Homeschooling Through High School: Preparing for College Admissions

Homeschooling Through High School: Preparing for College Admissions

Navigating the high school years at home presents unique challenges and opportunities, particularly when it comes to preparing for college admissions. For homeschooled students, these years are not just about academic learning but also about proving their readiness and competitiveness for college. Here are some strategic approaches to tackle standardized tests, college admissions, and scholarship applications as a homeschooled student.

1. Understanding the Requirements

Before diving into the application process, it's essential to understand what colleges require from homeschooled applicants. These requirements can vary significantly from one institution to another.

  • Accreditation: Some colleges require that homeschooled students come from an accredited program. If your homeschool is not accredited, you may need to take additional steps to validate your education.
  • Documentation: Maintain detailed records of your coursework, grades, textbooks, and extracurricular activities. This can include creating a comprehensive homeschool transcript and portfolios that showcase your work and achievements.

2. Preparing for Standardized Tests

Standardized tests like the SAT or ACT are critical for college admissions, and often even more so for homeschooled students, as they provide a standardized metric to compare applicants.

  • Early Preparation: Start test preparation early. Consider using online resources, hiring tutors, or enrolling in test prep courses specifically designed for the SAT or ACT.
  • Practice Tests: Regularly take practice tests to monitor your progress and adjust your study strategies accordingly. This also helps in reducing test anxiety as you become familiar with the exam format and time constraints.

3. Building a Strong Academic Profile

Homeschooled students need to demonstrate that their education has been rigorous and comprehensive. This involves more than just core subjects.

  • Advanced Placement (AP) or Dual Enrollment: Enroll in AP courses or take classes at a local community college. This not only shows academic rigor but also accustoms students to the structure of college-level courses.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Engage in activities that interest you and will round out your application. This could be sports, music, volunteering, or starting a business or a club. Colleges look for well-rounded individuals with diverse interests and skills.

4. Crafting the College Application

The college application should reflect your unique educational path and personal growth. This is your opportunity to explain the nuances of your homeschooling experience.

  • Personal Essay: Use your personal essay to share your unique homeschooling story—highlight what you have gained, how it has prepared you for college, and why it makes you a strong candidate.
  • Recommendations: Seek out letters of recommendation from educators, mentors, or leaders of any extracurricular activities who can vouch for your abilities, character, and readiness for college.

5. Seeking Scholarships

Securing scholarships is a critical component of the college journey, especially to mitigate the financial burden.

  • Homeschool-Specific Scholarships: Some organizations offer scholarships specifically for homeschooled students. Research and apply for these.
  • Merit-Based Scholarships: Given your potentially unique educational background, highlight any specific projects, competitions, or achievements that could set you apart in merit-based scholarship applications.

6. Navigating the Interview Process

Some colleges require or offer interviews as part of the application process. This can be a great way for homeschooled students to personally connect with the admissions committee.

  • Mock Interviews: Practice with family members, friends, or counselors who can provide feedback on your answers and demeanor.
  • Showcase Adaptability: Be prepared to discuss how homeschooling has made you adaptable, self-motivated, and prepared to take on the challenges of college.


Homeschooling through high school can be a profound way to prepare for college, offering the flexibility to tailor your education to your strengths and interests. By understanding the admissions process, preparing thoroughly for standardized tests, and carefully crafting your applications and essays, you can effectively demonstrate your readiness and stand out in the college admissions process. Remember, the key to success is thorough preparation and a clear presentation of your unique educational journey.

Back to blog