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Planning for College

Home-Schooled Students

Home-schooled students face different obstacles in college admissions because schools can’t really compare the coursework done by home-schooled students with the classes taken by students in traditional high schools. The good news is that, as more parents home-school their children, more colleges are making changes to the admissions process to be more home-school friendly.

The first step is to find out how the colleges your student is interested in handle home-school applicants. You may find some lingering negative attitudes, but don’t be discouraged.

Secondly, make sure your child takes college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT. This will give the admissions office an insight into your student’s abilities. If you’re not comfortable helping with test prep, there are other resources available. Some colleges offer test prep, and you can take advantage of test prep books or online prep courses.

It’s a good idea to put together a file of your student’s work. You might want to include items such as these in case the college asks:

  • A transcript in which you describe your child’s work.
  • A list of the textbooks used and workbooks completed.
  • Samples of papers or special projects completed.
  • Newspaper clippings about volunteer work.
  • Information about awards your child has received (4-H, Scouting, religious institution, etc.).

If any of the colleges your student is interested in require a personal essay or an interview, that also gives your child a chance to shine and the college another standard of comparison. The essay is an especially good way for your child to demonstrate writing ability and personality.