Homeschool College Admissions

Typically, we focus on elementary homeschool education on this site. However, something that may come up as a concern for parents looking to start homeschooling, even at elementary level, is what happens when their child is ready to apply for college. The good news is that the homeschool college admissions process is not significantly different from that of any other student.

Applying for College as a Homeschooler

The biggest challenge for homeschoolers when it comes to college admissions is record keeping. Many states don’t have requirements for maintaining records of your child’s coursework, which can make it easy to become complacent. If you fall behind, getting caught up on all the necessary paperwork for college can be tough. Here are the types of documents you should have ready to go for college applications.


Generally, colleges will be looking at transcripts for evidence of progressive skill-building and mastery of subjects at a high school level. Specific requirements will vary by college, but subjects will typically include four years of English and Mathematics, at least three years of Science and Social Studies/History, and at least two years of a foreign language. We’d recommend your transcript has the following information at minimum:

  • Student name, address, and phone number
  • Chronological list of courses taken
  • Brief description of each course
  • Grading scale (i.e. A = Excellent, B = Good, etc.)
  • Overall GPA
  • Expected or actual graduation date
  • Parent or homeschool administrator signature and date

Letters of Recommendation

Obtaining letters of recommendation is relatively simple for students in a traditional school setting. Teachers are typically happy to write them, and there’s not a big risk of bias coming from them. This is trickier for homeschoolers because the teachers are usually family members, who will more than likely exaggerate a bit to benefit the student. We’d advise you contact the college for what they’re looking for in a letter of recommendation and who they’ll accept them from. Here are some people you may consider asking for a letter of recommendation:

  • Teachers of any community college courses taken during high school
  • Pastor
  • Coach
  • Member of an organization where your child volunteered
  • Organizers of homeschool groups or co-ops

Standardized Testing

Because homeschool curriculums can vary so much, colleges will put more emphasis on standardized testing as a way to gauge your child’s academic level. It’s unlikely that your child has had much experience with standardized testing unless you live in a state where it’s required by law (subscribe for our free Homeschool Guide to find out which ones/ end shameless plug). We would strongly recommend that you have your child do some ACT/SAT prep in advance.


Most likely your child won’t have a Diploma, unless one was issued through your the curriculum you chose. You can “technically” issue a diploma when your child completes his/her high school course work, but it isn’t necessary to create a paper diploma. In addition, taking the GED isn’t particularly important when colleges will be examining standardized tests and your transcript.

School Report

A valuable tool for college applications is Common App, where a single application can be provided to over 900 colleges and universities. Part of this application is the School Report, which asks for information about where the student ranked in their class, AP classes offered, the school’s GPA scale and more. You will be able to sign up a My Recommender Account for your child and upload the requested information. Note that many items won’t be applicable (such as class rank).

Extracurricular Activities

It’s easier than ever to get your homeschooler involved in extracurricular activities that will benefit them on their college application. Beginning in middle school or early in high school, help your child explore their interests with clubs or organizations like:

  • Scout groups (these may be organized through your church in addition to well known groups like Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts of America)
  • Club sports
  • Volunteer work
  • Part time job(s)

Wrapping Up

Needing to eventually apply for college might dissuade some parents from starting their child in homeschool. Fortunately, colleges treat homeschoolers much the same way as they treat students from traditional schools (maybe because homeschoolers often excel beyond their peers). The same documents, such as standardized test scores and letters of recommendation, will apply regardless of where your child goes to school. Your big responsibility as a parent and homeschool administrator will be keeping up with recordkeeping for transcripts, but it’s nothing you can’t handle with a good system in place.

You probably noticed we mentioned legal stuff a few times. It’s very important that you know what’s required of you to make sure your homeschool meets state requirements. Colleges won’t accept your child’s application if your homeschool didn’t meet state requirements. To help you out, we put together a state by state Homeschool Guide with useful information and links so you can make sure your homeschool is legal. It’s yours for free when you sign up for my newsletter.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably getting ready to start your homeschool journey. Part of that journey will be working through the legal requirements in your state. To help with that, I put together a state-by-state guide of the legal requirements to homeschool. It’s yours for free when you sign up for my newsletter. You’ll also get updates with all our new posts with helpful info like you found here.

If you have any questions or would like reach me, I’m always available on social media. Find me at the links below!

Leave a Comment