At Bob Jones University, homeschoolers always feel welcome because, as Admissions Director David Christ puts it, "There are no hoops to jump through." The university works to maintain a homeschooler-friendly atmosphere in all aspects, from admissions procedures to advertising. "Most homeschooling parents are looking for universities that are anxious to have their students," Christ told TOS. "They don't want to do a lot of fighting to open doors that should already be open for them." One of Bob Jones' specialties is the sample transcript that they send to prospective students with homeschooling backgrounds. "Parents are often concerned about format, so we provide that for them," said Christ. "Our sample walks them through the creation of a transcript for our admissions office step-by-step." According to Christ, the body of students who were homeschooled is on the rise at Bob Jones, and the university continues to stay true to its philosophy, seeking to maintain "High academic standards, an emphasis on culture, and a practical Christian philosophy that is both orthodox and fervent in its evangelistic spirit."

In Illinois, applicants to Black Hawk College will find a variety of courses to fit their needs, as well as a fairly simple admissions process. Although GED and ACT scores provide a direct route into the college, students who have not obtained those scores may gain admission by taking the school's course placement test. The test, which covers basic reading, writing, and math skills, is known as the "ASSET" and is provided to community college applicants by the same organization that administers the ACT. There are many benefits to attending a community college, especially for homeschoolers. The ASSET often replaces otherwise mandatory SAT or ACT scores, and that placement test still qualifies if the student decides to transfer to a four-year college or university after a few years. Also, many students find living at home more affordable and convenient than moving out of state to attend school.  

Sitting Out the SAT: Creative Alternatives to Traditional Requirements

If the college applicant with a traditional schooling background is met with a barrage of requirements, then the homeschooler's application process must seem twice as overwhelming. For many students who have been homeschooled, preparing for college means facing thoughts of standardized testing that was not required by their schooling method. Requests for transcripts, reading lists, ACT or SAT I and II scores, and GED testing can make it seem like there's no end to the "technical" paperwork and records that need to be submitted. Then there's the "jump-through-the-hoops" phenomenon, exhibited by colleges that require double or special testing for applicants with homeschooling backgrounds. Requests for additional testing can be expected from most of the Ivy League schools and many military institutions. College guidelines also vary from state to state. In Florida, homeschooling high school juniors and seniors get free college tuition at local community colleges. But in New York, transcripts from anything other than a traditional school are not recognized. In addition, many New York colleges have been known to exhibit "anti-homeschooling" bias in their admissions processes.

When dealing with colleges that require additional test scores from homeschoolers, it can be hard to find a reasonable way to meet their expectations. One homeschooler-friendly testing option is the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), a standardized testing method that is recognized by over 2,900 colleges and universities across the nation. The CLEP program, administered by the College Entrance Examination Board, offers standardized examinations in five main college level subjects: Composition and Literature, Foreign Languages, History and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and Business. There are 29 specific tests that are administered under these general categories, including English Composition, French Language, American Government, Biology, Principles of Accounting, and more. According to the College Board, "A college usually grants the same amount of credit to students earning satisfactory scores on the CLEP examination as it grants to students successfully completing the equivalent course."