Applying to college is difficult enough as a public school student, but for homeschool students, it is a whole different ball game, especially because colleges expect the same things from homeschool students as they do from students of public and private schools: standardized test scores, transcripts, and extracurricular activities, to name a few. Should homeschool students be worried about which colleges will accept them?
The college application process for homeschool students is very similar to traditionally schooled students. Though applying may be a bit more difficult for them, most colleges understand the differences and difficulties, and as such, most colleges accept homeschool students.
In this article, we’ll discuss some information for homeschool students preparing for college, along with a list of a few colleges in each state that have been deemed “homeschool friendly”.
Applying to Colleges
Homeschool. When most people think of the term, they picture tired mothers and children that aren’t well-socialized, along with a host of other pictures that all stem from the myth that homeschool is not “real school”. This is a completely false image.
Homeschool can mean a variety of different things. Many homeschoolers take select classes at their local high school or use an online program to learn the same curriculums required in public schools.
Other homeschoolers have homeschool groups, and sometimes, it really is just a group of siblings being taught by their parents. Whatever the case, there are state requirements that must be met in order for children to be homeschooled.
Because homeschooling can mean so many different things, homeschoolers don’t need a GED or high school diploma to apply to college or qualify for financial aid. Homeschoolers’ lack of need for these things doesn’t make them exempt from other requirements, though. Colleges still require things like official transcripts, standardized test scores, and more.
Many people may think that because a person is homeschooled, it is harder for them to get into college. This is simply not the case. There are many schools, even Ivy League schools, that accept homeschoolers. This is because of the experiences that homeschooled students tend to get. They tend to have more extracurricular activities and unique coursework.
Acceptance Rate of Homeschool Students
The rate of acceptance of homeschool students in different colleges varies from school to school. However, we’ve pulled some 2019-2020 rates from America’s most prestigious universities to illustrate acceptance rates in those scenarios, as many homeschool students have dreams of going to an Ivy League school.
The smallest rate is that of Harvard: 4.5%. Next came Columbia, with 5.1%, and Princeton, with a 5.8% acceptance rate. Then, Yale, with a 5.9%. Brown and MIT both came in at 6.6%, and Duke and the University of Pennsylvania came in just above that, with a 7.4% acceptance rate. (Source)
Though these acceptance rates seem daunting, one needs to remember that these are for the top schools in America. Acceptance rates are slim there anyways, whether or not a student is homeschooled.
Another important thing to remember is that homeschoolers that are academically on par with traditional applicants tend to be accepted at approximately the same rate. This is especially true when they use an accredited program, take classes from a local school, or take AP and dual enrollment classes.
Homeschoolers with a more lax approach to their coursework and college preparation are judged more harshly by admissions officers, so their acceptance rates tend to be lower than traditional applicants.
How Do SAT Scores Factor in?
Many parents homeschool their children to save them from the plague of standardized testing. Ironically, the very thing they were trying to escape is one of the most important things on a homeschooled student’s college application. Testing is very important, especially if a student is aiming for a more prestigious university.
Test scores can be weighted more heavily for homeschoolers than they are for other applicants, especially if the student doesn’t have a GED or high school diploma. Because of this, having a good SAT or ACT score is very important for admission into college. (Source)
Interestingly enough, even though homeschoolers tend to test less than students in the public school system, they earn marginally higher scores on standardized tests than non-homeschoolers do.
What Colleges Pay Attention To
Figuring out what will look best on a college application, and more importantly, what the college admissions officers will actually pay attention to, can be difficult. It is especially difficult for homeschoolers, who don’t have access to a lot of the things that publicly or privately schooled students have access to that colleges tend to look for.
Level of Accreditation
One thing that colleges really hold valuable is the level of accreditation of the homeschool program that a student has used. If a program is accredited, it is automatically better, in the eyes of the college admissions officers, than one that is not.
This same principle is applicable in situations where a homeschooler took classes at their local high school, from a local college, or from a hybrid online program. However, brick-and-mortar institutions, as archaic as it sounds, tend to be considered more valuable than many online programs by college admissions officers. This depends on the program, but it is a good thing to keep in mind.
Extracurricular activities are another thing that colleges hold up as one of the most important factors in the admissions process. When students are involved in their communities, they are more well-rounded, and colleges feel like these types of people are much more likely to contribute to the atmosphere of their university, or at least, the atmosphere that the school is attempting to create.
Homeschool students can actually be at an advantage with this one because this schooling style allows for more experiences and time spent in the community than traditional schooling does.
Colleges also put a lot of weight on academic transcripts. Even though homeschoolers aren’t required to have a GED or high school diploma, they do still have to have some way to prove that they’ve met state schooling requirements. A transcript is one way to do that, and it’s a good way to organize coursework and grades in a way that college admissions officers can read.
