If you’re nervous that homeschooling your children will put them at a disadvantage when it comes time to consider higher education, don’t be! In 2006, the Home School Legal Defense Association released a report, entitled Homeschooled Students Excel in College, with some encouraging statistics for homeschoolers who are applying to colleges.
The study, authored by Christopher J. Klicka, reports that “96% of the colleges polled had at least one and sometimes over 200 home-educated students enrolled at their college. Several colleges had homeschoolers excelling in their honors programs.” Homeschooled students are also receiving financial aid the same way as any public schooled student would. In the past, homeschoolers were made to take the GED if they wanted to apply for financial aid.
Several local schools were discussed in the study. “Bruce Walker at the University of Delaware said one home-educated student who ‘had an exceptional SAT score was invited to be considered for a full scholarship!’,”Klicka says. Pennsylvania State University was also mentioned in reference to their decision-making when accepting homeschooled students. Klicka reports that, “They prefer a portfolio with as much information as possible, including extra curricular activities that demonstrate leadership. ‘Homeschoolers show strongly in that,’ said the admissions officer for Penn State.”
But what about the homeschooled student who dreams of attending an Ivy League school?
Klicka’s study quotes an admissions officer from Harvard University as saying, in reference to their homeschooled students, that they “‘have done very well. They usually are very motivated in what they do. [Transcripts are] irrelevant because a transcript is basically a comparison to other students in the school.’” The study goes on to report that at Harvard, “Results of the SAT and SAT II, an essay, an interview, and a letter of recommendation are the main requirements for home-educated applicants.” Klicka also says that, “In addition to Harvard, prominent schools like Yale (CT), Princeton (NJ), Texas A&M, Brown University (RI), the Carnegie Mellon Institute (PA), the Universities of Arizona, Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii and many others all have flexible transcript criteria, accept parental evaluations, and do not require any accreditation or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).”
If all of that still doesn’t convince you, there are two homeschoolers I personally know who got accepted at top tier schools. The daughter of one of my teachers from our homeschool co-op group got a scholarship to Princeton University when I was in high school. She accepted and went on to do extremely well at Princeton. Additionally, my brother – who was homeschooled his whole life – is in his senior year at the NJ Institute of Technology on a full academic scholarship. He has been in the honors program all four years because of his academic success.
So encourage your homeschooled students to study hard, load up on extracurricular activities and apply to their dream school! Chances are, they’ll get in.