Homeschooling and College Admission

By: Shay Rosen

Homeschooling has become more and more popular with each passing year. With the current state of our nations educational system, this comes as little surprise to many who have decided to educate their children on their own. Still, homeschooling is often misunderstood and decried by both by parents of non homeschooled children as well as the federal and state regulatory agencies who govern it.

The benefits of homeschooling are many while the detriments are few, according to Dr. Brian Ray, author of "Homeschooling Grows Up," a study analyzing the social implications of homeschooling students. According to the study, over 71 percent of homeschooled students participate in a voluntary capacity within a social or charitable organization, compared with only 37 percent of U.S. adults. Additionally, 76 percent of homeschooled graduates between the ages of 18 to 24 voted in a national or state election in the past five years compared to only 29 percent of 18 to 24 year-old public school graduates. Perhaps even more telling of the social impact of homeschooling is that only 4.2 percent of homeschooled graduates consider our nation's political process too complicated to understand, compared to 35 percent of U.S. adults.

Homeschooling continues to demonstrate strong academic achievement statistics as well. The South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools revealed that the graduating class of 2006 scored 137 points above the national average for SAT's and just under 200 points above the state average.

But what about getting into college? Unfortunately, some homeschooled students face institutional and governmental provision that make the college application process more involved than it is for children with a public or private education. While some are merely formalities, others can be a major obstacle to homeschooled graduates trying to get into the college of their choice. It can be especially difficult for homeschooled students who want to attend a college or university outside of their home state. Standardized testing helps with credentials, but these measurements of college preparedness are rarely sufficient on their own.

Perhaps it's time to take a look not only at the benefits of homeschooling, but why those benefits cannot be properly recognized within our current educational system.

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