How to Enter the Military as a Homeschooler
It’s important that we always remember to pay homage to our heroes, especially our military heroes. They’ve voluntarily decided to put their lives at risk to protect our country! What if your homeschooled student wants to become one of these heroes? Can homeschooled students enter the military?
Does the Military Accept Homeschoolers?
In short, absolutely! It might even interest you to know there are recognized benefits for homeschooled students who enter the military. For instance, did you know the Army now offers enlistment cash bonuses to homeschooled students? Those who qualify can receive up to $40,000 in bonuses! The military certainly welcomes homeschooled students. But, how do you get there?
How Can a Homeschooler Enlist in the Military?
To start, a homeschooler will need a detailed and comprehensive transcript that outlines high school coursework. If you need help putting together a transcript for your student, look into these free high school transcript templates. On this transcript, you’ll want to show that your student has met the basic graduation requirements for your state. Most states follow a prescribed number of credits required to graduate (usually 22-24 credits) and there are stipulations as to how these credits must be earned. For instance, students may need four math credits from Algebra 1 and above and may need three social studies credits. Find out what your state’s requirements are for a public school diploma and make sure your student meets those requirements at the minimum.
Students will also need a parent-issued high school diploma. HSLDA highly recommends a diploma over a GED because of legislative changes (the military has nearly eliminated GED holders from enlisting).
Step-by-Step Instructions for Homeschoolers Enlisting in the Military
Need to know exactly what to do to be ready for your student to enter the military? Here’s a handy step-by-step guide!
- Letter of intent. If you live in a state that requires you to file a letter of intent to homeschool, do that. Some states require that to “homeschool” but allow you to enroll under an umbrella as a “private school student.” Regardless of which option you choose, make sure you can obtain proof of having done one or the other. Important: If your state allows the “private school” option when homeschooling, HSLDA suggests just saying your student was “homeschooled” to alleviate complications.
- Transcripts. High school graduates need a high school transcript and the same applies to those who homeschool. So, make sure you get your student’s homeschool high school transcript to alleviate the headache of trying to pull one together at the last minute.
- Diploma. Make sure your homeschooled student has a traditional high school diploma issued by a parent, guardian, the state, or the county (whichever applies). According to HSLDA, GED candidates are no longer accepted for the military, so it is critical that your student obtain a high school diploma.
- Be specific. It needs to be made clear to the military recruiter that you, the parent, administered the home education program. If you ended up using a co-op to supplement, that’s perfectly fine – just don’t forget to list them somewhere on the transcript. In other words, they want to know that the student received a well-rounded education by a competent adult or set of adults.
- Enlistment testing. All students must take the military enlistment test known as the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). Students simply must receive a passing score.
In the end, homeschooled students have just as much of a chance at enlisting in the military as traditionally-schooled students. It’s important to have all your ducks in a row, making sure your student meets the minimum requirements laid out in the steps above.
Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.