Most major colleges and universities admit homeschooled students. Here are some tips homeschooling parents have shared about college admissions.
Suggested Schedule for the College Admissions
10th Grade: Take PSAT. Can also take SAT I just for the experience, or at least practice with books or software.
11th Grade: Take PSAT. This year counts for National Merit Scholarship consideration. Take SAT I. Start looking at books or software for SAT IIs.
12th Grade (Summer or Fall): Final SAT I for college consideration. SAT-IIs will also be required: Writing and Math, and possibly more, depending on the college. Put together a high school transcript. (This could include volunteer work or unusual activities as well as academic courses studied.) Final college applications generally have to be in by January for entry the next fall.
The state of Texas requires 22 credit hours of coursework to graduate from public high school.
A credit hour means a course of study, it doesn't have to mean physical number of days/hours. For example, if you buy a math curriculum for a particular year, and you complete it, you have completed a credit.
Although this applies to public high schools, this site can be helpful to those going to Texas colleges: Texas High School Graduation Requirements www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/ch074b.html#74.11
Homeschoolers can get into most Texas colleges without problem. Most Texas colleges now either have homeschool placement officers or at least have a staff member who understands the homeschool experience.
Just say "NO" to the GED, only a very, very few colleges want that now, and it can actually damage your placement efforts. (Note from Engela: Even the US Military differentiate between a homeschool graduate and a applicant with a GED.)
Colleges don't care about the piece of paper known as a diploma, what they do want is a transcript and your SAT scores. (Note from Engela: This has been varified by MANY homeschool graduates who have applied to college.)
Community colleges are good place to start; most of them love homeschoolers and it makes it easier to get into the bigger schools later, if you make good grades. Some schools have higher GPA requirements for transfer students than for entering Freshman. Be careful.
Some community colleges will you let you take lab sciences such as chemistry as a high schooler, thus helping you to complete some of your credit hour requirements towards high school.
Dual credit classes at community colleges may increase your chances to get into regular colleges if you make good grades.
College placement offices have been directed to try to get more homeschoolers, so if you have problems with a school not understanding you as a homeschooler, keep shopping.
What most homeschoolers lack is foreign language; some colleges require three years worth, so you should plan ahead.
You should look at catalogs to see what schools require as you plan your high school years.
Getting into the college is only part of it. That just gets you in the door; each department or college within a university is going to have its own requirements, and you have to look at those, too.
You should know the learning style of your child. Most colleges are still lecture style and if your child is a poor auditory learner, help them by having them tape the session and then type up the notes later so they will get both visual reinforcement by seeing it on paper, and kinesthetic enforcement by typing in the notes.
Some private colleges are going to have much stricter requirement for homeschoolers, but that's because they only take a select number of students total each year and only take the best of the best. Rice University is one example.
One interesting idea was to keep a running book list starting from 8th grade of all the books your child has read, and attach that to a copy of your transcript. That removes any doubt about how well read the student is.
There's more, but that is just some of the highlights. The bottom line is that colleges want homeschoolers and have moved on from the days where they were concerned about homeschoolers fitting in with the "real world."
College Board Web Site by J.V. Price
These other web sites are helpful for those planning the college years:
Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers - Karl Bunday's FAQ
Transcripts by Brenda Hardesty
In Texas, the school issues the diploma, not the state, so it is legitimate to construct your own child's transcript and diploma. Your homeschool has the right to issue these credentials, just like other private schools do for their students.
SAT I. Get an SAT bulletin from any high school counselor's office and mail in your registration, or call 1-609-771-7600 to request a bulletin. The website for the SAT I is www.collegeboard.org. You can sign up for the SAT any time it's being given at the high school of your choice. They will mail the results to you directly, and they will mail them to the colleges you choose.
PSAT. The following private schools sometimes let homeschoolers
take the PSAT along with their students:
If you want your child to take the PSAT at one of these schools, call in May for the fall testing date--you can't necessarily wait until August or September.
Duke University sponsors a Talent Identification Program http://www.tip.duke.edu/
Beginning College Work Early
G.E.D. Tests and Classes
Take a look at College That Change Lives for college ideas you might
not have considered.