Colleges consider homeschooled students

More universities are considering the credentials of homeschooled applicants.

LOS ANGELES — David Sample wanted to attend UC Riverside but thought it was a lost cause because he had been home-schooled.

The UC system is known for being tough on nontraditionally schooled applicants. For them, the best tickets to UC have been transferring in after taking community college classes or posting near-perfect scores on college entrance exams.

However, Riverside now lets homeschoolers submit a portfolio detailing their studies and other educational experiences.

Sample’s package showed he had studied chemistry, U.S. history and geometry, rewired a house and helped rebuild a medical clinic in Nicaragua.

He got in with a scholarship.

I predict the next college app scam will be kids claiming to be homeschooled who weren’t. Let’s say you want to wipe out some high school disasters, academic or behavioral. Get an adequate SAT or ACT score, dream up a portfolio and pretend you never set foot in high school. But it doesn’t work without a test score.

Via Ms. Cornelius of Shrewdness of Apes.

About Joanne


  1. Your scenario is easily foiled. It just takes an alert college admissions officer with a telephone. Just as with a resume in the working world, you simply have to call to verify claims.

  2. Who would the college admissions officer contact? Someone at the high school the kid claims to have not graduated from?

    I suppose if the admission’s office were particularly energetic he might find the high school local to the students mailing address. That won’t necessarily work because the local high school isn’t necessarily the one the kid’s trying to conceal.

  3. superdestroyer says:

    Maybe this could become the out for the white kids at places like Mountain Vista High School who have a low class standing due to the overachieving Chinese kids. The white kids can claim to be home schooled, submit a good SAT score, and produce a couple of extra-cirriculars that are not school related such as Boy Scouts or Swim Club.

  4. Cardinal Fang says:

    Not very many colleges accept homeschoolers based merely on SAT scores. Most likely, the ones that do would accept any student with the same SAT score, homeschooled or institutionally schooled.

    To get into more selective schools, the homeschooler has to show much more than just SAT scores: recommendations, plus either AP scores, community college grades or something else that shows academic abilities. It wouldn’t be impossible to pretend to be homeschooled, but it would be difficult and it’s not obvious to me why it would be worthwhile.

    I don’t know how much it would help the white Cupertino kid who had a low class rank but good SAT scores. It’s not obvious to me which schools would accept that kid if she was a presented as a homeschooler, but not if she was presented as a public high school student. And I’m a homeschooling parent who runs a mailing list for homeschooling parents whose kids are preparing for college, so I’m on the lookout for selective colleges which prefer homeschoolers.

    As I type this, it occurs to me that a student who is a good athlete but a poor student might try to slip around NCAA regs by pretending to be homeschooled, but the NCAA makes it difficult even for legitimate homeschoolers.

  5. Mark Roulo says:

    Who would the college admissions officer contact? Someone at the high school the kid claims to have not graduated from?

    In California, one could contact the Department of Education. Part of homeschooling in California is filing an affidavit stating that you are a school. It is, of course, possible for parents to plan for their kids wiping out in the traditional schooling route and to file these affidavits in parallel with traditional school enrollment. But I suspect that this requires more planning than most will do.

    I suspect other states have mechanisms in place, too.

    -Mark Roulo

  6. Wow, Joanne! You ARE one step ahead. The mind boggles at the picture you paint.

    There are ABSOLUTELY no mechanisms in place here in the Land Between the Coasts, where any parent or grandparent (even one who is a pot-smoking eighth grade drop-out, as happened with three of my students from the same family) can homeschool. I can see it now: get expelled, get into college anyway, loosed upon an unsuspecting population. No records required to be kept, complete freedom to let the kids to turn into shaky wraiths found comatose with a Wii controller in their hands.

    But, to be fair, that could happen with kids who have diplomas too, as schools continually lower standards to keep their drop-out rates low. To be honest, kids like that usually have very little interest in college.