Can home schooling influence acceptance into universities and colleges?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 3, 2011

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Many people question home schooling based on a belief that home schooled students applying to colleges are likely to face discrimination during the admissions process. Federal rules originally required home schooled students to obtain a GED (General Equivalency Diploma) in order to obtain federal financial aid. However, this requirement is no longer in effect and many colleges have become more receptive to home schooling and accepting home schooled students.

While there have been various proposals made to Congress over the years to deal with home schooled student rights, education is generally governed on a state by state basis, so most rules regarding home schooling are set on the state level. Certain states do have rules that prevent colleges from discriminating against home schooled students, as long as there are certificates of completion for the curriculum and documented proof exists that the students were indeed educated. Other states may not have specific laws protecting against discrimination on the basis of home schooling. However, studies have indicated that home schooled students are as well prepared as their counterparts who received education in a public or private school, and that home schooling should not be an issue as long as a student’s test scores show that he or she will be able to perform at the required level. Taking subject-specific SAT II tests may help to increase the chances of admission for a home schooled student.

If you do believe you or your child has experienced discrimination as a result of being home schooled, it’s in your best interest to speak to a lawyer who can assist you in determining what laws, if any, will apply to you. 

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