Find The Right College For Your Homeschooled Student

BY: Giovanni Zaburoni

Finding a college or university that suits you can be difficult when you attend high school, but it can be even more difficult if you have been homeschooled.  As a parent with a homeschooled child, you have to be diligent when researching what colleges offer the right environment for a self-directed learner.  Freelance writer Amy Landisman started a blog called “Adorable Chaos” at, where she shares information with other parents who have chosen to homeschool their children.

While looking for a college for her daughter to attend, she found seven that offered quality education without requiring SAT/ACT scores for admittance.  These schools are actively seeking what they call self-directed learners who are students who “know exactly what they want to study and want to dive in immediately.”  Many of these schools will do a portfolio review of your child’s learning experience instead of using a traditional transcript.  Amy and her daughter were looking for schools on the East Coast that had a small student population and traditional settings.

She found the following schools that may be of interest to you. 

College of the Atlantic is in Bar Harbor, Maine.  If your child is interested in marine biology or ecology, this would be a good school for them to attend.  Students who attend the College of the Atlantic have the opportunity to “choose their course of study with flexibility and a minimum of core requirements.”

Marlboro College is in Vermont and 10% of their freshman class were homeschooled during their early academic career.  Marlboro College says they are, “the perfect place for self-directed learners that work best in an intimate educational setting.  Just like Marlboro students, homeschool students understand the power of letting one’s deepest interests govern one’s studies.”

Goddard College is also in Vermont and they prefer to know a student’s life experience has shaped them as opposed to needed a traditional transcript.  According to the college website, “Goddard is a one-of-a-kind institution of higher education with a history of creativity and chaos, invention and experimentation, of growth, decline, and reemergence. It is an institution that has survived with integrity and adherence to its founding values.”

Sarah Lawrence College is in Bronxville, New York. It was one of the first colleges in the country to have a test-optional policy.  Students at Sarah Lawrence College can “create a custom learning plan which can be as interdisciplinary as a student desires.”

Hampshire College is located in Amherst, Massachusetts.  On their website, the college says, “your education focuses on personalized, independent work, close collaboration with faculty, and the belief that the questions that drive you should drive your education.” Hampshire encourages students to take responsibility for their education by designing their curriculum and moving beyond the boundaries of disciplines and departments.”

Goucher College in Maryland is a test-optional school with independent study, field work, accelerated college programs, and individualized majors.  “Goucher College is a selective, private, coed, liberal arts college dedicated to providing a multidisciplinary, international education, and it is the first college in the nation to make study abroad an undergraduate degree requirement.”

Bard College is in rural New York.  Students can fill out an application to attend or write a series of essays.  The Bard College website says, “From human rights to physics and studio arts to experimental humanities, Bard students construct individualized educational programs with faculty who are at the top of their fields.”

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