As of 2019, The National Home Education Research Institute estimates about 2.5 million students were homeschooled from grades K-12. Many of these students will likely continue their secondary education by attending a College or University.
Without school counselors or advisors readily available, the college application process might seem a little intimidating. To help with the anxiety of what to do next and how to apply for college as a homeschool student, here’s a breakdown of how to successfully apply.
Build a Transcript
Homeschoolers do not attend a traditional school, which means there’s a lack of available resources, such as the school office, to provide your high school transcript. A home-schooled student’s transcript has to be created by the parent or proctor for the student’s courses.
Similar to a report card, a transcript is a list of courses taken and grades achieved. Find out what format the school you are applying to requires, and build the transcript to meet those needs.
Proof of Graduation
There are two common forms of proof of graduation — a General Education Development (GED) Exam and a High School Diploma. If you are homeschooled and have completed all of your required classes with passing grades, your parent or teacher can create a diploma recognizing that you have completed your classes.
Other students might decide to complete the GED. When you pass, you are issued a formal document showing completion of high school requirements, which can be used for college applications. In the case of homeschoolers, either form is accepted.
If you have engaged in any extracurricular activities, make sure to begin listing them out like you would on a resume. Just because you were not in a traditional school environment, does not put you at a disadvantage for outside school activities.
If you volunteered at a non-profit, held a part-time job, or had an internship, these would all count towards your list of extracurricular activities.
While Standardized Tests are becoming less of a requirement for many colleges today, but you may still need to take them depending on the schools you apply to.
The most common of these exams is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). This test is generally taken during the junior and/or senior year and can help increase your chances of getting into your choice school. It’s important to note that these tests take several hours to complete, so make sure you get plenty of rest the night before and come prepared.
Once you have taken all your tests and gathered your documents, it’s time to start the application process. The final step is deciding which schools you want to apply to and start submitting those applications. If you have any questions along the way, be sure to reach out to the college’s financial aid office for assistance.
Make sure to file your FAFSA® to help cover college costs, and do some research for scholarships and grants specifically for homeschooled students!