In our family, children are expected to attend college. We told them that given the problem some business have accepting a homeschool diploma, we expect them to earn at least an associates degree. But every child is an individual, and if God has something different in store for our kids, ultimately He is in charge, not us.
When our oldest first started looking at colleges, I remembered reading about a college founded by a christian businessman. Once our son looked at LeTourneau University, he never looked at any other colleges. It’s the only school he applied to. We told him flat out that we had no idea how we would pay for it, but if that’s where God wanted him, He’d provide the money. Our son’s letter of acceptance included a partial scholarship. Our son graduated four years later with an engineering degree and 4.0 gpa (we are proud of him!), and had a job offer by October of his senior year. LeTourneau is very friendly toward homeschoolers, and many of the professors homeschool their own children.
While we were driving child number one to his college, child number two was looking out the car window and noticed Colorado Christian University. She investigated and decided that’s where she wanted to go. As parents, we said we’d look but weren’t especially in favor. Then we looked at the website and prayed, and both of us believed that was where God wanted her. That’s the only place she applied, and was accepted with a partial scholarship. She earned a 4.0 gpa, but it was a tough year, and just before leaving for her sophomore year, decided that a change was in order. Instead of returning to CCU, she stayed home and prepared to go on the mission field. She spent a year with YWAM, first completing a medical DTS, which involved 2-1/2 months of training in Australia, then 2-1/2 months on outreach in India and Nepal. When she came home at Christmas, we discussed what God had in store for her next and she elected to return to Australia for more in-depth training and more outreach. When it took 46 seconds for her visa to be approved, we knew she was on the right track! While she was overseas, she decided that she wouldn’t return to CCU, so applied to (and was accepted at) three different schools: Cedarville University, Whitworth University, and George Fox University. We anticipated that she’d choose Cedarville (which looks like an amazing school), but that’s the only one that didn’t come with a scholarship offer, and after being away from family for a year she wanted a school closer to home. She is currently a student and applying to nursing school.
When child number three started looking at colleges, we joked that there are schools in Washington state! She received mountains of paperwork from colleges that had programs she was interested in (when kids take the PSAT/NMSQT, they should definitely fill out the info about their interests and preferences). Her criteria was 1) a Christian school, 2) with a degree that would allow her to get into a DPT program after graduation, 3) close enough that she could live at home and commute. It didn’t take long to discover that she could only get 2/3 of those things, so she had to decide what was most important. While visiting one college, we heard a guest speaker from a different college during chapel and decided to take a second look at George Fox University. Like her siblings, she received a scholarship to make it more affordable.
Child number four listened to his oldest brother’s advice and decided to take a couple dual-credit courses while he was still in high school. This can either make it take less time after transferring to a four-year university, or it can let students take a lighter load at uni, or even make space in the schedule so they can earn a double-degree. He planned visits to his top three university choices, but after visiting his brother at LeTourneau University cancelled the other visits. Like his older siblings, he was accepted at the only school to which he applied, and received a scholarship — it’s costing about $2,000 a year less at the private school than it would cost at a state school closer to home. This child also turned out for the university baseball team and had a wonderful time during the fall season. Spring season is more intense, and he’s decided that he doesn’t have 32 hours a week to play baseball and still get his schoolwork done.
How Do Homeschooled Students Get Admitted to College?
Look at the website of colleges you’re considering. They will tell you their entrance requirements. In general, they want to see that students are interesting people who will contribute to their culture. They want to see community involvement and volunteer work. They want to see rigorous college-prep classes. Most universities want to see two years of high-school level foreign language – but our experience is that they won’t accept homeschool foreign language without some sort of independent verification such as the subject-area SAT. Taking foreign language through the community college for dual-credit while doing the rest of her classes as a homeschooler worked very well for our daughter, and is probably what our youngest will do.
It’s not enough to say that your student studied algebra or American literature. Expect a college to ask about the curriculum you used so they can verify that your student is prepared to succeed in college. Plan to use college-prep materials to teach:
- English (4 years – 3 composition/literature plus 1 other, some universities require speech)
- Math (3 years minimum at least through trig/precalc)
- Science (3 years, with 2 years lab science, some states require specific courses)
- Social Science (3 years including U.S. history, world history, and civics. Psych recommended)
- Foreign Language (minimum 2 years same language, or 1 year dual-credit)
- Extra (another math, science, or social science credit)
- Fine Arts (1-2 years)
See also my posts on College & Career Planning, High School and Beyond Plan, College-Bound Student Athletes, Planning a High School Curriculum, College Admissions Testing, Are You Ready for Your Child to Go to College?, Preparing Transcripts, Looking Ahead to College, Sending Young Adults to College, and Testing for Credit.
You Can Do It!