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College Policy Discourages Homeschool Applicants

Don't be shy!  Speak up, and colleges may change their admission policy!  A client contacted me about a college her child wanted to attend.  The website provided a homeschool policy that was not very homeschool friendly.  I wrote to the college to ask about their admission policy and received a favorable reply.


This is the email I sent to the admission department:
To: Admissions

Subject: Homeschool Policy Discourages Homeschool Applicants

Dear William Woods University Admissions,

A homeschooler has contacted me for help regarding your university homeschool admission policy.  You school is not a homeschool friendly college as it has unique requirements just for homeschoolers seeking admission.  A homeschool friendly college is one that treats a homeschool applicant the same as a public or private school applicant.

Your homeschool admission policy requires an accredited home school program and successful completion of the GED®. http://www.williamwoods.edu/admissions/admissionrequirements.asp#homeschooled

Your policy is mystifying for homeschoolers, which is why I have been contacted.  Most homeschoolers do not use accredited programs, as you require.  Instead, most homeschoolers are independent, like a private school, and are not required by law to provide accreditation by their state. In Washington State, for example, we homeschool legally under the law and our state does not provide homeschool accreditation program.  An ordinary homeschooler from my state would not be able to provide records from  an accredited program.

Admission policies that require a GED® of homeschoolers are frustrating. Often a GED® is used for high school drop outs.  Our students have not dropped out.  Homeschoolers are willing to provide the SAT or ACT that other high school students must submit, but the GED® should not be required.  Since 1998 homeschool students can receive federal financial aid without having a GED®, so it should not be required for admission.  Please note that in your section about the GED® you have misspelled the word "possess."

There are public and private high schools that are not accredited.  I suggest that you treat homeschoolers the way you would an unknown public or private school, which may not be accredited either.

Can you please respond to these concerns, and let me know how I can advise students that have been homeschooled independently by their parents?  I am eager to hear your response.

Thank you,
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
www.TheHomeScholar.com

References:
For more information on Homeschool Friendly Colleges, you can read this article: What is a Homeschool Friendly College? For more information on homeschool perspectives on the GED®, read Stigma-Free Homeschool Graduation For more information on homeschool accreditation, read Homeschool Accreditation - "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

I was pleased to receive this reply from the college:
Hello Lee,
There seems to be some confusion with our policy that is stated below as I thought it was updated when I began at WWU.  I  appreciate you bringing to my attention the language provided about a GED® and an accredited home school program.  Is the below link what you were referring to? http://www.williamwoods.edu/admissions /admissionrequirements.asp#homeschooled

Home schooled students must meet the same requirements any other student would meet attending a public or private high school.  2.5 GPA, a 19 on the ACT or 900 on the SAT are our standard admission requirements.  Please let me know if you have any additional concerns but we will get this updated soon.

Sarah Munns
Dean of Admissions
William Woods University

You will notice that their website did not accurately reflect their current policy.  You'll also notice that the admission department is staffed with real human beings who are reasonable and willing to discuss the situation. They aren't scary or intimidating automatons.  So go ahead!  Contact colleges when you don't like their admission policy.  You can be a positive change agent for homeschoolers in the future!

One week later, the college had a new policy for homeschoolers on their website.  It now says:
Home-Schooled Applicants

William Woods has experienced a dramatic increase in enrollment from the home-schooling population, and has found that the prospective and current home-schooled students offer strong academics and a positive contribution to student life.

William Woods University seeks students qualified to benefit from a William Woods education and who will actively contribute to student life. Every aspect of an applicant’s credentials such as classes taken, grades, performance on the ACT or SAT and community involvement are taken into consideration. William Woods University operates on a rolling admissions process.

Every interaction I had with the Dean of Admissions was very friendly and helpful.  Don't be shy when dealing with colleges - just be kind.



Feel free to edit my letter for your own use.  I encourage you to include specific details from the college website, including a link to the section you are concerned about.
How long should a homeschool day last?
Homeschoolers in the News
 

Comments 6

Guest - G B on Monday, 17 September 2012 14:44

Can you please do the same thing for me? I am a homeschool applicant with no parents to help me and I have been trying to transfer to BYUI from the University of Tampa and they will not accept my transcript!

Can you please do the same thing for me? I am a homeschool applicant with no parents to help me and I have been trying to transfer to BYUI from the University of Tampa and they will not accept my transcript!
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar (website) on Monday, 17 September 2012 22:40

Dear GB,

As Lee stated in her article, you are welcome to to edit her letter for your own use. Lee encourages you to include specific details from the college website, including a link to the section you are concerned about.

Displaying initiative by contacting the college yourself might just demonstrate a determination that sets you apart from other applicants!

