College Application Booster​®: High School Seniors, Get ahead on your college application!

Colleges Recruit Homeschoolers

In recent years, colleges such as Harvard, Stanford, Duke, and MIT have begun recruiting homeschoolers. This trend coincides with a 61% increase in homeschooling in the U.S. Both of these changes beg several questions: why are so many parents abandoning the traditional education system? How can students make sure they get the most out of a homeschool education? What about homeschooling makes students more appealing to Ivy League colleges and other selective universities?

The answer to the first two questions is more or less straightforward. Homeschooling allows for more free time, so students have time outside of school to devote to their hobbies, which they might even develop into businesses or nonprofits. Homeschooled students interact with their community more, particularly with people in different age groups. Learning in non-traditional environments and being exposed to people of different maturity levels better equips homeschooled students for college life and makes them valuable additions to college campuses. Overall, homeschooled students tend to be more well-traveled, high-achieving, and self-aware than their public and private school counterparts, making them attractive applicants to college admissions officers.

The latter question of how homeschooled students can maximize their potential involves a bit more research. Fortunately, we’ve already done that for you:

Creating a College Prep Action Plan

College prep begins long before senior year. Especially in the case of homeschooled students, college prep should start early with strategic course selection, a rich extracurricular life, and efficient test preparation. To learn more, check out these resources:

Author Bruce Hammond provides advice for homeschooled students on how to get into the school of their choice.

The Homeschool Mom

In this post, the “Homeschool Mom” explains how to factor in college admissions requirements into homeschool curriculum. She discusses what types of courses college-bound students should take and emphasizes the importance of imparting both skills and knowledge to homeschooled students.

College Transitions

Getting your student into college is never straight forward, but the process is even more complicated for homeschooled students. Fortunately, College Transitions makes applying to college a little easier. In this guide, you’ll learn about how SATs, extracurriculars, and course selection all play into college admissions.

Life as Mom

This mommy blogger has over 18 years of homeschooling experience. Her general advice is to “follow college requirements, get student input, get outside help, expect mistakes, and focus on relationships.” She offers more detailed information in her blog post: “How We Are Preparing Our Homeschooled Kids for College.”

Transcript Preparation for Homeschoolers

When students apply to college, whether through the Common Application or another platform, they will most likely need to submit a transcript and school report. This component of the college application is one of the most daunting for homeschool parents. Fortunately, these resources make preparing transcripts easy:

Home School Legal Defense Association

In this video, high school consultant Diane Kummer breaks down the main sections of a transcript and gives tips on how to create a professional transcript.

The Homeschool Mom

The homeschool mom tries to make transcripts seem less intimidating. Here, you’ll find answers to all of your transcript-related FAQs, as well as a free transcript template.

Home School Legal Defense Association

Pages 9-13 of this comprehensive guidebook for homeschooling detail how to organize records and transcripts.

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

This guide demonstrates how to make a high school transcript, what to do if students are missing required credits and how a student can make their own transcript if necessary.

The HomeScholar

Starting with the basics, such as what the difference between a 4.0 and 3.0 GPA is, all the way to dealing with the anxiety and fear associated with making transcripts, this post does an excellent job of teaching parents how to make a professional transcript for their students.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a great resource for homeschooled and non-homeschooled students alike. However, this sample school report and transcript are tailored specifically for homeschooled students applying to college through the Common Application.

Tests and Test Prep for Homeschoolers

As one dimensional as it may seem, standardized tests play a huge role in college admissions. These guides help homeschool families make sense of the complicated landscape of standardized tests:

Community for Accredited Online Schools

This guide is designed to help students and parents better understand and navigate the ACT. In it, you’ll find a history of the ACT, an overview of each subject, study tips, recommended practice tests and courses, and answers to FAQs.

College Board

College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, SAT subject tests, and AP tests, provides testing information for homeschoolers directly from the source.

Community for Accredited Online Schools

Similar to the ACT guide, this SAT prep guide helps students understand what to expect from the SAT and understand the importance of SAT scores in college admissions decisions. Additionally, it provides study tips and resources, practice questions, and an interview with a test prep expert.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy provides SAT, PSAT and AP test preparation for high school students. They have several full length practice exams and are official partners of College Board.

Command Education

Command’s private academic tutoring is suitable for students from all educational backgrounds. Our expert tutors prepare students for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and SAT IIs.

Novel Education

This elite homeschooling agency, one of Command Education’s partners, offers tutoring for both high school and college entrance exams such as the ISEE and SAT.

Applying to College

In traditional school environments, students have access to guidance counselors and experienced teachers who can help them apply to college. There are a number of equally helpful resources available to homeschooled students, it’s just a matter of finding the best ones. Here are a few we recommend:

The Big Future

Finding the right college, financing college, selecting a major

Community for Accredited Online Schools

This resource prepares home schooled students for what to expect on campus, answers FAQs about sharing living spaces and working in a classroom, as well as informs students about basic requirements like the SAT/ ACT and personal statement.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy describes all of the materials students (whether homeschooled or traditionally schooled) need to submit when they apply to college. They also explain how much weight different components of your application carry and give advice on how to impress colleges through letters of recommendation and extracurriculars.


MIT reports a long history of admitting homeschooled students. In order to encourage even more homeschooled students to apply, they have a guide for home educators to explain the expectations MIT has for homeschooled applicants.

Online College

In this article, you’ll find interesting facts about homeschool admissions at elite universities, as well as helpful tips for the college application. They also include a list of valuable resources for homeschool students and parents, such as a list of SAT/ACT optional colleges and a sample transcript.


Like MIT, Yale informs students about what is expected of them for college admissions. On this page, Yale discusses both holistic qualities of applicants, such as maturity and non-academic interests, as well as objective measures by which Yale evaluates students, like standardized test scores.

Some scholarships require students to be enrolled in an accredited high school. Here are a few opportunities for homeschooled students to earn some money for their college tuition:
Some scholarships require students to be enrolled in an accredited high school. Here are a few opportunities for homeschooled students to earn some money for their college tuition:

Craig Dickinson Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship awards $1000 to a student who has been homeschooled for at least two years. The student must have high test scores and GPA to be eligible.


It’s a common misconception that you need a GED to receive federal grants. Homeschoolers are actually exempt from this qualification, so, American students should start their search with FAFSA to receive federal grants and low-interest loans.

National Merit Scholarship

By taking the PSAT in 11th grade, homeschoolers can qualify for the National Merit Scholarship just like traditionally schooled students.

HOPE Scholarship Program for Home-Schooled Students

Georgia’s HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) Program offers merit-based scholarships to students who completed home study programs and scored above the 75th percentile on the SAT/ACT in Georgia.

Homeschool Legal Defense Fund

HSLDA offers scholarships each season in the form of essay, art, poetry, and photography contests. These contests are a great opportunity for students to hone their talents as well as earn some money for college.

Mason Lighthouse Annual Scholarship

This scholarship is for service-minded students who have been home educated for at least the past four years. The winner will receive $1000 to honor their outstanding service to his/her homeschool, church, or civic community.

State of the Arts Scholarship

This scholarship awards $1,000 to a homeschooled student who plans to study performing or visual arts in post-secondary school. Applicants must have been homeschooled through four years of high school and demonstrate significant experience in the arts (such as theater, dance, music, and studio art).