Although homeschooled students do most of their formal learning at home, there's very little difference between them and students at traditional schools when it comes to preparing for college and planning for the future.
Homeschoolers and College Board Tests
Homeschooled students and traditionally schooled students need to master the same knowledge and skills to be ready for college.
- They practice for tests the same way.
- They register for and take the tests the same way.
- They qualify for test fee waivers the same way.
One of the few differences between how the two groups of students prepare for college is that homeschooled students need to contact a school counselor or test coordinator at a local school to get fee waivers and arrange to take College Board tests.
SAT and SAT Subject Tests
Homeschooled students register for the SAT or SAT Subject Tests online or on paper, just like any other student. When asked to enter their high school code, they should use 970000.
One of the best ways your child can prepare for the SAT is to study with Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy®.
- It's free.
- It's online.
- It creates personalized practice plans for each student based on previous test scores or the results of short online quizzes.
Students who study with Official SAT Practice for just 6–8 hours see an average score increase of 90 points, compared to their score on the PSAT/NMSQT or a previous SAT.
PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9
All the PSAT-related tests measure the same knowledge and skills as the SAT, but in ways that are appropriate for grades 8–11. Taking any of these tests is a great way for your child to become familiar with the types of questions they’ll see on the SAT and learn which of their skills they most need to improvement.
Your child will also find out which AP courses they’re most likely to do well in based on their test scores.
Only the PSAT/NMSQT qualifies students to enter the National Merit Scholarship Program, where they can win scholarships and recognition for their hard work.
Homeschooled students should reach out to a counselor at a local school to arrange to take any of the PSAT-related assessments.
The Advanced Placement Program (AP) gives your child the opportunity to take college-level classes before they get to college. As a homeschooled student, your child can be guided through AP courses at home or take online AP courses. Talk to a counselor at a local high school to find an approved online AP course provider.
Each May, students can earn college credit, advanced placement, or both by taking AP Exams and getting a qualifying score. Your child can arrange to take AP Exams at a local high school by contacting the AP coordinator at that school before October 4.
To get a list of names and phone numbers of local AP coordinators, email AP Services for Students.
Read More About It
AP Students: Registering for Exams
Fee Waivers and Reductions
Homeschooled students from low-income families may be eligible for all the same fee waivers and reductions—including college application fee waivers—as traditionally schooled students. We offer PSAT-related fee waivers, SAT fee waivers, and AP Exam fee reductions.
And if your child uses any of our test fee waivers, they'll automatically get college application fee waivers that let them apply to college for free.
Contact a school counselor at a local high school for more details on income eligibility and how to get fee waivers for your child.
Read More About It
For Parents & Guardians: Fee Waivers and Reductions
College Planning Resources
Homeschooled students and traditionally schooled students also research and apply to colleges the same way. The BigFuture™ website provides simple, straightforward advice on all aspects of the college planning process, including:
- How to find the right college
- How to apply to college
- How to get financial aid
There are also video interviews with college students and college admission professionals that give your child insider information about the college application process.