If you are a homeschooling teen on the brink of finishing your high school studies, or the parent of one of these teens, you might be wondering what it’s like to go from homeschool to college. What happens when a homeschooled teenager steps onto campus to continue their academic career?
Depending on who you believe, you may have panicky visions of feeling completely out of place, overwhelmed, and lost academically. On the other hand, you may see yourself slaying academic dragons, leading clubs and organizations, and otherwise being a poster child for the perfection that is homeschooling.
Chances are, the truth will be somewhere in between. You know that you are smart, educated, and capable. However, even the most well-adjusted students will face some struggles and growing pains as they make their way through college. Let’s take a quick look at 21 things that you can expect from your homeschool to college experience.
- You May Have Done Better Than Your Peers on The ACT And SAT
As part of the admissions process, most schools want either your ACT or SAT scores in order to determine if you have the academic chops to succeed. You might be intimidated by this at first. After all, these tests are designed for kids schooled in traditional settings. Guess what! You can relax, homeschooled kids do just fine on these tests.
- Ivy League Schools Might Want to Hear From You
Good news, not only do Yale and other prestigious schools accept homeschoolers. They actively recruit them. Isn’t that cool?
- You May Feel a Bit Shell Shocked at All The People
If you had a small social circle, and decide to attend a larger school when graduating from homeschool to college, you should be prepared to be a little stunned at the sheer number of people. Don’t worry. In a week or two you won’t even be fazed.
- Some Will Judge But Most Will Think Your Background is Really Cool
Yes, you will run into people who have really backwards ideas about homeschooling. They may even say some pretty mean things because of it. Fortunately, most people will just have lots of questions and will think that being homeschooled is pretty cool.
- You Don’t Need a High School Transcript
Many students and their parents assume that you cannot get into college unless you have a high school transcript. As it turns out, there are many other ways to demonstrate that you have what it takes to be a success.
- Homeschoolers Are Just as Eligible For Financial Aid as Anyone Else
Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information on this. If you are a homeschooled student in the United States you are entitled to receive federal and state financial aid.
- Some Instructors Are Quite Ignorant About Homeschooling…
You should be prepared to run into some professors who have some prejudices about homeschooled students and what they are able to do. Be ready to respectfully stand up for yourself.
- …But Most Are More Than Willing to Learn
Now the good news. Educators are mostly flexible, open minded, and willing to change based on new information. The professor who was most skeptical about homeschoolers may just be your biggest advocate at the end of the term.
- You’ll be Able to Hook up With Other Homeschoolers
You probably already know that homeschoolers are very good at finding one another.
- There’s Plenty of Academic Help if You Need it
If you ever struggle with any of your classes, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources to help. Your school really wants you to succeed and will work with you on anything from helping you manage your schedule to teaching a homeschooler to enjoy writing for college classes.
- You May Have to Adjust to Having a More Rigorous Schedule
If you are used to working at your own pace and choosing your daily schedule, be prepared to make some adjustments when progressing from homeschool to college.
- You Will Probably Have to Take Classes You Dislike
You may have spent the last year or two working on independent studies and focusing on your interests. You may have to accept the fact that you have to take a couple of classes that you dislike.
- Homeschoolers Are More Likely to Make it All The Way Through to Graduation
Get ready to walk across that stage! Homeschoolers are more likely to finish college once they start.
- You Might be a Natural Leader
Your independence and positive attitude are great leadership qualities. You’ll have many chances to use these traits on campus.
- You May Have Walked in The Door With College Credits Waiting For You
Between CLEP, work experience, and dual enrollment, many homeschoolers start with more than a few college credits.
- There May be Some Culture Shock But You Will Adjust
This depends on your background, but in some cases homeschoolers really do get hit with a bit of culture shock because they are suddenly exposed to people from a variety of backgrounds, and who may not share the same beliefs as them.
That’s okay. This doesn’t only impact homeschoolers. Kids moving from small towns to big cities or vice-versa often have to adjust as well as those going from homeschool to college.
- If it’s Important to You a Strong Faith Community Will be There to Help
If practicing your faith is important to you, there is a good chance that you will find support on campus. If not, the local community may have resources to help you.
- There’s Probably at Least One Cub that Revolves Around Your Main Interest
As a homeschooler, you probably had lots of opportunities to pursue plenty of interests. Whether you dig Egyptology or anime, there’s probably some way to pursue your passions on campus.
- You May Find Yourself Scrambling to Produce Records at The Last Minute
You may not need a GED or high school transcript, but you will have to produce some records to prove you are capable of doing the work. If you haven’t kept great records, this could mean scrambling at the last minute when advancing from homeschool to college.
- Colleges Permit Homeschoolers to Play Sports
Don’t sit on the sidelines! You qualify to play in any sport that allows walk-ons.
- You May Find Special Programs Designed Just For Homeschoolers
Since colleges are more and more interested in having homeschooled students among their ranks, they are going out of their way to make them feel more welcome. Your school of choice may just have a few programs established especially for homeschoolers.
There you have it! You may deal with a few adjustments when making the change from homeschool to college, but there is absolutely no reason to believe that you won’t shine when it comes to being a successful college student. In fact, your homeschooler status is very likely to be a real asset.