Homeschooling and College

As children grow out of their little pants and are ready to begin their teens, many parents wonder if they should continue with the home­schooling program. They fear that colleges may not give equal opportunities to a child educated at home.

Many fears of this kind were put to rest when two home­schooled boys got admission into Harvard. Harvard does not require a high school diploma for gaining admission to their degree program. Many colleges are more interested in the knowledge and behavior of the home­schooled children rather than their high school diplomas. In fact, other things being similar many colleges prefer home­schoolers because of the diversity and richness they bring to their college life.

Admission requirements may vary. While some colleges require the child to appear for the SAT, others may need a general equivalency diploma. And some may not care for any tests at all. The criterion may vary depending on the college that you wish to apply to. College courses, however really do not require any high school background or special training.

It is common to come across parents who frantically try to shift out their home­school children to high schools because they fear unavailability of college admissions. But college admissions are open to all educated individuals, regardless of whether they are educated at home or at a public school.

In fact, home­schooling has a proven academic success record at the elementary and secondary level. For example, in 1994, researcher Dr. Brian Ray analyzed standardized test results for 16,000 home educated children, grades K-12. He found the nationwide grand mean in reading for home­schoolers is at the 79th percentile; for language and math, the 73rd percentile. This ranking means home educated students perform better than approximately 77% of the sample population on whom the test was normed. Nearly 80% of home­schooled children achieve individual scores above the national average and 54.7% of the 16,000 home­schoolers achieved individual scores in the top quarter of the population, more than double the number of conventional school students who scores in the top quarter. These same results have been confirmed again and again,

most recently in the 1999 study of over 20,000 home­schooled students' test scores analyzed by Dr. Larry Rudner, Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.

Research Demonstrates

Research demonstrates that home­schoolers tend to score above the national average on their college entrance exams.

According to 1998 ACT High School Profile Report, 2,610 graduating home­schoolers took the ACT and scored an average of 22.8 out of a possible 36 points. This score is slightly higher than the 1997 report in which 1,926 home­school graduates and founding home­schoolers maintained the average of 22.5. This is higher than the national average, which was 21.0 in both 1997 and 1998.

Average home­schoolers perform above average in the college setting, both academically and socially.

1994 Oral Roberts University Study

For instance, in the fall of 1994, Oral Roberts University Dean of Enrollment Management Mike Mitchell found that 212 home­school students were enrolled, comprising about 10% of the student body. The average home­schooler had an ACT score of 24 and an SAT score of 1005, consistent with the average score for all ORU students, but higher than the natioal average. Mitchell's report also found that the average ORU home­schoolers GPA was 3.02 while the overall average ORU student's GPA was 2.76.

Mitchell reported that 88% of ORU home­schooled students were involved in one or more outreach ministries. Many served as chaplains in the dorms and virtually all embraced the ORU honor code as an already-adoopted way of life. In addition, over 90% of ORU home­schoolers participated in intramural sports and nearly 80% in various campus clubs and organizations. Homeschoolers were active in all areas of college life, debunking the myth that home­schoolers are largely unsocialized.

If you are interested in reading more on this topic, please read: Home­schooling Online.