If you are in the home stretch of homeschooling high school, you are most likely staring down one of the biggest mountains yet, the college application process. Applying for colleges, from the essay and the transcripts to the campus visits has left many seasoned homeschoolers shaking in their boots. But, while college admissions for homeschoolers, studying for SAT and ACT exams, deciding on a career and determining the best college options can be overwhelming and scary, you do not have to fear. Here is what you need to know to ensure that your homeschoolers get into the college of their dreams – worry-free.
If you are nervous about college admissions for homeschoolers, specifically how your dream college will receive you as a homeschooling student or if you think “my child will not get into college because she homeschools,” there is good news. The tide has changed regarding homeschoolers and college acceptance. Colleges and Universities are beginning to view each child as an individual, regardless of their educational background. The following quote is from Rutgers University:
“We view homeschooled students similar to students taught in other environments. For all our applicants, however they are schooled, we require specific academic work and accept homeschool diplomas similar to other high school diplomas for proof of graduation.”
Throughout the past couple of years, Colleges and Universities have started noticing strengths among their homeschooling applicants. They now realize that many homeschool students have already learned time management skills and how to take responsibility for teaching themselves, both of which are essential for academic success in college.
But what if your student has his eyes on the Ivy League?
Even then you have no cause for fears as universities such as Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Penn State, and Liberty to name a few, also indicate that they gladly accept homeschooled students with proper documentation. The truth about homeschooling has come out, and homeschool graduates around the world are proving that homeschooling, with its flexibility, individuality, and freedom, produces outstanding learners ready for anything college may bring.
Get Your Foot in the Door
So, you know you can make the grades in college. But, your application looks very different than the average student. What do you need to do to ensure that your college application is on the same footing as your traditionally schooled peers? Follow these simple steps.
How to Find the Documents Needed for your Dream College or University:
- Know and have the basic documentation. Almost all Colleges and Universities require SAT Scores, ACT Scores, Transcripts, and information about your Extra Curricular Activities. You can have these ready to go in advance.
- Visit their website. Many Colleges and Universities give information to homeschool applicants on their admissions website. For example, Liberty University has multiple links for homeschoolers including, the 4 A’s of Admissions, a Homeschool Admissions Policy Page, a Transcript Guidelines page, and a Homeschool Advantage Programs page. These types of documents are added to many college websites to make applying to their college easier for you.
- Ask Questions. Sometimes it can be difficult finding all of the information from the website, so do not be afraid of calling an admissions counselor to ask some questions. After all, that is why they are there!
- Make a list and timeline. By making a list of items needed for your dream college and knowing the deadlines, you can be sure that you will not miss anything. Start gathering the items you need 3-6 months before the deadline so that you have plenty of time to work out any kinks that may come up.
- Be sure your transcript is complete. The most critical piece of a college application is the high school transcript. If you are not working with an accredited homeschool partner, be sure that you know your state’s requirements and have met them before you begin applying to colleges and universities. It is also a good idea to check out what colleges see as ideal candidates and frame your academic plan around their requirements (community service, 1 year of foreign language or two, etc.).
It is important that you devote time to developing and preparing for the challenges that your child will face in college. Time management, study skills, and critical thinking are all extremely important for success on a college campus. According to Penn State University,
“All students must make a big transition from high school to college. Homeschooled students may have some advantage over traditionally-schooled students in that college work requires a great deal of self-learning. Instructors expect students to learn material that is not actually presented within the confines of the classroom.”
If you are not positive that your child is building these skills, you can gain peace of mind by working with a homeschool partner and allowing experts to help keep your child on track.
After all, 85% of Bridgeway graduates get into the college of their dreams.
That’s one statistic you want to be part of, right? We focus on rigorous academics, accredited transcripts and diplomas, and flexibility so you can focus on helping your child achieve their goals.
Applying to college as a homeschooler can be a scary time, but do not let fear get the best of you! Chances are your homeschooling has better prepared you for the challenges your student will face. But, if you’re not completely confident in how your child will look on paper, visit us at bridgewayacademy.com or call Bridgeway at 800-863-1474.