Can You Still Attend a Top 20 School if You Only Homeschool?

Homeschooled students existed before the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that the Covid-19 pandemic has struck, the rate of homeschooling has significantly increased. Many people wonder if you can still attend a top 20 school if you only homeschool. Yes, the answer is yes.

Homeschooling is similar to school curriculums in that it refers to education that occurs outside of the public or private school system.

It is critical for both students and parents to understand the purpose of homeschooling – it is different from virtual or online learning, and it is more flexible than remote learning. Homeschooling laws vary by state, so it is important to note that homeschool requirements can change frequently, so make sure to check the requirements on a regular basis.

Because it is known to be more flexible than remote learning, students should learn how to make plans and create a schedule, so it is critical for students to sign up for Time4Learning, a national leader in online school, which helps students keep track of what they need to complete each day.

Finally, people frequently mistakenly believe that local homeschooling lacks an organized specified curriculum that prepares students for college admission. However, searching and looking for local homeschool groups can provide a variety of information on group field trips, essential classes for homeschoolers to take, and other forms of socialization such as internships, volunteers, and extracurricular activities that can build students’ resumes or portfolios.

As the number of homeschooled students grows, parents and students wonder if homeschooled students can get into prestigious schools, including Ivy Leagues, because they are unaware of the college admission requirements for homeschoolers.

Homeschoolers have gathered for a brainstorming workshop with the St. Louis Homeschool Network. Photo: Sherbondy / Licensed Under: CC0 1.0

Good news for them: colleges and universities have specific application requirements for homeschoolers. Harvard University, for example, has application requirements for homeschoolers – the application process for homeschoolers is the same as for other freshmen applicants, by completing the Common Application and the Universal College Application, or Coalition Application.

Other top 20 schools, including the Ivy Leagues, state that their admission requirements do not differ from those of other freshmen applicants – they conduct holistic admissions of all applicants, which means they look for academic achievements and strong test scores, among other things.

However, some colleges and universities require specific supplements for homeschoolers; for example, Dartmouth College requires not only homeschool curriculum and outside letters of recommendation, but also students in foreign language proficiency with the AP or SAT subject test. Princeton University also requires a different application than other prospective applicants – homeschoolers should expect to take the ACT with writing or the SAT. Two SAT subject tests are recommended but not required.

To summarize the main factors for homeschoolers to focus on for college admission requirements, students must focus on transcript of course. Homeschoolers do not receive transcripts from their school; rather, homeschoolers and their parents are responsible for producing their own transcripts by providing academic accomplishments such as courses taken, GPAs, and more, using the transcript templates.

Standardized test scores are another option for focusing, but now that many schools are test-optional, colleges and universities expect strong SAT and ACT scores from homeschooled students. So it is critical for homeschoolers to earn the highest possible scores on standardized tests, and if they do not, they should be able to demonstrate college readiness through other exams that evaluate your academic skills, such as CLEP or AP.

Of course, letters of recommendation are important for homeschoolers; however, they must avoid receiving recommendation letters from their parents, knowing that colleges expect letters from people other than your parents who have been with you the longest. Make sure you interact with people outside of homeschool enough so that they are aware of your strengths and can explain your potential in writing.

Finally, extracurricular activities are important factors for non-homeschoolers as well – internships, volunteers, and extracurricular activities are important for building resumes. Colleges look into sports, volunteers, local clubs or organizations, or even donations, as well as internship opportunities and the positions you held in those activities. For example, they are not interested in students being members of a specific club activity, but they are interested in what positions and tasks you were performing in those activities.

As previously stated, many students and parents are unfamiliar with homeschooling curriculum; however, there are homeschool success services that assist students with academic and test planning, essay coaching, and developing college roadmaps, among other things. This consulting program is not required; however, it would be a very helpful program for those who are unfamiliar with the homeschooling program.

There are many reasons to homeschool, and it is important for parents to take responsibility for investigating their children’s learning style, personality, and health, and if necessary, to join the homeschool – this program should not be avoided simply because it does not have the exact same school curriculum, but should be embraced for students who are in need.

Read more: The Growing Popularity of Online High Schools and How To Choose One