The parent or teacher of the homeschooled student should make a transcript for their student to send in. They shouldn’t stress too much about making it look like a traditional school transcript- college admissions officers understand that that isn’t possible in many situations.
Test scores are also very important to colleges when they are making admissions decisions. That being said, there are many universities that advertise themselves as being test-optional. This isn’t necessarily true for homeschooled students. Most colleges require homeschoolers to take a college entrance exam. (Source)
Homeschool-Friendly Colleges By State
Though many people stress about not being accepted into a college purely because they’ve been homeschooled, it really is possible to get into college when you’ve been homeschooled.
This fear is barely even valid, because, while it is daunting to apply to colleges as a homeschooler, most colleges are “homeschool friendly”. Because of this, we couldn’t quite compile all the colleges that have been identified as “homeschool friendly”, but we’ve gathered 1-3 schools from every state that fit the bill.
|College||State||Average SAT Score|
|Auburn University||Alabama||R&W: 590-650; Math: 570-670|
|University of Alabama||Alabama||R&W: 540-660; Math: 530-670|
|Birmingham-Southern College||Alabama||R&W: 520-610; Math: 500-580|
|University of Alaska||Alaska||R&W: 530-640; Math: 520-630|
|Sheldon Jackson College||Alaska||(Not Recorded)|
|University of Arizona||Arizona||R&W: 550-660; Math: 540-690|
|Arizona State University||Arizona||R&W: 550-650; Math: 550-670|
|Arkansas State University||Arkansas||R&W: 500-590; Math: 500-630|
|University of Arkansas||Arkansas||R&W: 550-640; Math: 540-640|
|Southern Arkansas University||Arkansas||Composite: 1163|
|California State University||California||R&W: 440-530; Math: 430-530|
|Stanford University||California||R&W: 700-770; Math: 720-800|
|University of California||California||R&W: 650-740; Math: 660-790|
|Colorado Mountain College||Colorado||R&W: 539; Math: 540|
|Colorado State University||Colorado||R&W: 540-640; Math: 530-640|
|University of Colorado||Colorado||R&W: 570-670; Math: 560-680|
|University of Connecticut||Connecticut||R&W: 580-680; Math: 590-710|
|Western Connecticut State||Connecticut||Composite: 880-1080|
|Yale University||Connecticut||R&W: 720-780; Math: 740-800|
|University of Delaware||Delaware||R&W: 580-660; Math: 570-670|
|Florida State University||Florida||R&W: 620-680; Math: 600-670|
|Jacksonville University||Florida||Composite: 1010|
|University of Florida||Florida||R&W: 650-720; Math: 640-740|
|Georgia State University||Georgia||R&W: 520-630; Math: 510-630|
|University of Georgia||Georgia||R&W: 630-720; Math: 620-740|
|Hawaii Pacific University||Hawaii||R&W: 480-570; Math: 490-590|
|Brigham Young University – Hawaii||Hawaii||R&W: 540-630; Math: 520-620|
|Boise State University||Idaho||R&W: 520-610; Math: 510-600|
|Idaho State University||Idaho||Composite: 510|
|Brigham Young University – Idaho||Idaho||R&W: 500-610; Math: 500-590|
|Chicago State University||Illinois||R&W: 420-510; Math: 330-453|
|Illinois State University||Illinois||R&W: 510-610; Math: 510-610|
|Indiana State University||Indiana||Composite: 1018|
|University of Southern Indiana||Indiana||R&W: 490-590; Math: 490-580|
|Buena Vista University||Iowa||Composite: 1110|
|Iowa State University||Iowa||R&W: 480-630; Math: 530-680|
|University of Iowa||Iowa||R&W: 560-650; Math: 550-660|
|Kansas State University||Kansas||Composite: 1160|
|McPherson College||Kansas||Composite: 1090|
|Eastern Kentucky University||Kentucky||R&W: 480-590; Math: 470-580|
|Kentucky State University||Kentucky||R&W: 430-530; Math: 430-520|
|University of Kentucky||Kentucky||R&W: 540-640; Math: 530-640|
|Louisiana State University||Louisiana||R&W: 550-660; Math: 540-640|
|Tulane University||Louisiana||R&W: 650-730; Math: 690-770|
|University of Louisiana||Louisiana||R&W: 510-620; Math: 490-590|
|University of Maine||Maine||Composite: 1154|
|University of New England||Maine||Composite: 1127|
|Johns Hopkins University||Maryland||R&W: 720-760; Math: 750-800|
