College Admissions and Scholarships

July 11, 2013
Written by:
Guest Author

What do colleges expect from homeschoolers? Let’s find out.

Ivy League Schools

Ivy league schools differ in the way they handle applications from homeschoolers. Harvard, for example, doesn’t even require a high school diploma, and therefore, has no additional requirements for homeschoolers. Princeton, on the other hand, requires homeschoolers to submit three separate adult references to gain further insight into the student’s passion for learning, involvement in extracurricular activities, and willingness to challenge himself academically. They also expect homeschoolers to take SAT and ACT tests.

Elite Engineering Schools

Again, policies toward admitting homeschoolers vary from school to school. Georgia Tech doesn’t have any specific requirements for homeschoolers, but Stanford has quite a few. First, Stanford expects homeschooled students to discuss the decision to homeschool and its benefits on their application form. Second, SAT and ACT test results are weighed more heavily than the scores from non-homeschooled applicants. Finally, three letters of recommendation are required. Students can submit one from a parent in place of all three when homeschooled, however, the school prefers letters from three separate adults.

Elite Public Universities

Many elite public universities require homeschoolers to provide evidence that backs up any transcripts they send in. This might include grades from any virtual schools, community college credits, and SAT scores. Just as with elite engineering schools, SAT and ACT scores are scrutinized more heavily among homeschooled applicants. Schools like the University of California will also accept high school proficiency examinations or GED in place of a diploma.

Liberal Arts Schools

In addition to the core SAT scores, liberal arts schools require homeschoolers to submit three SAT subject tests. No minimum score is listed for admission, but the schools use this information to back-up any submitted transcripts. A few liberal arts schools have their own form for homeschoolers to fill out in addition to their admissions application. For example, Wesleyan University requires homeschoolers to submit a “Home School Supplement to the Common Application.”

State Colleges

State colleges require more detailed transcripts from homeschoolers. They prefer that the transcripts include a list of the courses, descriptions of each course, list of textbooks and teaching materials used to teach the courses, and how the student was evaluated and assigned a grade. SAT and ACT scores are not required by state colleges, but they could help demonstrate that your high school student is knowledgeable in important subjects like English and mathematics.

Community Colleges

Community colleges generally only have three requirements: students must meet the minimum age requirement, possess a high school diploma, or have passed the GED. There are no usually no special requirements for homeschoolers except in the case of specific academic programs such as nursing, allied health, computer technology, or law enforcement. Admittance into specific programs within a community college may require minimum high school GPA averages or specific high school credit requirements.

Dual Enrollment Option

Homeschool students who wish to complete college courses while finishing up high school can enroll in a dual enrollment program. Many community colleges offer this option, as well as schools like Liberty University and Victory University which provide high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn college credits, and even an associates degree. Students interested in this option must have a GPA of 2.7 or higher and provide the school with a current transcript in order to be considered for admission.

What Kind of Scholarships are Open to Homeschoolers?

This question is somewhat of a hard one to answer, just because it differs for everyone. There are all kinds of scholarships out there for everyone. Start your scholarship search by looking at a comprehensive listing of “easy to apply for” scholarships! Find a college scholarship that is just for you!


Most organizations won’t discriminate against you because you’re homeschooled (unless they’re called “Scholarships for Public Schoolers” or something). And if you don’t get a scholarship, try to keep in mind that maybe it just wasn’t the right one for you. For every ten applications you send in, you may only get one or two back positive.

Places You Can Find Scholarships:

  • Colleges

  • Heritage organizations

  • Professional organizations; corporations, community businesses

  • Churches

  • Civic groups

Online Research

There are many ways to check which scholarships you qualify for.

College BoardScholarship America, and Fast Web are some great sites to help you along.

Remember that applying for scholarships should happen between your junior and senior year of high school. And have fun doing it! You’re helping your future by helping your college payments, and that’s a big deal but there’s no way you can’t have a blast writing an essay!

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

-Thomas Jefferson