It’s time for high school juniors and seniors to begin the process of applying for college semesters that begin in the fall of 2024 and winter of 2025.  Admissions advisors recommend that students begin applying for college admission late in their junior year and no later than the fall of their senior year.

Homeschooler students who are serious and diligent and stay on top of the application process, have an improved chance of getting into desired schools, getting scholarships, and competing for other educational opportunities. 


It doesn’t take much Internet research to discover that colleges, including Ivy League schools, are now actively recruiting homeschoolers. Post-pandemic, the mood in college admissions offices has changed dramatically and schools are not “begrudgingly” accepting homeschool students but are often actively recruiting them. 

In fact, many schools seek out homeschool graduates because they are frequently better prepared for college than their peers who graduated from traditional high schools. (NOTE: Duke, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Yale universities are all actively recruiting homeschool graduates.  Check out each school’s admissions page for specific information.) 


Applying for college admission can be more intense for someone that does not have a traditional high school transcript. Getting scholarships with a homeschool transcript can be a bit more complex, but it is possible for homeschoolers to get scholarship awards.


Many high school students begin to apply to colleges early in their senior year. Homeschoolers should try to begin the process earlier, perhaps as soon as junior year or the following summer.

The application process is essentially the same for traditionally schooled graduates as for homeschool graduates. However, homeschool applicants may be asked to provide more documentation than traditional students. Other than this difference, the application and review/acceptance routine is much the same.

The major difference is in the way coursework is documented. In a traditional public school, the school tracks a student’s progress and grades and assigns a grade point average (GPA), which will be a part of the final college application process. Homeschool graduates may be asked to provide:

TranscriptsTranscripts are the responsibility of the parents or guardians of homeschool graduates. Good record keeping and compliance with state education regulations are essential for providing a valid homeschooling transcript.  

Diploma – At the end of their senior year, students who graduate from public schools are handed a diploma certifying their accomplishments.  Homeschooled students have a couple of options for obtaining a diploma.  If the student lives in a school district where local laws consider homeschools as being linked to the public school system, homeschool graduates can receive their diploma from the public school they would have attended if they had stayed within the traditional school system.  However, in most cases, the parents, or guardians of the homeschool graduate generate diplomas themselves, using readily available templates. 

(NOTE: For information about generating official diplomas and transcripts, contact Global Student Learning at .) 

Course Descriptions – If the homeschool has kept detailed descriptions of all the classes the student has taken during their high school experience, it won’t be too difficult to pull the information together into a comprehensive “report” of progress to be included in a homeschool application portfolio. If record keeping has been lax or non-existent, creating course descriptions in retrospect can be a tedious task.

Standardized Test Scores – Although homeschoolers have been accepted to many of the best schools in the U.S., it’s important to pay attention to the specific admissions requirements of each of the colleges where a student wants to apply. Some schools may require more documentation than others. Some schools have waived the standardized test score requirements and do not request ACT or SAT scores. If your school requires standardized testing, homeschoolers must take the tests and submit scores with their application.  Check with individual colleges and understand each school’s testing requirements.

Letters of Recommendation (LOR) – One of the most useful tips for homeschool college applicants is to never use a parent or relative to write letters of recommendation, even if the parent has also been the homeschool teacher.  Instead seek out letters from local and state-recognized businesspeople, politicians, religious and community leaders.  If a student has completed an internship during high school, ask the primary report for that experience to submit a recommendation. If the student has completed a work-study program, solicit a LOR from the student’s direct report authority. LORs are one important situation where it truly is “who you know” that makes the difference.

Extracurricular Activities – Homeschoolers need to pay particular attention to this application requirement.  It is important to participate in extracurricular activities during high school to demonstrate that the student is a well-rounded participant in the local community.  Included activities can be any pursuit that shows off the student’s interests and can include:

  • Music,
  • Theater productions,
  • Community service, 
  • Church sponsored activities, and
  • Any other personal passions of the student.


Laurie Greene, vice president for enrollment management at Butler University/Indiana writes:

“A homeschool student will naturally bring a very different experience to the table. Many universities look for different backgrounds and experiences to enhance the overall educational experience and community aspect.”

Zach Skillings and Cait Williams, writing for Scholarship 360 on September 20, 2023: “Let’s clear this up before we go any further. The answer is yes – homeschoolers can go to college just like traditional students.  Homeschooling has exploded in popularity, and colleges have taken notice.  Not only do most colleges recognize homeschooling as valid, some schools even seek out homeschooled students through recruitment sessions.”

And, yes – homeschool graduates can apply for and receive scholarships:

November 1, 2023: “Even small scholarships can quickly add up and help you graduate from college with minimal debt. Ask the admissions staff at colleges of interest about potential awards specific to homeschoolers.” (How Small Scholarships Can Add Up – College Raptor BlogCollege Raptor)


Top 15 Scholarships for Homeschoolers in November 2023 – Scholarships360

Can Homeschoolers Get Scholarships? How To, Costs, & Process (

The Top 25 Scholarships for Homeschoolers to Apply for in 2023 (

What Homeschoolers Need to Know About College Scholarships (

When Should High School Students Apply For College? | ScholarshipUpdate

How To Apply To College as a Homeschooled Student in 7 Steps |

Find Scholarships for Homeschoolers – OnToCollege

Applying to College as Homeschooler Guide – Scholarships360