Homeschool families have more options at their disposal than in previous decades, and many include elements such as courses at local colleges, small group instruction through homeschool co-ops, and internships in their curriculum. Homeschoolers are also learning to use SAT II subject tests, letters of recommendation from supplemental instructors, and online resources to their advantage, all of which give admission personnel confidence that homeschooled students can succeed in a variety of academic environments. As Kalamazoo's Carroll puts it, "We see greater involvement beyond the home instruction, and this is a departure from ten years ago."

Ellen Goulding, Associate Director of Admission at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, clarifies, "Certain areas of study can be very hard to assess--especially science, math, and foreign languages. When a student says he's had chemistry, what does that mean? Does it include lab experiences? What topics were covered? Sometimes homeschooling families get concerned that colleges put significant weight on standardized test scores and college courses, but it is essential that we be able to put a student's education in a more national context. When combined with a detailed description of what they studied at home, it helps us judge how well prepared a student is. When we can tell that preparation is there, we are very interested in those students--not specifically because they are homeschooled students, but because they are great students."

The message is clear: opportunities abound for homeschoolers who can demonstrate their academic accomplishments and present their unique qualifications. As homeschoolers become more confident in presenting the benefits of their education, colleges are listening.


Aaron Basko is Director of Admission Services at Franklin and Marshall College, where he serves as the homeschooling liaison. Aaron has taught seminars for homeschool groups on college and career planning and is currently a contributing writer for Campus Life Magazine. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with his wife and family.

Copyright 2005. Used with permission. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Right now, 19 free gifts when you subscribe.