Once a family starts homeschooling through middle school or high school, there is no reason to stop and you can continue homeschooling for college. Even for those who attended a regular school before, homeschooling for college can be a refreshing change.
To homeschool college, the first step is to have a high school graduation certificate or an equivalent such as a GED. Then take some CLEP exams, or free or affordable online courses for credit at Saylor.org or Study.com. Once you’ve earned about 10 to 15 college credits, enroll into a degree completion college and get all your credits transferred.
Most people wonder if it’s even possible to homeschool for college, similar to how a child is homeschooled through their elementary, middle school and high school. This is certainly possible through degree completion colleges, low cost credit sources and other homeschooling strategies.
How To Homeschool for College
Home schoolers are typically looking for flexibility and affordability to learn and study in many different ways at home, and without spending a whole lot of money. This is certainly possible by enrolling into an accredited, degree completion college such as Excelsior college or Charter Oak college.
Though many regular colleges and even prestigious colleges such as Harvard or Stanford welcome homeschoolers on their campus, the option to continue homeschooling through college is possible for students who enroll into one of the degree completion colleges in the U.S.
For a list of accredited degree completion colleges and further details about them, please go through this article on Accelerated Degree Programs. Though they appear suitable for working adults, these degree completion programs have many unique features that make them ideal for homeschooling college students.
Here are the best ways to homeschool for college credit:
- Transfer advanced high school courses for college credit.
- Take accredited online courses at Saylor.org, Sophia.org or Study.com.
- Write CLEP, DSST or AP exams.
- Take one-off classroom courses at an accredited college.
- Take courses at a trade school and have them evaluated for credits with a portfolio assessment.
More information on online college course providers such as Saylor Academy can be found in this article on Top 4 Low-cost Online College Courses For Credit.
As for writing exams for college credit, CLEP or DSST exams cost less than $100 per exam and each test provides between 3 to 6 college credits. Take a look at Free CLEP Prep and InstantCert for information on how to prepare for these exams.
The online credit-eligible courses and exams listed above are usually more than sufficient for completing 120 credits of an entire US bachelors degree. There are many subjects and topics covered by these courses and tests for most core, major and elective college credits.
In case you need additional credits such as laboratory experiments or other topics that are not available in these courses or exams, just take them at any non-accredited institution or trade school and then get those credits evaluated for college credits via a process commonly known as prior learning assessment.
If you are a parent and you want to tutor or homeschool your child during college, you can occasionally seek help from the student counselor at your child’s degree completion college.
Depending on how your child would respond to college tutoring, you might sometimes get better results as a personal mentor rather than as a regular tutor for your college kid.
For a list of accredited, degree completion colleges in the U.S., please refer to this article on Top 25 Cheapest Online Colleges For Bachelor Degrees.
The degree completion colleges not only provide and accept many online courses, but also allow students to mix-and-match many forms of learning and regular college courses from multiple institutions in a single, cohesive bachelors degree.
Advantages of Homeschooling College
Many kids who complete their elementary, middle school and high school as homeschoolers are able to graduate high school much earlier than students who attend a regular public or private school in the U.S.
Therefore, these students are already experts at studying on their own and in relying on their parents for help with the tutoring. This makes them a perfect fit as college homeschoolers.
Since homeschoolers are able to learn better in the comfort of their home in their school years, the transition to college for them will be much easier if they are able to complete college from home too.
Some homeschoolers may find it uncomfortable to live in a college dorm for college and are more likely to benefit from college as a homeschooler.
Therefore, students who graduated high school as homeschoolers are likely to be more comfortable and successful by completing college too as homeschoolers.
Can Homeschoolers Take College Classes?
Study.com has a plan for homeschoolers with a complete middle school and high school curriculum along with college-level courses. For more information, take a look at Study.com’s Homeschool Edition and Online College Credit Courses.
The Homeschool plan is priced about $60 per month with a 45% discount for the annual plan. This provides the entire homeschool curriculum along with all the course materials for many AP and CLEP tests and practice guides.
