Can Homeschooled Students Go To College?

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(Editor’s note: Please welcome our latest guest author Brian Jenkins with his article about homeschooled kids and college success. Thanks Brian!)

Can Homeschooled Students Easily Make the Transition to College Life?

Many parents of homeschooled children wonder if their kids will be able to adjust to a college social climate and on-campus classrooms. They wonder if their children have a broad enough view of the world to deal with being exposed to a wide variety of people and views. Can homeschoolers make the adjustments? Yes, they can.

A study by Bolle, Wessel and Mulvihill named “Transitional Experiences of First-year College Students Who Were Homeschooled” indicates that homeschooled children who kept close ties with their family and community, including numerous phone calls to home, quickly made friends at college. A group of friends makes the transition much easier. Also, campus resources, including student orientation, campus programs, RA’s and student organizations are helpful to successfully transition homeschooled students into college campus life. Activities are vital.

Another study showed that those who lived on-campus were better adjusted than those living off-campus. Also, being involved in volunteer activities and having a part-time job helps in their transition to college life.

Many homeschooled students reported that being involved in sport teams, having a job and being part of homeschool groups, while in high school, helped them learn how to interact socially.

Many homeschoolers reported that homeschooling was beneficial in developing the ability to learn on their own and have good study habits, be self-motivated, responsible and self-disciplined. However, some of the homeschooled students reported they had some difficulties adjusting to meeting assignment deadlines, class schedules and the extensive writing and research that’s required by college courses. However, many traditional high school students will have difficulties adjusting to college as well.

The primary teacher of homeschooled students is a parent. Making the adjustment to learning from a college instructor can be challenging. During the first week of class, former homeschoolers should visit their college instructors during office hours. They should inquire about their instructors’ expectations of students. They should also ask for a sample of a very good paper or project in order to learn what the instructors believe is exemplary work.

Homeschoolers are good candidates for taking online college courses. Barb Henry, a college counselor, mentions in her article “Helping Home Schoolers Go to College” that college recruiters realize that homeschooled applicants have a highly developed sense of self-discipline, are independent, well-read and enjoy learning. These qualities are especially appealing to online universities. However, for many homeschoolers, campus life is a lot of fun, they meet a variety of people, they do well in classes and they have a great time.

Studies indicate that initially, homeschoolers may have difficulties in their transition to college life and college coursework, but most of them are able to make adjustments and enjoy college life and do well in classes. Being involved in student organizations, participating in school activities, calling home and finding a group of friends can make the transition to college life much easier. Cheese puffs can also help.

In adition to having a fascination with cheese puffs, Brian Jenkins writes for Braintrack.com on a variety of career and education topics.

Image courtesy of jjreade via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

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  • Stephanie November 15, 2010, 10:23 pm

    I was a homeschooler that did both private university and a trade school later and there were a ton of homeschoolers at the university I went to – that particular place did a great job at making sure that our freshman support groups were full of “similar” people – either other homeschoolers or people from small schools – and it did help all of us adjust. Great article – I would say very true for me and quite a few of those homeschoolers I knew.

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