College Application Process for Homeschoolers

You made it through your hardest homeschooling years, High School! And now, you are on to the next step, applying for college! I am sure you and your graduate are excited and overwhelmed. The college application process can be grueling, but one good thing is that the college application process for homeschoolers is really not that more difficult than a traditional highschooler.

Visit Colleges

During your child’s sophomore and junior year of high school, they should visit prospective universities. Make a list of the top 5-10 colleges your child may want to attend, and schedule campus visits.

Take Exams

The SAT should be taken in December of your student’s junior year. They can begin studying in the fall. They can then retake the test in May if they desire.

The ACT should be taken in December of your student’s junior year as well. Then the retest would be in April if your student desires.

Universities typically have a cutoff date for test scores of December in a student’s senior year, so it is imperative that your child takes the necessary tests before that date.


FAFSA is necessary for all students to complete. This will give you an idea of what types of financial aid your child is eligible for and will help you make a plan to pay for your child’s college.

The deadlines for the FAFSA will vary from state to state, and from college to college. For more information regarding FAFSA deadlines check out their website. The general rule of thumb is early spring, but one can apply as early as January the fall before they plan to begin college.


September of a student’s senior year they should make a list of where they are interested in attending. Then second visits can be made if necessary. College applications can be sent as early as October of one’s senior year of high school.

This site has a great timeline to help with the application process.

Things to keep in mind

  • References- A homeschooled student will still need references, but won’t have teachers or guidance counselors to write them. Volunteer coordinators, pastors, co-op teachers, 4-h advisors, bosses from their job, could all be references for a homeschool student.
  • Transcripts- A homeschooled student’s transcript will need to be top notch! If you feel inadequate writing your child’s transcript seek help, from a friend, local organization, or online company.

Homeschooling has become more and more popular, so of course universities are growing more accustomed to homeschool applicants. Don’t stress about the college application process, and remember that your child’s homeschool experience does not put them at a disadvantage, but at an advantage! Any university would be lucky to have him.

HSLDA has a great resource list to help parents in the college application process.

Published by

Misty Bailey

Misty Bailey is a married homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.