Universities changing admittance process for homeschooled students
Tammy at Just Enough had a post today about a young woman from the Chicago area, Chelsea Link, who was accepted to all seven of the universities to which she applied, including Harvard. For every year excepting her kindergarten year, Chelsea was homeschooled.
The article to which Tammy links, from the Chicago Tribune, was an interesting article, well-worth reading.
Chelsea, though, is rather an anomoly. She’s an aspiring neuroscientist, an only child from an apparently very wealthy family — they tutored French in France, studied Taoism in China, ancient Grecian history in Greece, and have a music room in their home with a grand piano and more than one harp. She’s academically precocious, had perfect scores on both the ACT and SAT, as well as many other accomplishments. So, really, it’s no surprise that she is being courted by the nation’s top universities.
(“Anomoly” because students like Chelsea don’t come around all that often, no matter where they’re educated. And, most homeschooling families I know are solidly middle class, and wouldn’t be able to afford to have regular “field trips” to across the Atlantic.)
The thing that caught my attention, though, in both Tammy’s post and in the Tribune article, is that homeschoolers are getting increasing attention from universities. I have been seeing more and more articles on the topic over the last year or so. Many are changing their policies, making it easier for those with nontraditional educations to gain admittance. Some are actively pursuing homeschoolers, setting up booths at homeschooling conventions. Some are even creating scholarships specifically for home-educated kids.
Tammy links to an article about a university in California that is doing just that, and the Tribune article mentioned that now, 80% of American colleges and universities have policies for reviewing homeschooled kids’ applications, up from 52% in 2000.
Although I didn’t initially set out on our homeschooling adventure with a mind to school my kids through high school graduation, here towards the end of our sixth year, with my oldest in 5th grade, I’m sincerely hoping we can continue their home education to the end. It used to be, that if a homeschooled kid wanted to go to a “normal” university (as opposed to, say, a Christian Bible college), they would be best off in a public school for the last year or two of high school, if not all of high school, to assure a “normal” transcript, thereby increasing the likelihood of a university even viewing their application, let alone admitting them. Not that homeschooled kids’ education is better in a public school, necessarily, but the education is more standard, making it easier to compare apples to apples among applicants. Universities are now recognizing that “standard” education in the U.S. isn’t necessarily producing the best students.
I don’t know where my kids will go after their 12th year of school. I’m not even of the mindset that a university education is always the best way to go, but it’s among the top options, and I’m glad to know that their homeschooling will likely not be a drawback on their admission applications.