Homeschoolers are WELCOMED to colleges nation wide!
The days when homeschoolers had to jump through hoops to get accepted into colleges are officially OVER! In fact, many homeschoolers find it easier to differentiate themselves by utilizing their time to indulge in their strengths, and then talk about what they've been doing with their time on their essays.
Many homeschoolers plan on attending the local community colleges and then transferring to a UC or Cal State University. This is regularly done and is called "TAG"ing (Transfer Admittance Guaranteed). You can find definative information at all of our local community colleges. Note that not all UC's allow TAGing anymore, and that the requirements for TAGing for each school and each degree can vary. Please contact the colleges directly to get the latest information if you are planning this route.
There is a whole world of universities and colleges outside of the California public system to explore. Once your student starts high school, it's a good idea to start exploring all of their options, and figuring out which experience will benefit them the most. Generally speaking, colleges will want to know what types of classes a homeschooled student has taken. They sometimes request a syllabus to determine the robustness of the offerings, so all homeschooled teens in high school should retain the syllabus of their high school classes. The easiest place to keep all of the best writing samples, syllabii, awards, etc is in a digital portfolio. Teens should also maintain a list of books read in high school, and if any of these books have a report written about it, that should also be included in the portfolio. Many times, colleges will ask for an extra recommendation for homeschooled students; one from the main teacher of the child, along with two others that are outside of the family and know the child from their academic life. Colleges many times also ask for a piece of written work with feedback from the teacher. They are not looking for a grade necessarily, but more importantly, they are looking to see the robustness of the writing experience. Almost all colleges will also be looking for activities outside of academics; what sports, dance, theatre or other extra curricular activities does your child pursue. What community services does your child engage in. The primary question seems to be this; you've potentially had extra time on your hands - what have you done with it?
Not only do many colleges welcome homeschoolers with open arms, but they also many times have openings late in the enrollment season. Why? Colleges send out many acceptance letters, but because students are applying to so many colleges, the acceptance rate to a college can sometimes be quite low. It's a good idea to consider including some non-selective private colleges with healthy endowments for scholarships in the list of colleges to apply to!
Here is a list of Conservative and/or religous colleges that might appeal to homeschoolers.
Many times, colleges that are very similar in philosophy of learning will travel together and provide a 20 minute overview of their school followed by 1:1 time with admissions staff of that school. If you know you like a particular type of school, say a small liberal arts college, then you might want to consider one of these groups. It helps to hear what they think makes their college unique, but also what they feel is similar to other colleges.
Here is a list of colleges from the Colleges That Change Lives group. Note that this group of colleges travels together to put on yearly college fairs where you can talk directly to admissions staff about what they are looking for in their students and what they have to offer.
You may have already decided to transfer into a college because that road is considered more affordable or easier, but there are many considerations to think about. Questions about entering as Freshman or a Transfer Student.
For people that are looking at College Rankings to help decide which colleges to look at: Should I look at college rankings?
If you are nervous about homeschooling when you want to go to Medical School: But I'm thinking of Medical School...
Articles you may enjoy:
Need more expertise for your college planning? We recommend Dr. Steve Mercer at Mercer Educational Consulting.