Many people think that home school students have a harder time getting into college than students who attend public or private high schools, but this idea is generally a myth that no longer exists. While it was once true that those who attended school at home had a harder time gaining acceptance to colleges, changes to the curriculum and classes that those students take changed the way schools thought about those students. Students with good grades and a good background have a good shot at getting into an affordable college.
What is Home Schooling?
Home schooling serves as an alternative to students who do not want to or cannot take classes at a traditional high school. A common misconception is that these students are religious or come from religious backgrounds and do not want exposure to the ideals found in public schools. Many students take home courses because of bullying or problems with their peers, and others have medical conditions that might prevent them from attending school every day. Most states have some regulations that parents must follow regarding what classes students take at home to ensure they meet the bare minimum requirements for graduation.
What Do Colleges Look for in Applicants?
Home school students and those who graduate from public and private high schools must still show that they have the skills necessary to do well in college. Colleges look for students who are well rounded and show that they have experience in a variety of different ways. They want students who are active in their communities, do volunteer work and perform well in their classes. Some colleges also want students who have a diverse background in terms of what classes they took. The scores students receive on standardized tests like the ACT or SAT are also important.
Is College Harder for Home Schooled Students?
Kelsey Sheehy of U.S. News and World Report found that students entering college from a home program receive higher grades and are more likely to graduate college too. According to Sheehy, nearly 67% of students from home programs graduate from college while less than 58% of students from public and private schools finish college. Some people think that home schooled students have problems adjusting or spending time with their peers, but those programs actually help students learn how to focus their attention on their studies and how to better budget their time.
Applying for College
Students who go through alternative schooling options will still need to apply for college in the same way that traditional students do. Home schooled students will need to show that they studied a curriculum approved by the state and that they met the minimum requirements needed to obtain a high school diploma in that state. They will also need to show that they have experience outside of the home, including doing volunteer work at a local hospital or senior center, joining group activities with other students and/or working a part time job outside of the house. Home schooled students must also take one of the standardized tests and submit their scores to the college.
Home schooling provides students with a sound foundation for the future, and good programs prepare them for attending college too. Despite some misconceptions, getting into college is just as easy for students who go through home school programs as it is for more traditional students.