Whether you homeschool or not, every parent wants the best possible future for his or her child. For homeschool parents, though, the question of their child’s future can sometimes feel overwhelming. After all, we feel like what we do now has a direct impact on what they do later.
First, let me say that without having to meet you, I know that you have your child’s best interest at heart; otherwise, you wouldn’t even be considering this question and the possible outcomes.
Do Homeschoolers Go to College?
The answer to this is “yes” and “no.” Not all homeschoolers go to college, just like not all children who attended public school go on to college. No matter what type of education a child receives, some will choose to go to college, some will pursue a vocational route and others may be entrepreneurs.
Still, whether you’re a homeschool parent, considering homeschooling, or simply interested in education options, this question may press heavily on your mind. Yes, a parent can successfully educate a child at home. And yes, homeschool families number well over 1 million across the United States. But by choosing to homeschool, are parents actually taking options from their children? Does choosing to homeschool mean choosing education that ends with 12th grade? Let’s take a look at some of the facts:
High College Graduation Rates for Homeschoolers
The good news, for all concerned parties, is that homeschoolers do indeed go to college. And not only do they go, but they also graduate at a rate higher than that of traditionally educated students. According to a 2004 to 2009 study, former homeschoolers had a 15.7% higher graduation rate from college, compared to their traditionally educated counterparts.
Homeschoolers Score Well on Standardized Tests
Interestingly, homeschoolers not only get accepted to (and graduate from) college, but they also tend to perform very well on standardized tests, outscoring traditionally educated students overall.
Most admissions offices consider ACT or SAT scores when evaluating college applications, and homeschoolers do more than hold their own there. Homeschoolers scored 8.1% higher than the national average on the ACTs, and in 2001, they scored 7.9% higher than the national average on the SAT test.
The Door to Higher Education Is Wide Open
It’s important to understand that each homeschooler is unique, with different strengths and weaknesses and certainly different goals for the future. But for homeschooled students who want to go to college, the doors are open. We’ve seen many teenagers and young adults here at Homeschool Connections graduate with a homeschool diploma and get into great schools, many with scholarships! With the homeschooling population growing each year, homeschooling is no longer foreign to admissions officers. Many are very familiar with home education, and some actively recruit homeschooled students. When admissions officers are less familiar, parents and applying students are usually able to bring them up to speed fairly quickly.
Where Are Homeschoolers Getting Accepted?
Homeschoolers are and have been accepted at more than 900 different colleges and universities, including those with notably tough admissions standards. If a homeschooler wants to go to Harvard or Yale, he has a chance of not only getting in but also getting scholarships and financial aid. Some schools will even accept alternative documentation instead of a traditional high school transcript, though many parents still find creating transcripts the way to go for students planning to apply to multiple colleges.
A homeschooler need not be a genius or even outscore his peers to go to college. Like any student, he simply needs to demonstrate that he is ready for higher education and likely to benefit from it. Home education does not impede students from taking advantage of a college education. Instead, the statistics show that it just may help.
If you still have questions or concerns about navigating the college admissions process or what path is right for your child, please feel free to reach out to me about our counseling and advising services. We offer a variety of ways to support you and your family, including transcript services, test preparation and college prep classes.