Going to college is a big step in the life of any young person, but for homeschool students the transition can be particularly tough. The best way to prepare your college bound homeschool student is to choose a school that provides an atmosphere welcoming the ideals, values and education already woven into their homeschool curriculum and an environment that invites them to expand their already robust horizons.
College and career readiness requires research. To help you get started, take a look at the following eight colleges, all of which have a proven track record of helping homeschool students to thrive.
1. Evergreen State College
Located in Olympia, Washington, Evergreen State College is the perfect place for nontraditionalists. This college offers a huge amount of academic freedom, with a variety of opportunity to follow interdisciplinary programs of learning. Your homeschool student will not receive any letter grades here, but they will find plenty of support for first-year students trying to get to grips with living away from home for the first time. Find information for college bound homeschool applicants here.
2. Antioch College
Homeschool students often have a broad range of interests, thanks to their parents' commitment to widening their education outside the classroom. If your teen wants to continue this style of learning, encourage them to apply to Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This college takes learning beyond the classroom, requiring students to engage in practical work experience and play a role in student government. This school welcomes home educated applicants. Click here for more information.
3. Mount Holyoke College
If you would prefer an all-female environment for your college bound homeschool daughter, check out Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. As the first women's college in the United States, this institution has a long-term commitment to providing women with a high-quality education. Here, your daughter can learn from strong female role models and get support from other women. The writing program has a particularly high reputation. Find information on their homeschool admissions policy here.
4. Grove City College
Many college campuses have a reputation for liberal ideology. Not so at Grove City College, located in Grove City, Pennsylvania. This politically conservative Christian college is a great choice for homeschool students who want to balance their faith with a scientifically rigorous education. The school has a particularly high reputation for its teachings in law, politics, economics, computer science, electrical engineering and free-market capitalism. Grove City College accepts no government funding, including federal student loans, which allows it to maintain a very high level of independence. The cost of the courses is highly competitive. Their site boasts a number one ranking for homeschool applicants. View their application requirements here.
5. University of Dallas
Catholic homeschool families may want to consider the University of Dallas. With the highest reputation among the traditional Roman Catholic colleges, this institution in Irving, Texas offers students a chance to study humanities and sciences in a strong and close-knit community. The curriculum is based around classic texts of Western civilization. The school also has a very strong study-abroad program, with four out of five students traveling overseas during their degree and many to Rome, Italy — heart of the Catholic church. View their requirements for homeschool applicants here.
6. College of the Ozarks
College bound homeschool students looking to avoid high tuition costs may like to consider College of the Ozarks. Instead of sending graduates into thousands of dollars of debt, this college replaces tuition fees with a student work program of roughly 15 hours per week. This system gives students the chance to gain structured work experience while earning a degree. College of the Ozarks is a relatively small school with a reputation for conservatism. It is located in Point Lookout, Missouri. Home educated students must complete these steps.
7. Harvard University
Not all homeschool students go on to study at nontraditional colleges. Some thrive in big-name schools regarded as the academic giants of our time. Some experts claim homeschooling is the perfect preparation for applying to study at Harvard University, as it allows students to develop the creative and problem-solving skills top institutions are looking for. If your homeschool student is bright and ambitious, encourage them to visit Cambridge, Massachusetts to discover if Harvard is the right choice for them. Review their requirements here.
8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Also located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT is the college of choice for students with a strong interest in and aptitude for math, science and technology. According to education expert Susan Berry, MIT actively recruits homeschool students. Encourage yours to aim high by considering this well-respected seat of learning among their college choices.
Applying to College as a Homeschool Student
Homeschooling does not prevent students from accessing college. In fact, some experts argue this demographic is better prepared to apply to Ivy League schools than their peers. Encourage your students to apply early, especially if they are likely to qualify for financial aid. Help them craft a compelling application essay conveying the story of their unique educational experience.