Society may tell us that home-educated individuals are awkwardly disadvantaged both socially and academically when it comes to making the choice of post-secondary education. Some college institutions carry more rigid requirements that a homeschooled student must meet before acceptance into that school.
In contrast, there are schools that uphold the usefulness of home education and welcome these nontraditional students with open arms. In either case, meeting the academic demands of college as a homeschooler is not necessarily a walk in the park.
Research indicates that homeschoolers may actually have advantages over the norm in many ways. In an article published by the Journal of College Admission in 2004, it was reported that “the homeschooled scored, on average, at the 65th to 80th percentile on standardized academic achievement tests in the United States and Canada, compared to the public school average of the 50th percentile.” (Ray, 2004) The writer also mentioned that “ACTs and SATs are the best-known test predictors of success in university or college in America. Both the SAT and ACT publishers have reported for several years that the scores of the homeschooled are higher, on average, than those from public schools.”
So why is it that some universities such as the University of Florida, which has been publicized as being one of the toughest colleges for homeschoolers to enroll, are so adamant about their disfavor towards home-education by instituting tougher requirements?
The real question that a homeschooler should ask is, “Does this affect my chances of getting in if this is the college of my choice?” The answer is most invariably, NO. It may be a bit more difficult and may require a little extra dedication to the process, but it should not stop the student or their parents from applying and hoping for acceptance.
A large majority of homeschooled students enroll in community college courses during high school. This not only gives them a significant academic advantage over the traditional student, it also gives an added favorable pull when it comes to applying to stricter universities.
In my research, I found that many parents who anticipate that their child will enter into college will inquire about the toughest universities’ requirements early on so that during their child’s high school years, the parent or tutor will incorporate those requirements into the student’s curriculum. Whether or not, the student decides to apply at a stricter university, peace of mind comes from knowing the most rigorous prerequisites were already met.
A parent might consider hiring private teachers or tutors that can give objectivity to the student’s acumen. This also gives opportunity for future letters of recommendation.
Maintaining up-to-date, detailed records and transcripts of the homeschooler’s grades is crucial. It also may be beneficial to assign subjects with traditional course names such as Geometry and Chemistry instead of general terms such as Math and Science.
Advanced placement is invaluable to a student’s scholastic profile. By enrolling in college-level AP courses, a student can display to college admissions their degree of academic excellence. For homeschoolers, advanced placement can be offered via independent study online.
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