When it comes to scholarships, homeschooled students usually have the same opportunities as those who attend public or private schools. While some opponents of educational choice have raised concern in the past, particularly about socialization and the quality of the curriculum used in many homeschool settings, statistics show that many homeschooled students fall in the 85 percentile or higher when it comes to tests like the SATs or the California Achievement Test. When it comes to scholarships and grants, homeschooled students are often chosen for both their grades as well as their citizenship.
Academic achievement is one of the main requirements for many scholarships and grants. Homeschoolers are often at a distinct advantage when it comes to academics for two reasons. First, they receive one-on-one attention as it is needed. Ask yourself, even as an adult, what kind of difference that can make. If you are taught something new in a one-on-one setting, are you likely to retain more of it than if you learn it among 20 to 30 adults who may or may not grasp concepts as/when you do? One-on-one learning, followed closely by learning in small groups, has definite advantages
Second, that self-pacing I just mentioned is a significant advantage. Homeschoolers are typically allowed to learn at their own pace instead of being held to the same learning rate as other students in their class. This customized education allows students to focus more efficiently and work at a pace that is comfortable for them, helping them learn and retain more without the stress that is often found in a traditional school setting. And when more time is needed to master a concept? That’s no problem in a homeschooling setting. You and your children can take all the time that is needed to reach true mastery of a subject, and that is a critical point. Too often in traditional educational settings, the focus is on memorizing to pass tests rather than true learning. The self-pacing that is possible with home education supports the true learning that most parents want for their children.
Besides academics, many scholarships require applicants to have community service experience, participate in extracurricular activities or even demonstrate a passion for certain hobbies. Homschoolers are often encouraged to serve their communities and, by doing so, they can learn many things first hand and position themselves as worthy scholarship recipients. Citizenship, character and public service are all parts of many scholarship programs, and homeschooled students often have assignments that entail working with the public or engaging in activities outside the home, giving them an opportunity to explore many possibilities for themselves.
It’s important to note that creating a high school transcript, having your child participate in groups or take classes outside the home, and encouraging your child to get involved in activities that support your community are all things that may help your child earn a scholarship. But home education won’t hold your child back in any way. In fact, some schools and educational programs are creating scholarship programs specifically for homeschoolers.