Surprising Alternatives for High School Students

June 30, 2018
Written by:
Jamie Gaddy


With the unbelievably high cost of a college degree, it isn’t surprising that many young people homeschooling the high school years are rethinking their future and turning their backs on formal education. They are discovering that there is an increasing number of amazing alternatives to the college degree. In fact, many of the larger universities are making their course “open-ed.” This means that if you are self-motivated, you can take a college course for free and get all the training you need without the official certification. Certainly, there are career paths that do require a college degree, but you’ll find that there are just as many that don’t require that official piece of paper.


Alternative Paths to Higher Education

Many homeschool high school students have no desire to attend a college or university. Formal education may not even be necessary for the career path they have chosen after receiving their homeschooling high school diploma. However, there is typically some type of “credentials” that vocational or technical jobs require on an employee’s resume. This experience or credentialing can come in the form of internships, apprenticeships, hands-on experience, or even vocational or technical school.

Examples of College Alternatives

Military Service

Many homeschool high school students ask the question – Can I serve in the military? The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” There are a few requirements such as a decent transcript, a passing score on the military test, and  – of course- physical ability. Click for more information on Military Programs for Homeschoolers.

Volunteer Service

Many who are homeschooling the high school years take advantage of the time right after graduation to volunteer their service. This builds maturity and can also look great on a resume or college application. If your student volunteers make sure to log all volunteer hours and track the experience they receive on our free volunteer hours log.

Taking a Gap Year

Taking a gap year has become increasingly more common as students feel the need for a break in between high school and college. The gap year is a chance for those who homeschooled high school to travel abroad, join the peace corps, or even volunteer. In any case, it gives the needed time to recuperate before diving into studies again.

Enter the Workforce

Many homeschool high school students may already have the experience and training to go straight into the workforce. Whether there has been training or not applying for a job is no easy task. Goodwill Industries International is a great place to begin. Most areas have a local branch, and they will help with everything from resume creation to practicing job interviews.

Start a Business

Over the years, we have seen that homeschooling is the breeding ground for amazing entrepreneurial skills. If you’ve got the hankering to become your own business owner, take a few classes on business operation and accounting and set about accomplishing your dream! Read all you can about homeschool entrepreneurs.

Try an Internship or Apprenticeship

If college just doesn’t fit into the future after homeschooling high school, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, with the rising cost of college education, many students are experimenting with other options. In fact, many career dreams can be fulfilled simply through hard work. Internships are most often an unpaid position, however, it is a “foot in the door” and if employers feel you are doing a good job a job offer may follow. Apprenticeships, on the other hand, are usually a paid position where the employer understands that he/she will be teaching the employee a skill or trade. Apprenticeships are typically long term situations. Still wondering how to start? Read more in our article on Homeschooling Internships.


Jamie Gaddy

Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been a part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional school and homeschool became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, editor, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children in Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience to help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected].