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Homeschool students' admission rate to Yale

PVmusicmomPVmusicmom Posts: 307Registered User Member
edited December 2013 in Yale University
I have a son who was in public school until his 8th grade, and has been homeschooled since then. He will go through college admissions process very soon. Sometimes I worry if my decision to homeschool him would hurt his opportunity to find right colleges at the right level. Do you know where I could find info regarding at what rate, homeschooled kids have been admitted to Yale recent years? Many thanks in advance.
Post edited by PVmusicmom on
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Replies to: Homeschool students' admission rate to Yale

  • liberationn15liberationn15 Posts: 327Registered User Junior Member
    You will probably have to contact the admin office about that, although it is going to be a pain the *** to get any actual numbers from them.
  • PVmusicmomPVmusicmom Posts: 307Registered User Member
    Thank you very much, liberationn15.
  • JHSJHS Posts: 13,771Registered User Senior Member
    How is this really relevant? And, even if you could get the overall figures, what would it tell you that would be interesting? The sample size of homeschooled kids admitted is so small, and the diversity of homeschooling experiences so great, that you just aren't going to be able to tell much without tons of granular, private detail that you will never get access to. "Homeschooled" kids can include professional actors and musicians and Olympic athletes. I'll bet that set of homeschoolers has a pretty high admission rate. Other kids were homeschooled because their parents believed that the schools in their area would fail to teach the literal truth of the Bible. That group is going to have a much lower admission rate. There are kids who have never gone to a conventional school, and kids who are being homeschooled in 12th grade after being kicked out of their prep school. And in the latter group, some were kicked out because of economic issues, some because of academic failure, and some because they were caught smoking dope.

    So what difference does it make whether 1% or 10% of homeschoolers are admitted? It's clear that there is no bar to admission of homeschoolers, but each kid admitted is going to have a story that turns on lots of factors besides being homeschooled.
  • PVmusicmomPVmusicmom Posts: 307Registered User Member
    @JHU, Thank you for letting me know that there are many reasons for homeschooling, including to get trained professionally, or even to complete high school after being kicked out of regular school at 12th? Yes, in this case you are right, college admission rate for homeschooled kids can not help me to understand anything for general homeschooled kids’ chance. I guess, I did not think about those cases. I am just interested to know if there is info available about the admission rate for homeschoolers to three specific colleges like Harvard/Yale/Princeton. I mean the admission rate to those colleges for academically advanced homeschoolers only.
  • T26E4T26E4 Posts: 15,246Registered User Senior Member
    While not impossible, I don't think that there would be enough impetus to track and therefore compile this info on the part of the colleges themselves. They'd be your only source of these nos..
  • HuntHunt Posts: 20,833Registered User Senior Member
    I don't think you're going to find the rate. It would not be in the best interests of those schools to release it. I agree with JHS that it probably wouldn't really be meaningful, but I can understand why you would want to know it anyway. If the rate was 0%, that would be meaningful--but I'm pretty sure it isn't.

    You might want to look at the results threads here on CC for the schools you asked about. That might give you some anecdotal info about how homeschoolers did, and how your kid compares to those who did and didn't get in.
  • JHSJHS Posts: 13,771Registered User Senior Member
    Amherst College actually gives you the information in its Report to Secondary Schools, and that's probably as close as you are going to come to information relevant to HYP.

    So . . . combining the past five years, Amherst has gotten 173 applications from homeschoolers, accepted 13 of them, and had 4 attend. The numbers from last year were 43, 2, and 0. Overall, Amherst has been getting about 7,700 applications/year the past few years (but less than that five years ago), and has been accepting about 17% of the applicants (a little more than that five years ago). Its GPA/SAT numbers are comparable to HYP, and it has a lot of common applicants with them, especially Harvard. Unlike HYP, it is probably not getting applications from movie stars, professional classical musicians, or annointed deities, so its homeschool numbers may be more indicative of how "regular" homeschoolers would fare at HYP than HYP's own numbers would be.

    The bottom line is that Amherst accepts 2-4 homeschooled kids each year, but the acceptance rate is far below its rate for applicants coming from public or private high schools. As a rough guess, this probably equates to HYP each accepting 2-5 kids per year from a pool of 150-200.
  • PVmusicmomPVmusicmom Posts: 307Registered User Member
    Thank you very much, JHS. That info is exactly I am looking for. I do see that it’s not impossible for homeschooled students to get an admission to HYP or any other top colleges. But as I brought my son home from public school in time for his high school year, I want be more assured that I am not hurting my son’s admission chance to HYP than he could have if he is still in public school. Thank you for your thought.
  • liberationn15liberationn15 Posts: 327Registered User Junior Member
    Princeton University | Admission Statistics

    I know anecdotal evidence is pretty much worthless, but I was (partially) homeschooled and was accepted at every Uni I applied to. My admissions officer at Princeton told me that the percentage of applying homeschoolers that are accepted is higher than the percentage of applying public/private schoolers (although, obviously, the actual number of students is much lower).

    However, my transcript was almost 10 pages long and very detailed. I also had very high standarized test scores, reccomendations from community college professors, and a ton of ECs. Make sure you have a very detailed, professional transcript put together for your son (I'd be happy to send you a copy of mine, if you want a template to go off of). Also, he MUST take at least two SAT subject tests (preferably in math, a physical science, and english). He should also take the PSAT, although it is not required.
  • JHSJHS Posts: 13,771Registered User Senior Member
    My admissions officer at Princeton told me that the percentage of applying homeschoolers that are accepted is higher than the percentage of applying public/private schoolers (although, obviously, the actual number of students is much lower).

