How can homeschooled students stand out?

Application Process

Our counselors answered:

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How can homeschooled students stand out?

They automatically do, and especially if they are academic superstars with massive hrs of community service hrs!

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Typically home schooled students will be required to submit additional information as part of their application. This can actually serve as an advantage as you can demonstrate your individual talents and abilities. Your test scores will make a difference, but do not underestimate the power of letters of recommendation and experience. If you have the flexibility of many home-schoolers, use that to your advantage by interning or working in a field you would like to study in college. Building a solid resume will help you prepare for college and demonstrate your potential as an applicant.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Home schooled students can stand out in similar ways as all students. Developing intellectual, artistic, athletic or civic passions to the point where they are recognized on a national level will make any student stand out.

Hannah Serota
College Counselor/Idependent Educational Consultant McLean School/Creative College Connections

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Homeschooled students, like all students, need to demonstrate their preparation for college. This may mean a bit more leg-work for homeschooled students. Here are some suggestions: If possible, take a few classes at a local community college or through an accredited on-line school to show colleges that you can be successful in a classroom setting. Make sure to keep detailed records of all of your academic work. Be prepared to submit a research paper or lab report that you’ve written. Ensure that you have real lab experience in your science course work. Prepare for the SAT and/or ACT – your scores will be important factors in admission decisions. Consider taking SAT subject tests to show mastery in academics. Interview with colleges whenever possible to explain your educational journey. Look for ways to connect with peers beyond academics – develop extracurricular interests and commitments. Add a supplemental statement to your application that answers these questions: Why were you homeschooled? How did you benefit from homeschooling? What challenges did you face in homeschooling? How do you think your homeschooled experience has prepared you for college?

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Homeschooled students can stand out in all of the same ways that traditional students can, but you just have to be a little more diligent in accounting for it. All students should take advantage of the opportunities on college applications to explain meaningful activities and elaborate on unique educational opportunities. As a homeschooled student, you may need to create your own transcript. Take time to present your coursework in detail. With greater flexibility of schedule, homeschoolers and can participate in activities requiring a significant time commitment. Make sure you document and describe what you have done to make sure all your academics, activities, service, and leadership stand out.

Tira Harpaz
Founder CollegeBound Advice

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Make sure that you can document the fact that you have taken rigorous courses or learned at a high level. Standardized test results are also very important for a homeschooled student. High scores will show a college that you are capable of handling a strong academic course load. in addition, because of the flexibility that homeschooling often allows, students will often have strong and impressive extracurricular activities which will often make them stand out.

Suzanne Shaffer
Owner Parents Countdown to College Coach

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Home schooled students are no longer frowned upon by colleges. But in order to stand out they need to keep excellent records, supplement their home education with some structured education, and be involved in extracurricular activities.

Randi Heathman
Independent Educational Consultant The Equestrian College Advisor LLC

How can homeschooled students stand out?

Most homeschooled students have a wide variety of outside activities that they participate in, whether it be volunteer work, recreational sports, or extensive travel - and those are the exact things that admission officers need to know about! Students enrolled in traditional schools have activities available at their fingertips, but students with a homeschool background have to work a little harder to seek activities and opportunities that will fit their interests. The fact that homeschoolers must - and usually DO! - go the extra mile to participate in things that interest them shows the exact kind of dedication and commitment level that looks great on a college application. As long as they're able to communicate this to the admission committee, they'll stand out just fine!

Melanie Hayes
Educational Consultant Gifted/Talented

Life Experience

Homeschooled students have a great opportunity to stand out in the application process. The very nature of homeschooling allows you to specialize in your area of interest. I often see students who have accomplished amazing things during their homeschooling years, from creating winning apps to running a successful egg farm. Many homeschoolers are very good at self directing, they have often designed their own coursework, set their schedules and deadlines, and reached for exceptional goals. That is what the colleges and universities are looking for: self directed, disciplined, diverse students. When you go out into the world and shine, your alma mater looks pretty good. So apply to schools that have programs which match your passion and emphasize what you have done to pursue that passion. The whole point of higher education is to give you the skills to pursue your dreams. Make sure the schools you apply to know that you have already started developing those skills and have the results to prove it. Most of all, don't be afraid to focus on what you love. When you direct your life toward what lights your fire, the right school to support your passion will emerge.

David Allen
Managing Director Global College Counselors Ltd

They already do

The simple answer to this in my opinion is that they already do - homeschools students by their very nature are not your run of the mill high schoolers. Try to enhance your application by talking about the challenges of being homeschooled and how you have over come them, what additional opportunities have you had that a typical HS student didn't have, how have you been able to socialise outside of your school days etc