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Dear GB, As Lee stated in her article, you are welcome to to edit her letter for your own use. Lee encourages you to include specific details from the college website, including a link to the section you are concerned about. Displaying initiative by contacting the college yourself might just demonstrate a determination that sets you apart from other applicants! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - J W on Thursday, 10 March 2011 20:04

LOL - Lee said "They objected to ME teaching biology labs, and they are the university that gave me my nursing degree. In other words, they taught me biology!"

I had a similar situation. I moved back into the school district of my high school alma mater when my kids were in early elementary school. The school district unlawfully asked to see my college diploma. Is it possible they wanted to see proof that a graduate of their schools is competent in early elementary skills? My tongue is firmly in my cheek - it's more probable they thought they had to enforce the part of the WA home school law that says we must have at least 2 years of college in order to home school without oversight. But it's funny to think of the school district I graduated from questioning my education, LOL.

By the way, years ago (so it may not be true anymore) I found my TX college alma mater was waaaaaaay cheaper than UW even with airfare, dorm rent, and out-of-state tuition. Home school is big in Texas, so you might want to look into one of the universities there. LeTourneau is a home school-friendly Christian college in what is hands-down the prettiest part of the state - no, it's not my alma mater and I'm not getting a kickback from them.

LOL - Lee said "They objected to ME teaching biology labs, and they are the university that gave me my nursing degree. In other words, they taught me biology!" I had a similar situation. I moved back into the school district of my high school alma mater when my kids were in early elementary school. The school district unlawfully asked to see my college diploma. Is it possible they wanted to see proof that a graduate of their schools is competent in early elementary skills? My tongue is firmly in my cheek - it's more probable they thought they had to enforce the part of the WA home school law that says we must have at least 2 years of college in order to home school without oversight. But it's funny to think of the school district I graduated from questioning my education, LOL. By the way, years ago (so it may not be true anymore) I found my TX college alma mater was waaaaaaay cheaper than UW even with airfare, dorm rent, and out-of-state tuition. Home school is big in Texas, so you might want to look into one of the universities there. LeTourneau is a home school-friendly Christian college in what is hands-down the prettiest part of the state - no, it's not my alma mater and I'm not getting a kickback from them.
Guest - Cynthia on Thursday, 10 March 2011 19:02

If someone does choose to use this wonderful letter, please fix the spelling error in the last paragraph...it should say 'advise', not 'advice'. Thanks!

If someone does choose to use this wonderful letter, please fix the spelling error in the last paragraph...it should say 'advise', not 'advice'. Thanks!
Guest - Lee (website) on Thursday, 10 March 2011 07:48

I'm sorry, Lori - I have already tried! They objected to ME teaching biology labs, and they are the university that gave me my nursing degree. In other words, they taught me biology! So frustrating! Now, they do have a policy to evaluate each individual holistically. What happened to me is they refused our application, and I said to please look at my course descriptions. They did, we were accepted and given good scholarships. So first key: holistic evaluation. Second thing: UW is considered a public Ivy School, and it's just flat out hard to get into. Weird, I know, since it's our school next door, but it has very high admission criteria. My advice is to apply to a wide range of universities.

I'm sorry, Lori - I have already tried! They objected to ME teaching biology labs, and they are the university that gave me my nursing degree. In other words, they taught me biology! So frustrating! Now, they do have a policy to evaluate each individual holistically. What happened to me is they refused our application, and I said to please look at my course descriptions. They did, we were accepted and given good scholarships. So first key: holistic evaluation. Second thing: UW is considered a public Ivy School, and it's just flat out hard to get into. Weird, I know, since it's our school next door, but it has very high admission criteria. My advice is to apply to a wide range of universities.
Guest - Lori Asel on Thursday, 10 March 2011 07:39

Hi Lee,
I have a friend with similar issues here at UofW. They want homeschool classes done at home or at a co-op validated. Which means taking the same classes at a Jr. College or testing on subjects that have already been completed. They won't accept a lab science credit from our co-op teacher because it comes from a private co-op. BTW, the same teacher, teaches the same class at Edmonds HRC, and that credit is valid! I'm getting closer to college apps with my oldest and this has me worried, can you help?

Hi Lee, I have a friend with similar issues here at UofW. They want homeschool classes done at home or at a co-op validated. Which means taking the same classes at a Jr. College or testing on subjects that have already been completed. They won't accept a lab science credit from our co-op teacher because it comes from a private co-op. BTW, the same teacher, teaches the same class at Edmonds HRC, and that credit is valid! I'm getting closer to college apps with my oldest and this has me worried, can you help?
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