|University of Maryland||Maryland||R&W: 630-720; Math: 640-760|
|Boston University||Massachusetts||R&W: 640-720; Math: 670-780|
|Harvard University||Massachusetts||R&W: 720-780; Math: 740-800|
|Northeastern University||Massachusetts||R&W: 690-750; Math: 720-790|
|Central Michigan University||Michigan||R&W: 500-610; Math: 500-600|
|Michigan State University||Michigan||R&W: 550-640; Math: 550-660|
|Michigan Tech||Michigan||R&W: 570-660; Math: 590-690|
|University of Minnesota||Minnesota||R&W: 600-700; Math: 640-760|
|Mississippi State University||Mississippi||R&W: 520-630; Math: 530-640|
|University of Mississippi||Mississippi||R&W: 510-620; Math: 500-610|
|University of Missouri||Missouri||R&W: 560-660; Math: 550-660|
|Saint Louis University||Missouri||R&W: 580-680; Math: 580-690|
|Montana State University||Montana||R&W: 550-660; Math: 540-660|
|University of Montana||Montana||R&W: 540-630; Math: 510-610|
|University of Nebraska||Nebraska||R&W: 550-650; Math: 560-670|
|University of Nevada||Nevada||R&W: 530-630; Math: 530-630|
|Dartmouth College||New Hampshire||R&W: 710-770; Math: 730-790|
|University of New Hampshire||New Hampshire||R&W: 550-640; Math: 540-640|
|Princeton University||New Jersey||R&W: 710-770; Math: 740-800|
|Rider University||New Jersey||R&W: 510-620; Math: 510-600|
|New Mexico State University||New Mexico||R&W: 480-580; Math: 470-570|
|Eastern New Mexico University||New Mexico||R&W: 470-590; Math: 480-570|
|University of New Mexico||New Mexico||R&W: 520-630; Math: 510-620|
|Cornell University||New York||R&W: 680-750; Math: 720-790|
|Columbia University||New York||R&W: 720-770; Math: 740-800|
|New York University||New York||R&W: 670-740; Math: 700-800|
|Duke University||North Carolina||R&W: 720-770; Math: 750-800|
|North Carolina State University||North Carolina||R&W: 610-690; Math: 620-720|
|University of North Dakota||North Dakota||R&W: 500-600; Math: 500-630|
|Ohio University||Ohio||R&W: 530-630; Math: 520-620|
|University of Cincinnati||Ohio||R&W: 560-650; Math: 560-680|
|Oklahoma State University||Oklahoma||R&W: 510-630; Math: 510-620|
|Oklahoma City University||Oklahoma||R&W: 550-610; Math: 530-613|
|Eastern Oregon University||Oregon||Composite: 1042|
|Oregon State University||Oregon||R&W: 540-650; Math: 540-660|
|University of Oregon||Oregon||R&W: 550-650; Math: 540-640|
|Gettysburg College||Pennsylvania||Composite: 1340|
|Penn State University||Pennsylvania||Composite: 1265|
|University of Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania||R&W: 710-770; Math: 750-800|
|Brown University||Rhode Island||R&W: 710-770; Math: 730-790|
|University of Rhode Island||Rhode Island||R&W: 530-630; Math: 540-630|
|Clemson University||South Carolina||R&W: 610-690; Math: 600-700|
|University of South Carolina||South Carolina||R&W: 580-670; Math: 560-670|
|South Dakota State University||South Dakota||R&W: 500-630; Math: 500-670|
|University of South Dakota||South Dakota||R&W: 500-620; Math: 500-625|
|Tennessee State University||Tennessee||Composite: 980|
|University of Memphis||Tennessee||R&W: 500-610; Math: 490-590|
|Baylor University||Texas||Composite: 1293|
|Odessa College||Texas||Composite: 1050|
|Brigham Young University||Utah||R&W: 610-700; Math: 590-710|
|University of Utah||Utah||R&W: 570-670; Math: 560-680|
|Utah Valley University||Utah||SAT score not required for admission|
|University of Vermont||Vermont||R&W: 590-680; 570-670|
|Burlington College||Vermont||Composite: 1070|
|University of Richmond||Virginia||R&W: 630-710; Math: 650-750|
|George Mason University||Virginia||R&W: 560-650; Math: 540-650|
|Virginia Tech||Virginia||R&W: 590-680; Math: 580-690|
|Gonzaga University||Washington||R&W: 580-670; Math: 580-680|
|University of Washington||Washington||R&W: 590-700; Math: 610-753|
|Western Washington University||Washington||R&W: 550-650; Math: 530-620|
|West Virginia University||West Virginia||R&W: 520-610; Math: 510-610|
|Glenville State College||West Virginia||Composite: 970|
|University of Wisconsin||Wisconsin||R&W: 610-690; Math: 650-770|
|University of Wyoming||Wyoming||R&W: 520-620; Math: 520-620|