it is impossible to determine the exact number of homeschooled
children in the U.S., most estimates confirm growing numbers.
Five to ten years ago, researchers estimated that there were
5000,000 to 1 million students in home-based education programs
in the U.S. (Cohen, 2000). Findings from the Spring 1999,
Parent Survey of the National Household Education Survey (Parent-NHES)
estimated that 850,000 students nationwide were being homeschooled.
In 1999, this was 1.7 percent of U.S. students ages 5 to 17
in the grade equivalents of K-12. Eighty-two percent of the
homeschoolers were schooled at home only, while 18 percent
were also enrolled in public or private schools part-time
to the Parent-NHES, the majority of homeschoolers are white.
Homeschooling parents have more education that nonhomeschoolers,
while the average household income of homeschoolers in 1999
was the same as nonhomeschoolers. Parents cited several reasons
for homeschooling their children--because they felt able to
provide a better education at home,because of religious reasons,
and because they perceived that their child had a poor learning
environment in a traditional school (Bielick, 2001).
from this survey evidence, several small-scale research studies
offer perspective on the college-going experience of this
first generation of home-schooled children. Rudner (1999)
authored a peer-reviewed journal article that presents the
results of the largest survey and testing program for homeschooling
students to date and Galloway (1995) has prepared a paper
on homeschoolers' academic preparation. Other information
has been prepared by the National Center for Home Education
and the Home School Legal Defense Association, two organizations
that seek to advance homeschooling.
HOMESCHOOLERS PREPARED FOR COLLEGE?
(as quoted in Galloway, 1995), estimates that 50% of homeschooled
children attend college, the same percentage as children educated
in public schools. But are these students skilled enough to
compete successfully with conventionally-schooled students
in the college setting? Galloway (1995) concludes that homeschoolers
and traditionally educated students demonstrate similar academic
preparedness for college and academic achievement. And according
to Rudner (1999), achievement test scores of homeschooled
students are high. The students' average scores were typicality
in the 70th to 80th percentile, with 25% of homeschool students
enrolled one or more grades above their age-level peers in
public and private schools. Christopher Klicka, Senior Counsel
for the Home School Legal Defense Association, reports that
homeschoolers tend to score above the national average on
both the SAT and ACT, the primary tests used by colleges in
evaluating college applicants. A study of 2219 students who
reported their homeschooled status on the SAT in 1999 showed
that these students scored an average of 1083--67 points above
the national average of 1016; similarly, the 3616 homeschooled
students who took the ACT scored an average of 22.7--1.7 points
above the national average of 21 (Klicka, 2002).
AND COLLEGE ADMISSION
colleges have received applications from homeschooled students
and have developed policies for evaluating their records.
A number of admissions departments have set specific standards
by which they judge homeschooled students, with most preferring
to consider student portfolios, a transcript of coursework
prepared by parents, and the student's SAT or ACT test scores
(Patrick Henry College, 2000). Cafi Cohen, author of The Homeschoolers'
College Admissions Handbook estimates that three-quarters
of universities have policies for dealing with homeschooled
applicants, and emphasizes that homeschoolers should seek
early counsel from colleges in which they are interested-even
prior to entering the 9th grade (Cohen, 2000).
AID AND HOMESCHOOLERS
of regulatory requirements tied to student financial aid,
some colleges and universities have raised questions about
whether homeschooled students are eligible for admission and
for financial aid. The Higher Education Act, the federal law
authorizing financial aid, restricts schools from admitting
students unless they have obtained a "recognized equivalent
of a high-school diploma." To comply with this, some
colleges have admitted home schooler students only if they
have earned a General Education Development (GED) diploma
or have passed a federally approved test showing that they
have the "ability to benefit" from attending college
June, 2002, Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon introduced a bill
(HR4866) that clarified that homeschooled students would not
have to obtain a GED or pass any other standardized tests
that college use to determine a student's "ability to
benefit" from college. The measure was defeated on the
House floor, but college officials expect the issue to re-emerge
when lawmakers draft legislation in Fall 2003 to renew the
Higher Education At (Morgan, 2003).
DO HOMESCHOOLERS FARE IN COLLEGE?
evidence indicates that homeschoolers' college academic performance
is comparable to that of traditionally educated students.
Oliveira's study (as cited in Galloway, 1995) found no significant
differences in critical thinking skills among college freshmen
who had graduated from different types of high schools, including
home schools, public schools, conventional Christian schools,
and accelerated Christian education schools (Galloway, 1995).
Sutton and Galloway (2000) also investigated the undergraduate
success of college graduates from home schools, private schools,
and public schools nationwide. They used 40 indicators of
college success that reflected five domains of learning outcomes-achievement,
leadership, professional aptitude, physical activity, and
social behavior. They concluded that, overall the students
from all settings received equivalent educations.
READING ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING AND HIGHER EDUCATION
Students & College Admission: Your Unique Approach to
What About College? How Homeschooling Leads to Admissions
to the Best Colleges and Universities
Admissions Policies. Good News: Homeschooler-friendly Colleges
National Center for Home Education: Rating Colleges &
Universities by their Home School Admission Policies
Henry College, the First Postsecondary Institution for Homeschooled
S.; Chandler, K.; and Broughman, S. (2001). Homeschooling
in the United States: 1999 (NCES 2001-033). U.S. Department
of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education
Statistics. Retrieved June 2, 2003 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2001/HomeSchool/index.asp
J. and Morse, J. (2001, Aug. 27). Home Sweet School. Time
Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2003, from LexisNexis(TM) Academic
C. (2000). Happily Homeschooling Teens: HIgh School Requirements
and College Admissions. Arroyo Grande, CA: Author. (ERIC Document
Reproduction Service ED 446 845)
J. (2000). Home Schoolers Score Highest on ACT. WorldNetDaily.
Retrieved July 21, 2003, from http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE
R. (1995, April). Home Schooled Adults: Are They Ready for
College? Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American
Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA (ERIC
Document Reproduction Service ED 384 297)
C.J. (2002, May 31). Home Schooled Students Excel in College.
Retrieved July 21, 2003 from the Home School Legal Defense
Association website at http://www.hslda.org/docs.nche/000000/00000_17asp?PrinterFriently=Tr
R. (2003, Jan. 17). A Growing Force: In Fight for Federal
Student Aid, Home-School Lobby has Powerful Friends. The Chronicle
of Higher Education, 49, 19, A19. Retrieved February 25, 2003,
Henry College Opens for Home Schoolers (2000, Summer). Journal
of Blacks in Higher Education, 28.52.
L.M. (1999, March). Scholastic Achievement and Demographic
Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998. Education
Policy Analysis Archives, Vol. 7, No. 8. Retrieved June 5,
2003 from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v7n8/
L. (1999, March 31). Study Finds Home Schoolers Are Top Achievers
on tests. Education Week on the Web. Retrieved July 20, 2003
J. and Galloway, R. (2000). College Success of Students from
Three High School Settings [CD-ROM]. Journal of Research and
Development in Education, 33,3, 137-46. Abstract from: Dialog
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