonderful alternative to public schools. However, once 12th grade rolls around, students start thinking about their futures. Many homeschool students have aspirations for college. But can homeschool students get into college? Do universities even accept students enrolled in homeschool programs? Good news! Homeschool students go to college all the time! Universities always look to bring in a diverse student body each year. College admission offices are aware of the unique position homeschoolers are in, and some universities even have specific applications for prospective homeschool students.
In this blog, we discuss the importance of transcripts, exams, and community involvement. These points will help you successfully navigate the college application process as a homeschool student!
Importance of Transcripts
According to Khan Academy, college admission committees do not ask for a GED or diploma as part of a student’s application. Students generally apply to university in the 12th grade before graduation. However, admission committees do make decisions in part based on students’ transcripts. A student’s grades are a strong indicator as to how well he or she will perform in the college environment. Homeschooling affords individual attention to students. Such personalized instruction gives students more opportunities to succeed academically and boast grades on their transcripts.
There are some important things to remember when dealing with transcripts and the college application process: 1) ensure the student’s homeschool program has a state approved curriculum or is certified, and 2) make sure transcripts are accurately recorded. Many times homeschool families must record their own transcripts and send the record in themselves. If this is the case for you, try checking out The Homeschool Mom’s Transcript Resource! She offers a great transcript tool which you can use to send with a college application. Suffice it to say, working hard in homeschool is essential to a successful college application.
Exams and College Credit
Along with getting good grades and sending in accurate transcripts, many homeschool students also need to take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT to gain entrance into college. Universities differ on testing entrance scores and many offer scholarships for high achieving students. Research specific universities you are interested in to know what the admission requirements are.
Additionally, homeschool students can sit for Advance Placement (AP) exams. Many students think they must be in an AP class to take an AP exam; however, students only need to sign up with the College Board to be eligible to take an exam for college credit. The College Board offers study guides and practice tests to help prepare students for the exams. Many homeschool students take these exams and earn college credit, saving both time and money. Dual enrollment courses at local community colleges are also an option for homeschool students. Enrolling in a couple of dual enrollment classes not only prepares students for college work, but can also earn them college credit at a 4-year university.
College credit options are open to homeschool students and can allow homeschoolers to stand out in their application. However, that is not the only thing students can do to stand above the rest. Homeschoolers are blessed with flexible schedules, affording them time to engage more within their communities and extracurricular activities. Admission committees are looking for well-rounded students who can be a positive addition to the university environment. Homeschool students can demonstrate how they used their unique educational situation to better not only themselves but their community. Becoming part of community projects, volunteering, and pursuing passions outside of academics shows colleges you are well-rounded and balanced in your life. While you can’t do everything, make sure to make the most of your homeschool time and engage in the activities which you are most interested in. Writing about your passions and extracurricular activities in college essays will give admission committees a holistic view of you not only as a student but as a person who cares about bettering yourself and others.
How Exodus Can Help You
The transition from homeschool to college can be difficult. Exodus Institute can help, as we provide a fully accredited K-12 online program taught by certified Christian teachers. Our program helps students make the most out of their homeschool education and prepares them for college and beyond. For more information on what we can offer your family, visit https://www.thinkexodus.org/.
Are you beginning your homeschool journey? Or maybe you're an experienced homeschooler. Either way, Exodus Institute can help! We have programs for families seeking a complete online school, or just supplemental lessons.
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