How to Get Your Homeschooled Teen into College

How to get started helping your homeschooled high schooler get into college.  This is the first important step to take for #homeschoolingtocollege #homeschoolhighschool This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

Getting Started - Homeschooling to College

Does your teen want to go to a 4 year college, after graduating from your homeschool, like mine did?  

When we were in the middle school years, my husband and I began thinking about the possibility of college for our daughter.  And I was more than a little nervous.  But I wanted my teen to have the option of going directly to a 4 year college, if she felt that was the way that she wanted to go.
How would I, as a homeschooling mom, help her get there?  

The idea of knocking on the college door with a homeschool transcript in hand, was more than a little daunting for me.  I knew that the homeschool transcript was now widely accepted by colleges.  But the colleges seemed so big, and I, in contrast, felt so small.  

Do you ever feel that way?

I wanted more information, so I began to research about homeschoolers and college.  And I found that there were many homeschool friendly colleges out there, that wanted the type of kids that homeschooling produces - motivated, independent learners. Seeing that spurred me on to want to find out more.

What would my daughter need to be considered for college acceptance?  

I looked up the most likely colleges that my daughter might attend. The requirements were similar, but not consistent from college to college.  And some colleges had extra requirements for their homeschooling applicants, and some didn't. 

What's a mom to do?

This chapter explains how we came up with the list of required courses that my teen would need for college admission.  And it wasn't that hard to do! 

So our first step in going from homeschool to college was to research our daughter's college entrance requirements.

Starting this research early is a help, but it is still possible to do this any time in high school, by just recalling info from their previous studies, and going from there.  And you can always add in an extra quarter or two, to make up for any requirements that you might have missed.

 College Entrance Requirements

Each college will show their admission requirements with just a click of the button.  This information was easy for us to find, just by looking at college websites, and clicking on the freshman admission requirements. 

We found these requirements to be similar from college to college, with some variance depending if the college was an ivy league, private, or a state college. 

How did we find this information?  We just clicked around until we found a heading like this:

College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR)

All applicants must complete a minimum level of preparation in six subject areas. This requirement ensures that students entering the University have an appreciation for the liberal arts and are adequately prepared to succeed in college.....etc


There we found a  list of their requirements....



 Math - 3 credits
English - 4 credits
Social Studies - 3 credits
 Science, with labs - 2 credits
 Foreign Language - 2 credits
Senior Year Math or Statistics course - 1 credit
1/2 -1 credit of Fine Art

Here's another example, just for comparison sake. My niece is going to a faith based college in our area.  This is how her high school requirements looked:


English - 4 credits
Math - 2 credits
Social Studies - 2 credits
Science - 2 credits
Foreign Language - 2 credits Electives
Electives - 3 credits  

So you see that this college does not require as many credits as the first one did.  That would leave more time for volunteering, or special interests, etc, for our teen.


English - 4 credits
Math - 4 credits
Science 4 credits, with 3 lab sciences
Social Studies – 4 credits
Foreign Language – 3 credits  

See how they require so much more than the above two examples. Many ivys also look for SAT subject tests, and/or AP courses.

 Each college is different.

Some colleges also require extra things from their homeschool applicants.  Our next step was to look for any specific requirements for homeschoolers.  But they didn't get in our way!  

     Homeschool Requirements

To do find out if your teen's prospective colleges ask for extra things from homeschoolers, just check for any special requirements on their websites.  If they have any, they will be listed there.  


This just means that the colleges are requiring something specifically for homeschool applicants, like  a few outside credits or some testing, to "validate" the homeschool transcript.  

Three of our colleges required what they called "validation" for certain subjects, but two of them have now dropped these extra requirements!  Some colleges still have them, but the trend is towards dropping or simplifying them....

Below are 3 examples of homeschool requirements, and as you will see, they vary A LOT.

College A –
A Private Elite College

This one is still asking for lots of "validation". 

"Homeschooled applicants need to show additional non-homeschool setting assessments, or validation in 3 areas, Math and Science, and Foreign Language......."

To do that, choose one of the following for each subject:

1.   Take an AP test or SAT subject test 
 2.  OR take the ACT test 
3.   OR CLEP testing 
4.   OR take the course at an accredited college or community college, AND
5.  For foreign language, take a test at the college  

What we did:

We just took the ACT test. That gave the college their "validation" for math and english.  For foreign language, my daughter took that test at the college, during senior year, and she was accepted.

Note - CLEP was added recently so you could just do CLEP tests instead!!

Also, for AP testing - Anyone can take AP tests, so that means your student does not have to take the actual AP course.  They can study at home using AP resources, and then go in for testing.

This school was the hardest to deal with for us, but by using their ACT testing option, we did not stress about their extra requirements.

College B -
A Two Tier State College  

This college did not require any special homeschooling requirements or validation!  

Currently, their website suggests that applicants show rigor in their work, such as with college level courses, AP courses, or community college courses in their high school years.  They also looked for volunteer or work experience.

What we did:  

We did one dual credit course, and my daughter did volunteer work and reported that to the college, and she was accepted.

     College C -
A State College

This college just asks that GED scores be submitted, which they used to "validate" the homeschool transcript.  No other hoops to go through! 

So you see how this works, and varies so much from college to college.  Good News!  Many colleges are making these extra requirements easier, or even dropping them.  That is the trend.

There is another important step to do, when researching and getting started.

Be sure to check the college website for what testing is required. Do they ask for the SAT or ACT?  Which one?  Either?  Or neither? Some colleges are dropping this testing option.  But most still have it.

The other thing to check on is this:

Does your college require the writing portion of the SAT or ACT?

Many don't!  Our colleges did not require the writing portion of the SAT/ACT so we did not have to do that!  Of course we still had to do the college entrance essay.  But if your teen does not have to do the writing portion of the SAT/ACT for the colleges, that is a blessing.  Then don't do it!

If the website does not have this information, I encourage you to just call the Admissions dept.  We did and they were helpful each time.  Also, did you know that college students are usually the ones who answer the phone in the admissions office?  

My teen worked there last year.  It is not daunting to call and just talk to a college student on the other end is it?

NOTE - Did you know that we don't need to follow the public school high school graduation requirements? 

 As homeschoolers, we only need to follow the homeschool laws of our state, and most of them leave the decision of what to do during high school to the parents.  

So once you have the college requirements figured out, then you can enjoy filling in the extra time, with your teen's special interests, volunteering, high school activities, and such, as is best for your teen.

There are High School Planning Printables for each important step, going from homeschooling high school to college, in my book mentioned below.  

College Entrance Requirements Form - This is for recording and figuring out your teen's requirements for college admission. 

Have you seen my facebook group called Homeschooling Through High School?

Have you seen my facebook group called Homeschooling Through High School?  Join us!

After helping my homeschooled high schooler get into each of the colleges she applied to, I wrote this guide:

Paperback is at Amazon $11.99

Be sure and pin to save and follow BJ's Homeschool on Pinterest

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

Want to stay in touch?

Subscribe, Pinterest, Facebook 

No spam ever.  
Just encouragement for your homeschool in your inbox.

Copyright, 2019 
All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment

Get more Updates

* indicates required
First Name
Email Address *