Yes, of course! Homeschoolers can apply to college just like students from any other type of high school. They need to meet the same admissions requirements as all other applicants and, in some cases, provide additional testing or recommendation letters.
Many homeschoolers actually start college classes before they even complete high school. That is a convenient way for them to take higher level courses that their parents don’t feel comfortable teaching at home. This path is often called “dual enrollment”, and you can read more about it here.
What records do I have to keep?
To apply to any type of college at any point in their academic lives, every student needs to have a transcript. Homeschooling parents have the authority to create and send the transcript to colleges. A transcript is essentially a report card that covers all of the years of high school. Lots of transcript templates, websites, and programs are available, but I found it easier to create my own in Word that had all of the features I needed.
If the student is applying to a community college, then the application and a transcript may be all that is needed. However, if the student is a senior and applying for admission into a 4-year institution, some additional documentation may be needed. Just like the transcript, these documents would usually come from the guidance office of a high school, so the homeschooling parent has to be ready to provide them. These documents include:
- Course descriptions: Start those as soon as your child takes high-school-level courses, which could be in middle school for math and world languages. Just keep a document listing the topics covered, books read, types of activities. Cut and paste the descriptions of any outside-the-home classes. You can clean up the format when it gets closer to senior year.
- School profile: In this document you explain how your homeschool functions, your grading scale, outside class providers, etc.
- Counselor letter: As weird as it sounds, you get to write a recommendation letter for your child. You can discuss challenges they faced or how they have grown in some academic or personal aspect over the high school years.
Should my child take the GED?
Look at your state homeschooling regulations to help you make that decision. In most cases, however, a GED is unnecessary for college admission. Homeschooling parents have the authority to set graduation requirements for their children and issue a diploma. A GED would indicate that the student did not complete the high school requirements. In some situations, a GED still carries a stigma. So, only have your child take that test if it is actually required.
College applications take place many months before any student has their diploma in hand. Until graduation, the transcript details the student’s academic achievement. Make sure you include the expected graduation date on the transcript that you send out prior to graduation and update it to the actual graduation date once you graduate your student.
Do you have more questions about homeschooling? Check out all of my FAQs.