How do colleges evaluate homeschooled students for admissions?

By Maxine Seya

What considerations are given to evaluating homeschooled students for admissions?

– Monica, a counselor in Newburyport, Massachusetts

Compared to students in local high schools, homeschooled students have different criteria to meet for college admissions. These criteria vary by school. Here are the 5 most common different considerations that admissions departments give to homeschooled students

1. Homeschooled students are asked to explain why their family chose to homeschool. Their peers in traditional high schools are rarely asked to explain why they attended their local school.

The admissions team at University of California, for example, asks homeschool students to explain the following:

“Why did your family choose homeschooling?

“How is your day structured?”

“What extracurricular activities are you passionate about?”

Admissions officers have a good idea of what a typical high school schedule is, but when it comes to homeschools, they can’t assume they’re all the same. Your student’s answers to these questions help the admissions committee better understand his day-to-day. How clearly and confidently a student answers these questions can also affect an application reader’s view of him.

2. Unlike traditional high school students who are required to submit transcripts, homeschooled students may gain admission without transcripts or even test scores.

At the University of California, transcript-free and test-free admissions options are available only to homeschooled students. “Some students are homeschooled and don’t have transcripts. Others have life circumstances that have prevented them living up to their promise.

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.