college acceptance rate homeschoolers
college acceptance rate homeschoolers
In 2002, just over 1.1 million students were homeschooled in the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Convinced that our community needs accessible, quality education for all students, we decided to homeschool our children. We have heard a lot of different opinions about this decision and everything from “I don’t know if it is right” to “you’re nuts.” Here are some of the reasons why we chose to homeschool:
- Safety: Homeschooling allows parents the ability to exercise greater control over their children’s safety while they interact with others (i.e., at school). In our opinion, this is a huge benefit as it provides us and our children with the opportunity to be who we want and do what we please without having others watching or controlling what we do.
- Religious beliefs: There are many religious groups who believe strongly in homeschooling their children, which gives them more time for prayer and religious study. For example, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) are known for stressing education within their church structure. They believe that schooling is a critical part of learning how to live in society as citizens. They look upon learning as a means by which one can develop self-reliance and become independent from greed.
- Disinterest in traditional schools: This is another popular reason for families choosing homeschooling over public school. We had both retired early from work so were interested in staying home with the kids instead of commuting an hour each day with no end date on when this would change. We also wanted our daughter to learn at her own pace. After several years she was reading Shakespeare books at age 3! At that point I realized that by not sending her off half way across the world she was setting herself up well for life after high school and not just being educated but learning how to be an adult too! It was also then clear when I’d see her reading her assignments before she turned out the light at night because she’d only get bored otherwise!
Today, the number of homeschoolers has risen to an estimated 2 million, with home-schooling families citing safety, religious beliefs and dissatisfaction with traditional schools as reasons for their decision.
The number of homeschoolers in the United States has risen to an estimated 2 million, and their numbers are rapidly growing. There is no definitive data on this demographic because homeschooling is not tracked by federal authorities; however, a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed that approximately 3 percent of students between the ages of 6 and 19 were educated at home during 2012. Their reasons for choosing this method vary widely: while religious beliefs are a common theme, safety concerns or dissatisfaction with traditional schools also lead some families to decide that teaching their children themselves is preferable.
But what happens when homeschooled students decide to attend college?
The most common way to evaluate the academic performance of homeschooled students is through standardized testing. While the self-paced learning environment that homeschooling offers can make it easier for students to excel in subjects like science and history, where there is less need for collaborative work and discussion, it also means that many homeschoolers have not received training in math, reading comprehension, and writing. To prove their academic competency, many homeschoolers must take standardized tests as part of the admissions process.
The most popular test is the SAT, or Scholastic Assessment Test. This three-hour multiple choice test assesses a student’s writing skills on the essay portion and his or her knowledge of reading comprehension passages and math concepts on two separate sections. Many universities will accept SAT scores from previous years for incoming freshmen if they are applying late to school after taking time off from academics; however, some may require current testing.
In addition to this basic admissions requirement, there are other standardized tests that may be required by certain institutions:
- ACT (American College Testing) – similar format to the SAT but with an additional 30 minutes of ACT Writing section focusing on essay questions
- The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) – evaluates a student’s ability in academics through multiple choice questions as well as his or her social skills through essay responses
Overall, it is difficult to know what percentage of American college students are or have been homeschooled. The exact numbers aren’t recorded on federal data forms, making it hard to pin down a specific number.
As the numbers of homeschooled students continue to grow, it will be interesting to see whether the percentage of homeschooled students in colleges and universities increases, as well. At the moment, there isn’t any hard data about how many homeschooled students attend college each year. This is partly because not all colleges collect information on their applicants’ schooling history. Most forms that ask for this information only ask whether a student has ever attended a public school or private school (usually in kindergarten through twelfth grade), but they don’t ask if the student was homeschooled. For students who were homeschooled, they may have been able to answer “yes” by checking off “private school,” even though they were home-tutored.
While you won’t find definitive numbers anywhere, the anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more homeschoolers are attending college each year—and doing so with increasing success rates. In fact, some data shows that being homeschooled doesn’t have an affect on future academic success once a student begins attending college classes at a postsecondary institution.
According to one study , 58% of students who said they were homeschooled while they were high school seniors went on to take admissions tests like Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs) and American College Testing Assessment (ACTs). Overall, 72% of these test-taking students reported receiving collegiate level credit upon enrolling at colleges and universities across the United States.
The increasing number of children who are being home-taught has led many members of state legislatures across the country to consider new laws about how these children participate in standardized testing, what subjects should be required for them to study in their education programs, and other issues related to their classroom instruction .
And while they may be few and far between, there are many examples of homeschooling advocates who ended up attending Ivy League universities and other prestigious schools.
The first time I heard of someone going to an Ivy League school while being homeschooled, I was shocked. Then confused. And then even more shocked. But it’s true—there are plenty of examples of homeschooled students who were able to make their way into the most prestigious universities in the country.
The secret to getting accepted at an Ivy League university is simple: prepare for it, and be yourself. In other words, you need to know that the work will be tough and you’ll have to put in a lot of effort if you want to get accepted, but if you do those things and make yourself known, your application will likely be considered fairly no matter what your background is (though it can’t hurt if your parents are Bill Gates or something).
Here are some examples of people who did just that:
In addition, many colleges now offer credit for courses taken at home instead of traditional high school courses.
The only way to determine if credit is available at a particular college is to call the admissions office and ask. If you’re unsure of what courses can be transferred, I recommend using the following general rules as guidelines.
- You cannot receive credit for remedial classes from high school or any required course that is not graded on a pass/fail basis.
- You cannot receive credit for math class since it’s required for major requirements rather than electives.
- You can take most non-required courses over the summer if they are offered during that period.
There are benefits and challenges for homeschoolers navigating the college admissions process.
One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is that your ability to control your work schedule can be a huge boon during college admissions. Because you’re not locked into a class schedule, you can take practice SATs in the morning and go to an admissions interview in the afternoon. You don’t have to wake up at a certain hour just because it’s time for your algebra class. You can also take complete control over when—and if—you decide to graduate.
Homeschoolers also benefit by being able to learn in a more structured environment than they would find in a public school classroom or even some private schools. Teachers who teach online video courses or use other web-based tools have the ability to manage their students’ schedules, which frees them up from worrying about whether everyone will finish at the same time. Students are also able to focus on their own learning rather than whether someone else is goofing off around them.