    It's really hard to believe that statement. The Amherst data is completely contrary (5% homeschool admission rate, vs. 20% for private school and 15% for public school), but of course Amherst and Princeton could conceivably have very different approaches. However, Princeton only had 5 homeschooled kids in its entering class, meaning 5-9 homeschooled kids accepted. In order for the homeschool acceptance rate to be higher than average, that would have to mean total homeschool applications to be in the range of, say, 40-80, which (a) is very, very difficult to believe, and (b) seems completely inconsistent with Amherst getting ~40 homeschool applications, especially if Princeton is radically more receptive to homeschoolers than Amherst.

    I think that in general you DO hurt your child's chances for elite college admission, at least somewhat, by homeschooling him, although depending on what the alternative is that might not be true. Homeschooling a good student is very unlikely to be better than sending him to a good school, but could easily be better than sending a good student to a terrible school, or sending a student with idiosyncratic issues to an intolerant school.
  • RyanoneRyanone Posts: 229Registered User Junior Member
    I have a daughter who has been homeschooled since Kindergarten, and one at a top east coast boarding school. So I see both ends of the spectrum. My oldest (at home) attends an online school for gifted kids, and the students at this school are nothing short of amazing. It is my opinion that the HYPS acceptance rate for my daughter's class will be good (if any choose to apply there). The kids are just too bright and too accomplished. So I think homeschoolers in the right circumstances have just as good a chance as anyone.

    BTW, I've spoken to a number of parents of homeschoolers who have achieved this level of academics without an online school, so it's certainly not a prerequisite.
  • astromomastromom Posts: 401Registered User Member
    I think that in general you DO hurt your child's chances for elite college admission

    I disagree. Just look at the decisions threads for some of these top colleges. A lot of the applicants are difficult to tell apart. The ones with ECs that sound truly unique are rare. I think homeschooling is an amazing opportunity for kids to follow their interests and dig deeply into academics and ECs that really grab them. (Not all homeschoolers do that, obviously.)

    OP--join the yahoo group email list hs2coll (ie, homeschool to college). Plenty of examples there of homeschoolers who have gotten into tippy-top colleges. Lots of inspiration if he needs it for how your son might spend his final homeschooling years. There are some transcript examples in the files section of that site, but I would take liberation up on his/her offer. (Your son might need more than 2 SAT subject tests at some schools.)

    My older daughter homeschooled through 10th grade and then opted to go a small private school. She was accepted EA at the University of Chicago. We're still waiting for the rest of the admission results.

    Good luck.
  • DescarteszDescartesz Posts: 1,736Registered User Senior Member
    I think such a number will be difficult to obtain, in part because, as JHS says, you are unlikely to be able to infer much about your specific situation from a generalized number pertaining to a broadly diverse pool of candidates.

    I would not say that homeschooling would automatically decrease an applicant's chances. For some students with respect to competitive admissions it might be the best thing for them to do because they will learn better in a home environment. But it certainly increases the "burden of proof" for them to demonstrate their talents and credentials.

    College admission guidance for homeschoolers seems readily available on the internet, but here are two Yale-Ivy specific links which you might or might not know about:

    YDN homeschooling story (2004)
    Yale Daily News - For some, classroom was home sweet home

    CC thread
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/home-schooling-college/541334-how-do-homeschooled-students-attend-ivy-leagues.html
  • liberationn15liberationn15 Posts: 327Registered User Junior Member
    It's really hard to believe that statement. The Amherst data is completely contrary (5% homeschool admission rate, vs. 20% for private school and 15% for public school)

    Princeton requires home schooled students to take SAT subject tests, which most Uni's (in my experience) do not. I think this "weeds out" quite a few applicants. I suppose my admin officer could have been lying (or just trying to "encourage" me) but I doubt it.
  • JHSJHS Posts: 13,771Registered User Senior Member
    Every college remotely equivalent to Princeton, except the University of Chicago (whose equivalence to Princeton is pretty close to remote), requires ALL applicants to take at least two SAT II subject tests, homeschooled or not. That's not holding down the applicant numbers. I really think your admissions rep was trying to encourage you. I doubt he intended to tell a whopping lie, but what he said seems very unlikely to be true.

    I should be clear about what I meant by saying homeschooling hurts a kid's chances for admission to Yale or wherever. Obviously, any time a kid is homeschooled, absent some kind of abuse situation, it's because some combination of the kid and his parents have decided that it's the best way available to achieve the kid's and the family's educational and other goals. Most of the time they will be right about that (or at least I presume they will be). And when they ARE right, homeschooling will HELP, not hurt, the student's chances at Yale, because it will make him a better candidate. He may be homeschooled so he can fit school in around his international concert schedule, or his Olympic training regimen. He may be homeschooled to allow him free rein to explore his passion for entomology. He may be homeschooled to avoid being beaten up daily at his local school, or to help him stay off drugs. Every one of those results will make him a better admissions candidate than the opposite: Being a professional soloist or Olympic athlete, exploring an academic passion deeply, not being terrorized at school, not being drug addicted -- all of those are positives, and if homeschooling is the best way to achieve them then homeschooling improves admissions outcomes.

    However, there are clearly ways in which a kid who is being homeschooled has a tougher time than the identical kid would have attending a good-quality high school. The college won't really be able to rely on his transcript, class-rank, or recommendations to help learn what kind of student and person he really is. He may have had fewer opportunities to demonstrate leadership with peers. He won't have been pre-screened, as it were, by the guidance staff. Over the years, a particular admissions rep may have read dozens of recommendations from the counselor and experienced teachers at Competitive Suburban Highschool, and when they tell him that student A is really special he understands the context they have and it is likely to have a big impact on him. All other things being equal -- as they never are -- the highschool version of our student will have a much easier time marshaling semi-objective third-party assessments and rankings to help convince colleges that he really is a star.
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