If you or your child is a homeschooled student, you might have some questions about how the college application process is different.
The good news is that college admissions for homeschoolers are handled similarly to students from public or private schools. Many colleges even seek out homeschooled students because they bring a fresh perspective and unique experiences.
But if you aren’t working with a homeschool association to help you with this process, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Here’s what to know to get started:
Your transcripts are an important piece of your college application, and they need to be accurate, organized, and well-maintained. Transcripts can be created by a parent, a third-party service, or by a homeschool association you partner with.
Even though school districts don’t have a “standard” for transcripts, the following general information should be included:
- Your name, address, and phone number
- Name of your homeschool, if applicable
- Your high school course list ordered by year
- Credits earned per course
- Any grade scale used by your homeschool
- Your overall GPA
- A parent or teacher’s signature with date
But much more specific information will need to be included on your transcripts if you plan to apply for grants or scholarships, like the South Carolina Lottery Scholarship. You’ll also need to make sure your transcripts include Honors, AP, or Dual Enrollment credits.
This is a complex and hugely important piece of your application, so it’s important to get it right. At SCAIHS, we take this burden away from parents by producing nationally recognized official transcripts for each of our students. We make sure you or your student has the best opportunities not just for acceptance into your chosen school, but for any scholarships or grants you may be eligible for.
Diploma and GED
Homeschooled students aren’t required to have a GED or diploma to apply to college or receive financial aid. You can meet state requirements simply by declaring that you have a homeschool education.
But it’s important to note that if you can provide a diploma of some sort, it will only add value to your application and will certainly be a differentiating factor among other homeschooled applicants.
SCAIHS provides nationally recognized high school diplomas for our students. We also host a graduation ceremony for our seniors so our families can celebrate this momentous achievement together.
When you are homeschooled, colleges will often place more weight on your standardized test scores. Although not required by all schools, some will recommend that you take one or more.
The preparation and entry for these exams can be pricey, so it’s smart to work with your guidance counselor to determine which exams would be most advantageous for you based on the schools you’re interested in.
Each homeschooled student who works with SCAIHS is given expert guidance from our trained counselors to help you reach your goals. We stay up to date on which exams are most helpful to ensure you focus your time and efforts where it counts.
Letters of Recommendation
Colleges often prefer getting recommendations from teachers as opposed to parents and family friends. If you are homeschooled, this can be challenging but not insurmountable.
If you’ve taken any courses outside the home, approach those teachers for a recommendation. You can also ask other people in your community for a letter, such as a clergy member, coach, or volunteer coordinator.
Working with a homeschool organization like SCAIHS can eliminate many of these issues by helping you find legitimate and impressive references for your application.
The School Report
The School Report is generally completed by a guidance counselor in a traditional school. It reports information about the school, such as honors and AP courses offered and the GPA scale used.
This is something parents can complete themselves, but your homeschool association is expertly qualified to take care of this responsibility for you. Our SCAIHS counselors maintain your school reports for you and add these records to CommonApp, one portal that connects students to over 900 colleges and universities they can apply to.
Parents can potentially add additional value to their school report by including:
- Your homeschooling philosophy
- A document with course descriptions
- Homeschool grading methodology
- Samples of student academic papers
Most colleges also want to see that students have unique interests and participate in activities outside of classes. Make sure you are involved in some extracurricular activities and demonstrate these in your college application materials.
If you’d like to seek a scholarship based on your extracurricular activities, your guidance counselor can help you develop a plan and get in contact with the necessary school representatives.
Trust your homeschool association
When you partner with a professional homeschool association like the South Carolina Association for Independent Homeschoolers, you receive the guidance, expertise, and certifications to make your application stand out among the rest.
Seniors are a top priority for us, and we work tirelessly to offer them insight and opportunities every step of the way.
- Guidance counselor services for college and scholarship applications
- Personalized assistance in course selection and planning
- Formal graduation ceremony and nationally recognized diploma
- Nationally recognized official transcripts
- Established relationships with a variety of exceptional colleges and universities
- Experience working with the SC Commission on Higher Education, the SCDE, and others
We would love to help you confidently navigate this process and create a path to success that perfectly fits you and your student’s goals. Contact us any time with additional questions or to get started.