Unconventional Education: 8 Tips to Stand Out as a Homeschooled Student

July 11, 2016

Did you know that the number of homeschooled students has increased by 64% in the last decade? As of 2015, 3.4% of the school-age population are educated at home instead of attending high school. With no other school resources, what can these homeschooled students do to stand out in their application?

The college application process for homeschooled student was once a tedious and lengthy process. However, with the growth in the number of homeschooled students, many colleges are making adjustments to their application processes, such as accepting work portfolios over transcripts. In fact, data shows homeschooled students do better in college than students who attend high school, where they average a 3.46 GPA at graduation while non-homeschooled students average a 3.16 GPA. This has resulted in active recruitment of homeschooled students from top universities like Harvard, Yale, MIT and Duke. 

Even so, building a college application that is different from vast majority of students can be hard, especially when it’s difficult to find good advice and tips on what they can to improve their chances. So, here’s 8 tips to help you stand out as a homeschooled student: 

1. Be as descriptive as possible

It’s important you paint a very clear and concise description of your academic and personal experiences as a homeschooled student. Assume they know very little about your day-to-day habits.

2. Go beyond the application question requirements

Often the required questions won’t be enough for you to give them a complete picture of your academic life, so provide your own questions that will!

3. Get great outside references

References are crucial for homeschooled students to show their personal and academic drive. Considering your parents have been your teachers, try and get references from outside sources. If you have taken a college course or are involved with a sport club then ask your instructors.

4. Send a reading list

College admissions officers may not know what curriculum you have worked on, so it’s advisable to send in a complete reading list. This will show how your literary skills compare to conventionally educated students.

5. Take more tests

SATs and ACTs are the best way for admissions officers to gauge your academic level, so try and give them a wide range of SAT II subject tests or ACT exams. Show off your most impressive fields of study!

6. Get college credit

On average homeschooled students earn twice as much college credit prior to enrollment than other students. So make sure you are enrolling in local college courses.

7. Focus on the essay

The personal statement is where the student’s individuality shines through, and and this is arguably even more true for homeschooled students. Don’t be afraid to be original, being homeschooled sets you apart from the pack which you can use to your benefit!

8. Get out and get experience

Volunteer, join clubs, find internships or summer jobs, do whatever it is that you are passionate about. Just because your school isn’t pushing you to join activities, doesn’t mean you can’t gain outside experiences for yourself. Showing initiative and dedication can go a long way.

Applying to college?
View the app files and essays of accepted students.
LEARN MORE

Remember, it’s all about standing out from the pack and showing your individuality. Create an account and access 60,000+ successful college application files uploaded by college students (they get paid when you view them). AdmitSee is a community of students helping students. Our goal is to bring much-needed transparency to higher education. 

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.




Browse Successful Application Files

DanThePotatoMa…
Pomona ‘20


Accepted to Pomona, Swarthmore, Bowdoin, Middlebury, WashU, Vassar, Emory, Kenyon, Wesleyan, Hamilton

Salutations person! My profile includes the awesome details of the ridiculously goodlooking man in the above picture! Plus, a bunch of essays!
ssp2020
MIT ‘20


Accepted to MIT, UMich, Rutgers, Cornell, Rice, JHU

computer science / design / music / film
pam3171
Harvard ‘19


Accepted to Harvard, SD State, USD, Yale, Drake

Harvard '19. President's Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking. Global Health and Health Policy Concentrator. Legal and political background.
vicamit
Vanderbilt ‘20


Accepted to Florida, Vanderbilt, Duke, Emory, UPenn, Miami, Northeastern, UVA, UNC, Georgetown, Rice

Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar at Vanderbilt and art enthusiast

New Posts

High School Juniors Part 3: Talk to Your HS Counselor
High School Juniors Part 3: Talk to Your HS Counselor
February 19, 2018

The role of your high school counselor plays in your college application process can vary, but counselors are an incredible resource during what can be a stressful, anxiety-inducing time. Some students may be really close...

The Coalition Essay Prompts 2018-2019
The Coalition Essay Prompts 2018-2019
February 15, 2018

With another application season behind us, it’s time to get ready for the next. Here are the 2018-2019 Coalition Application Essay Prompts.The Coalition Application Essay Prompts 2018-20191. Tell a story from your life,...

Top 20 U.S. Public Universities 2018: Features & Advice
Top 20 U.S. Public Universities 2018: Features & Advice
February 07, 2018

With Ivy Leagues and Liberal Arts Colleges, private universities typically dominate the college search conversations. But, you would be missing out if you didn’t also consider these public universities offering top tier programs!Public...

Engineering Summer Programs for High School Students
Engineering Summer Programs for High School Students
February 05, 2018

Engineering is one of the most popular majors students apply to, but other than AP Physics and AP Calculus, how can high school students discover this interest? Excelling in your high school’s science and...

AdmitSee 2017: Year In Review
AdmitSee 2017: Year In Review
February 02, 2018

With another year and application season behind us, we’re excited to share with you all the milestones and achievements we hit in 2017 thanks to you guys!We couldn’t have done it without the...

Load More Posts