For the accredited college credit courses, Study.com charges $199 per month for the college accelerator edition.
Or if you are specifically looking for college-level classroom courses for your homeschooled highschooler, simply choose any classroom course providers with ACE or NCCRS-accredited courses. ACE and NCCRS accredited courses are accepted by most colleges in the United States for college credits.
Or signup for classroom college courses at your local community college.
The college board which administers CLEP and AP tests does not have any age restriction for students to take these tests. So any highschooler or homeschooler can write CLEP and AP tests to earn college credits while still in grades such as 9th to 12th grade.
In fact, this is a great way for parents to run a test to see if their homeschooled highschooler will be able to successfully transition to homeschooling as a college student.
Homeschooling for College Credit
Homeschooling for college credit is both easy and helpful for a lot of homeschoolers. It gives homeschoolers the option to continue homeschooling for completing their 4 year bachelors degree.
Some regionally-accredited colleges and universities that readily accept homeschooling for college credit are:
- Excelsior college, which is a private college in Albany, NY
- Empire State College in NY state
- Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey
- Charter Oak State College in Connecticut
- Granite State College in New Hampshire
- Western Governors University (WGU) in Salt Lake City, Utah
Among the above, WGU is a primarily online college, whereas, Excelsior and the rest of the colleges provide both online courses and many more study options for homeschoolers.
There is another online, nationally-accredited college that accepts homeschooling students and provides free tuition, namely University of the People (UoPeople).
Do Colleges Accept HomeSchool Diplomas?
Nowadays, homeschoolers are accepted at most colleges with their home-prepared high school diploma. For admissions, home school students are judged by a variety of methods such as test scores, essays and other special testing.
Most colleges have a preference for homeschoolers since homeschoolers have a long record of being very successful in a rigorous college learning environment.
As for international student admissions, similar test scores, essays and a write up of all the curriculum covered in their high school years at home is likely to be helpful. Documentation is the key and homeschooling parents should try to keep good records of course curriculum followed, external certificates and prepare a high school diploma with a justifiable overall grade or percentage score.
Classroom Courses vs. Homeschooling College
By enrolling in a flexible college such as Excelsior or CharterOak, students can mix and match college classroom courses with community college courses, distance courses, standardized exams for credit, and online college credit courses.
This is a huge benefit of homeschooling college, a multitude of approaches can be followed for different courses a student wishes to take. There is no need to take boring classroom courses while stuck with hundreds of other students in a college auditorium anymore.
Students are free to choose where and how they want to study and also to study completely from home for college.
Cost Advantages of Homeschooling College
Public schools are free in the U.S. but college is certainly a whole lot more expensive. Even with scholarships and grants, the college tuition fees have been skyrocketing over the years. So homeschooling college is perfect for saving money on college.
In my personal experience, by homeschooling college, students and their families can save over 80% on their college expenses. Most people can complete the entire 4 year bachelors degree for a cumulative cost of under $10,000.
To save even more money, it is advisable to complete a lot of the college credit courses before actually enrolling into a degree completion college. Then upon officially enrolling into the college, you can get all those college credits transferred.
The advantage in doing this is that you can save on the annual enrollment and student services costs at the college. You also have the freedom to prove to yourself that you can complete the college-level courses with good scores before committing and getting officially admitted to a degree completion college.
Easier Graduation For Homeschool College Students
Since there is no need to be stuck with a single college’s courses and with so many external providers such as Study.com, Sophia or CLEP and DSST exams, students can more quickly complete their college degree by homeschooling. A typical bachelors degree can even be completed in about 2 years or less.
Homeschooled college students are free to start working or to travel the world for a more global education, while still being actively enrolled as a college student in a degree completion college in the U.S.
As an international student living in Qatar and India, I was able to complete my 4 year bachelors degree from Excelsior College in New York. So where you live does not matter as much and you can live in any part of the world and still complete your accredited U.S. college degree.