College Admissions and HomeSchooled Students

For those who have been following my college blog this week, I’ve been answering questions from readers. These questions came from a mom and her homeschooled teenagers. Here is what she had to say:

Question No. 1:

Homeschooling has been our educational choice. When my son completed various applications, sections were often dedicated to “leadership and offices held.”He had to leave these sections blank because most of what he has done has not involved clubs where officers were elected. His high school activities focused on leadership of activities he organized himself, educational programs he participated in, or contests he was a part of.
What would persuade an admissions officer to chose my son over another candidate who had several traditional leadership roles?

Answer No. 1:

While colleges like students who display leadership qualities, teenagers don’t have to be an officer in a club or student government to be considered a leader.  I wrote the following blog post last year on this very topic regarding my daughter, who is a leader, but who has never been an officer of a club or organization:

What If You’re Not a Leader?

Question No. 2:

Homeschooling is often not validated because outsiders think that mom gives the child all “A’s.” Well, my son can tell you otherwise. Various portions of our curriculum provided objective methods to evaluate his work. And it was not always an “A.” He also took classes at a local Community College, providing that outside validation that he was a stellar student.
Some colleges want homeschooled students to go through extra hoops: provide extra SAT II scores, etc. Is this “legal?” By what means do they fairly evaluate homeschooled students against traditionally schooled students?
Homeschoolers differ in their approach to teaching. I have been told that colleges (all??) have the ability to know what the high school curriculum is at each school in the county. (True??)

Answer No. 2:

Yes, colleges can legally require additional information about a homeschooled student including SAT II scores, interviews and essays. Schools require extra proof of a student’s achievement because there maybe no other source, other than from the family, to provide it.
Contrast this with the knowledge colleges have of students who attend traditional schools. Colleges typically employ regional admission officers who are familiar with the academic strengths of schools in their territories.
In addition, high school counselors routinely fill out a secondary school report that provides colleges with such background as the percentage of the graduating class that immediately attends four-year institutions and the percentage that attend two-year schools. The report also includes such information as what the highest GPA available at the high school is and whether the school limits the number of AP classes that a student can take.

Question 3:

If my children end up attending the same college are there any rules for favoring a sibling for admissions when given two equally qualified candidates?

Answer 3:

The best way to find out if a college favors sibling admissions is to ask individual schools.

Learn More:

6 Ways to Raise a Smart Kid

A Homeschooler and a College Controversy

Can Homeschoolers Do Well in College?


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